Choral music is a vital part of the foundation of every historically black college, which is why Clinton College has hired Dr. Tony McNeill, a member of Donald Lawrence and The Tri-City Singers, to help develop a new Department of Music.
McNeill joins Clinton College as the new Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Music, teaching courses in music and worship. In addition, McNeill will conduct the Clinton College Choir.
“This opportunity at Clinton College is dream come true; a platform to create programming that will inspire, educate and equip future and current music and arts leaders for more effective service. It feels good to return to this region, after being away for almost ten years, to do this work. I’m grateful to give back to the denomination that served a critical role in my formation as a musician,” said McNeill.
Affectionally known as “Dr. T.,” McNeill currently lives in Atlanta, GA where he serves as a worship consultant for Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary. He is also the choir director/accompanist for the Sanctuary Mass Choir at Oakhurst Presbyterian Church in Decatur.
The sought-after choral musician, worship consultant, practitioner and collaborator was born and raised in the A.M.E. Zion Church tradition. McNeill’s love for music started at Oak Grove A.M.E. Zion Church in Erwin, NC, where he began playing for Sunday School and directing choirs as early as nine-years-old. His passion then took him to Appalachian State University, where he earned a degree in music education with an emphasis in piano and choral music. After that, McNeil received his master’s degree in choral conducting from Florida State University before finishing a Doctor of Worship Studies from The Robert Webber Institute for Worship Studies. In 1996, McNeill served as a choral director at Olympic High School in Charlotte and also worked as the Director of the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church Choir.
McNeill has worked with colleges, universities and churches across the country. There is no limit to his accomplishments, which include preparing choirs for legendary gospel singers such as Richard Smallwood, CeCe Winans, Maurette Brown Clark, Robert Ray, The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Daryl Coley and Donald Lawrence. He also became the first African American appointed to serve on the Deans Advisory Board for the Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University.
McNeill plans to relocate to Rock Hill this summer and starts his new position at Clinton College in July.