Tenor Section Leader Chris Heckman
Chris is a musician of many talents- and has been tenor section leader at PCS since 2013. He received his B.M. in Music Composition from Florida State University, an M.F.A. in Film Music Composition from UNC School of the Arts and his Ph.D. In Music Composition for Visual Media from UCLA. He currently teaches Film Music Composition in the School of Filmmaking at UNCSA, is a freelance composer, writing for independent films, commercials, video games, ballet and contemporary dance. He is the organist at Ardmore Moravian Church, and performs in the Winston-Salem area on piano and keyboards and occasionally with the WS Symphony.
Because of his love for movie music, one of Chris’ favorite holiday tunes is John Williams’ score from Home Alone (1990). However, his favorite tune from our upcoming PCS concert is Eric Whitacre’s Lux Arumque. Chris said the following about the piece, and we couldn’t agree more! “I remember how magical it was to hear this for the first time. Though I was not particularly familiar with Whitacre at the time, I was tremendously inspired by his use of harmony, particularly how he builds dense yet wondrous tonal clusters to aurally depict the word “lux” Latin for “light”- admittedly I later studied his work in greater detail and may have incorporated one or two of his techniques into my own compositional style! Lux Arumque is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful choral works ever composed. It is not to be missed!”
Artistic Director Jayson Snipes
Jayson Snipes became Artistic Director of Piedmont Chamber Singers in 2015. He is a native of Winston-Salem, NC, and received a B.M. in Music Education, and M.M. in Choral Conducting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he studied organ, voice, and conducting. Jayson was conductor of The Moramus Chorale from 2008–2015, a non-auditioned mixed chorus that specializes in performing early music of the early American Moravian tradition and was the choral director at Lexington Middle School from 2012 until December 2016. Currently, he serves as Director of Traditional Music at Maple Springs United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem.
It is hard for Jayson to pick a favorite piece from the upcoming concert, but he said the following-“I think the piece that stood out to me the most was “Love: Then and Still,” because I think its story is something that anyone can relate to. While it talks about a specter stealing joy, we don’t know exactly what it is – the loss of a child? Parent? Another loved one? And, while for a short time you may be robbed of joy, wounds heal.” What is he most excited for in our upcoming season?
“PCS has made some exciting changes, starting last year with offering our concerts free of the charge of admission so more people can experience them, and this year with the change of our fundraising event. I am excited to see our audience, make connections, and for the excitement and momentum we have right now to continue!”