Christopher Thomas

Christopher Thomas

Christopher Thomas
Director of Choral Activities - Associate Professor

Christopher Thomas

Contact Info
856-256-4500 x53530
Wilson Hall, 132

Biography

Christopher B. Thomas is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ, Artistic Director of the 130+ voice Greater South Jersey Chorus in Haddonfield, NJ, and past-president of the New Jersey chapter of the American Choral Director’s Association (NJACDA). 

At Rowan University, Dr. Thomas oversees four curricular choirs comprised of over two-hundred singers. He conducts the Rowan University Concert Choir, the flagship choral ensemble of the department of music; Voces, a chamber ensemble which performs early, contemporary, and improvisatory projects, and University Chorus, which is open to both music majors and students across campus. Additionally, Dr. Thomas teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in choral conducting and choral literature. Under his direction, choirs at Rowan University have performed at regional and state conferences of ACDA and NJMEA and internationally on tours throughout Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Poland.  Recent highlights of the choral program have included a successful 2019 Tenor|Bass Festival which hosted over 1400 young tenors and basses, a performance by the Concert Choir for the 2020 Eastern Division ACDA conference in Rochester, NY in the beautiful Hochstein School of Music, performing The Here and Now, a multi-movement setting of texts by Rumi, scored for choir and wind ensemble by American composer Christopher Theofanidis, serving as the chorus for the Rowan Opera Company’s production of Amahl and the Night Visitors, and a collaboration with the University Orchestra in a presentation of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and Jake Runestad’s Dreams of the Fallen, a setting of texts by veterans of the Iraq war.

And while it is indulgent to ruminate on the quality and depth of experiences prior to March 2020, the choirs have recently been discovering the importance of community music making through a combination of masked rehearsals, performances, and virtual work.  While we have no recent impressive major works, performance venues, or tales of travel to boast upon, we do have a greater appreciation for one another, the power of singing together, and will never again take for granted the unmasked faces of those among us.

Dr. Thomas has twice been invited to serve as assistant conductor and instructor for the Varna International Music Academy, culminating in performances of The Creation by Joseph Haydn and Mozart’s Requiem in opera houses throughout Bulgaria.  Domestically, guest conducting engagements including all-state and regional honor choruses have taken him to Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, and Washington, D.C. His work as a guest conductor is consistently recognized as energetic, inspiring, enthusiastic, and inclusive of all levels of experience and ability.

In addition to his academic positions, Dr. Thomas is in his fifth season as the Artistic Director of the Greater South Jersey Chorus, which collaborates with regional orchestras and guest musicians to present major works in addition to stand-alone performances. Under his leadership the choir has grown in size and stature.  Recent performances have included Beethoven Ninth Symphony, Puccini Messa di Gloria, James Whitbourn Annelies, Handel Messiah, Haydn Creation, Mozart Solemn Vespers, Respighi Laud to the Nativity, Vivaldi Gloria, and Conrad Susa Carols and Lullabies.

Dr. Thomas studied music education at Millikin University with Dr. Brad Holmes and earned his graduate degrees in Choral Conducting at the University of Arizona under the direction of Dr. Bruce Chamberlain.  Chris lives in Glassboro, NJ with his two beautiful children Greyson and Elandra “Ella” who both love to laugh and are known to throw impressive impromptu living room dance parties.