World-Renowned Conductor Takes the WBU Stage

October 17, 2017


Dr. Craig Jessop conducts an orchestra in this file photo.
Dr. Craig Jessop, world-renowned clinician and conductor, will be at Wayland Oct. 23-24 for the Clay R Warren Memorial Music Symposium.

PLAINVIEW – Wayland Baptist University welcomes Dr. Craig Jessop, former conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants, as the guest conductor and clinician for the inaugural Clay R. Warren Memorial Music Symposium.

The two-day event culminates with a public concert at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24 in Harral Memorial Auditorium. Admission to the concert is free and open to the public.

Dr. Jessop is Dean of the Caine College of Arts at Utah State University. His personal achievements include a distinguished tenure as director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and he is founder and director of the American Festival Chorus and Orchestra. As a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force music programs, Dr. Jessop directed the U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants from 1980-87. He was commander and conductor of the Band of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe (1987-91) and he commanded and conducted the Air Combat Command Heartland of America Band (1991-95). He has also served as director of the Maryland Choral Society, the Rhineland-Pfalz International Choir of Germany and the Omaha Symphonic Chorus.

Dr. Jessop will spend two days working with Wayland choirs, as well as local and area high school choirs. Canyon, Muleshoe, Amarillo Caprock, Amarillo High and Plainview High School will all participate in the clinics, as will Coronado Middle School.

The Tuesday night concert will feature Wayland’s International Choir, the Wayland Singers Chorus, the Plainview High School choir and the Plainview Chorale in a combined chorus. There will also be special recognition by the Warren family as well and Clay Warren’s former high school choir director Walter Wright and the transplant recipient of Clay Warren’s heart, Bill Durham.

The Clay R. Warren Memorial Music Symposium is funded by the family of Clay Warren in memory of their son and his undying love of music. Clay was killed in an auto accident in 2002. Since then, the Warrens have worked diligently to memorialize their son in a such a way that leaves a lasting legacy in his name. The Symposium is something the Warrens feel will benefit the community, as well as honor their son’s memory.

“This is definitely something that I know my son would be proud of – that he would participate in,” said Clay’s father, Mark Warren.

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