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Narrative Biography

As an academic Dr. Wright has directed choirs, taught choral methods, applied voice, fundamentals of music for the non-major, music theory, aural skills, and piano proficiency at the collegiate level at Guilford Tech and The University of South Carolina..  Prior to his positions in higher education, he taught at Canterbury Episcopal School in Greensboro, where he was chair of the fine arts department.  

 

As a published musician his articles appear in The Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians, The Choral Journal, The Journal of the Anglican Association of Musician, and The Organist Companion.  His research interests are in Choral Pedagogy and the Aging Singer; The Left-handed Choral Conductor; Historical Performance Practice in Choral Performance; The Church Musician and the Chamber Orchestra; and Ethics Among Church Musicians.  His doctoral dissertation is on the choral music of noted New York City organist and composer, McNeil Robinson. 

As a conductor he has guest conducted choirs in NC, SC, GA, FL, TN, VA, IN, and CA.  He was the founding artistic director of The Kerner Chorale (TKC), now under the name The Heart of the Triad Choral Society and The Kerner Singers, TKC's professional choir.   While is South Carolina, he was a conductor with the Savannah Children’s Choir (Georgia) directing the Preparatory Choir and the inaugural conductor of their South Carolina choir, The Lowcountry Youth Choir.  Currently, he is the founding artistic director of The Dogwood Ensemble, a choir of professional singers in the Triangle of North Carolina.  His conducting teachers include Daniel Bara, Welborn Young, William Carroll, Karen Kennedy, and Larry Wyatt.  

 

As a singer, he has studied voice, vocal pedagogy, and vocal phonetics extensively.  Dr. Wright has sung with American Choirs as a section leader both in the US and abroad.  While in South Carolina, he sung with the professional choir, Colla Voce. His voice students have attended (on scholarship) regional music schools across the east coast and flagship music schools such as UNC-Greensboro, Eastman School Music, and Florida State University.  His teachers include the international recognized mezzo-soprano Claire O’Brien, baritone James Bumgardner, and soprano Levone Tobin-Scott.  

 

As a church musician and liturgist, he had dedicated the majority of musical career to the life of the church as a church musician, unapologetically proclaiming to be a true church music verses a performer whose instrument is located in the church.   He has served since 1998 various denominations of the Christian and Jewish houses of worship in North and South Carolina, predominately, the Episcopal Church.

 

As an organist he has concertized across the United States, performing in such venues as The Cathedral of St. John the Divine (NYC), The Cathedral of St. Philip (Atlanta), Peachtree Road UMC (Atlanta), The Cathedral of St. Mark (Salt Lake City), St. James by the Sea (California), Chapel of the Cross (Chapel Hill), and other local chapters of The American Guild of Organist (AGO).  He has served AGO Chapters in NC and SC, most recently as the Dean of the Lowcountry Chapter of the AGO.  Additionally, he has been a presenter at regional conventions of the AGO.  His primary organ teachers include Robert Parkins and Janette Fishell.  

 

Post-Covid, seeing the scaling down and closure of many academic programs in sacred music, the effects the pandemic brought to the choral field, and the movement of full-time church musicians to part-time, Dr. Wright like many of his peers in both academia and church music, sought to move to full-time employment in a secondary career.  He currently is a portfolio manager with a noted firm in the triangle area of NC.  He has earned the CMCA (Certified Manager of Community Association), the nationally recognized certification in the field.  He is set to be awarded the AMS (Association Manager Specialist) in the spring of 2024.  From there, he will begin work on the PCAM (Professional Community Association Manager), which is the highest level of certification in the industry, which is held by a select group of professionals.   He still maintains a fulfilling career as a professional musician. 

 

Dr. Wright has earned degrees and graduate diplomas with high distinction in Choral Conducting, Organ Performance, Sacred Music, Liturgical Theology, Music Education, and Higher Education/Student Affairs Administration.  He is an alumnus of the University of Notre Dame, Indiana University, University of South Carolina, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and East Carolina University.  He has completed post-graduate work in theology at Duke University Divinity School.  He regularly participates in masterclasses and attends workshops and summer courses in music, with exposure to some of the most sought after and hailed musicians in the field.

Professionally, he is a member of the Anglican Association of Musicians (AAM), the American Guild of Organists (AGO), America Choral Conductors Association (ACDA), The Royal School of Church Music in America (RSCM), College Music Society (CMS), and Community Association Institute (CAI).  

 

Outside of music, Dr. Wright enjoys collecting model sailboats, coastal and mountain scene oil paintings, playing with his two dogs, and enjoying trips both domestic and abroad.  He and his spouse of 13 years reside outside of Chapel Hill. 

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