Christopher Thomas

Christopher Thomas

Christopher Thomas - Director of Choral Activities

Phone Number: (856) 256-4557
Office: Wilson 132


Christopher B. Thomas is Associate Professor and Director of Choral Activities at Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ, Artistic Director of the 100+ voice Greater South Jersey Chorus in Haddonfield, NJ, and 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.  The 18|19 season includes the requiem settings of Howells and Mozart, shorter works by Bach, Brahms, Duruflé, and Handel, and a world premiere of Open Minds, a cantata of text by poet Deborah Kennedy with music composed by Rob Redei. This work, commissioned by Rowan University Concert Choir through a generous gift from Ellen and Melanie Bartlett, seeks to give voice to people with mental health challenges and those who love them. Dr. Thomas also hosts and conducts the Tenor/Bass Festival at Rowan, which attracts over 1200 young tenors and basses each year.

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, 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 fourth 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 and aspires to secure its place as Southern New Jersey’s premier community chorus. Recent performances include James Whitbourn’s Annelies, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Mozart’s Solemn Vespers, Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity, and Conrad Susa’s 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. Before coming to Rowan, he served as director of music at several churches as well as a music educator in Illinois and at a Waldorf school in Arizona. He is an active member of the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).

Chris lives in Glassboro, NJ with his wife Jessica, who is also an accomplished music teacher, and his children Greyson and Elandra.