A new year and new direction. This is the exciting news in the School of Music, as nationally known choral conductor Jeffery Redding joins the West Virginia University faculty as the new director of Choral Activities.

In addition to conducting the University Singers, the Women’s Chorale and the West Virginia Community Choir, Redding teaches undergraduate and graduate choral conducting classes at WVU.

Keith Jackson, director of the School of Music, has no doubt in Redding’s ability to lead WVU’s choral program straight to the top.

“Dr. Redding brings energy and a national profile to our growing choral area,” Jackson said. “With his leadership, I anticipate WVU will quickly become one of the strongest choral programs in this part of the United States.”

Previously, Redding served as the director of Choral Activities at West Orange High School in Winter Garden, Fla., where he was named Teacher of the Year in 2003. In this position, he led his choirs in performances at state, regional, and national conventions of the American Choral Directors’ Association.

Redding holds a doctorate in Choral Conducting/Music Education, a master’s degree in Music Education from the Florida State University and a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Florida A&M University.

Nationally, Redding is in demand as a guest conductor. He has conducted the American Choral Directors Association National High School Honor Choir and the Central Division ACDA Honor Choir, as well as all-state and honor choirs in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

He directed the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for its 2005 spring broadcast and was featured as a guest conductor at Carnegie Hall in 2008, at the Kennedy Center in 2009, and at Orchestra Hall in 2010.

Redding has been sought as an adjudicator and lecturer for festival competitions and workshops throughout the United States, including the Heritage Festivals, and various states’ educational conventions.

He was also the founder and artistic director of the Garden Community Choir in Winter Garden, Fla.

Although he’s been on the WVU faculty for only about a month, Redding has already begun implementing his new plans for the choral program.

“I have created a Unity Choral Series in which, every February, we will have a Unity Concert to celebrate loving each other, respecting each other and growing together,” he said. “Each year will have a different theme and this year’s theme is ‘For the Sake of Our Child.’ The concert will feature selections dealing with children and how it takes a village to raise a child.”

The Unity Choral Concert will take place Sunday, Feb. 24, at 3:15 p.m. in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Center of the Creative Arts Center. For more information, or tickets to this concert, call the WVU Box Office at (304-293-4359).