Tigerville, SC – In October, John Clanton will visit North Greenville University to share his skills as a renowned conductor, music director, and pianist. He will visit with students in NGU’s Cline School of Music and direct the Concert Band.
Clanton’s professional music career began nearby at Furman University where he earned a B.A. in music. He later earned an M.A. in conducting from the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.
In high school, Clanton was taught by NGU’s Dean of the Graduate School of Education Dr. Marianne Holland. Holland recognized Clanton’s talent as a student at Spring Valley High School in Richland County.
“[Clanton] was the drum major for the marching band at Spring Valley,” said Holland. “He also played the saxophone and participated in All State Chorus.”
He was also a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army where he served for nearly thirty years. Clanton has served as the music director for no less than five military ensembles, including the Armed Forces Chorus, U.S. Army Chorus, U.S. Army Orchestra, “Pershing’s Own” U.S. Army Band, and Soldiers’ Chorus of the U.S. Army Field Band.
While on campus, Clanton will be working with students in Dr. Darian Washington’s concert band.
“This will be a great opportunity for students to meet someone Carolina born-and-raised who rose to the top of the music field,” said Washington. “His resume speaks for itself.”
During his extensive tenure in the military, Clanton was the music director for several high-profile state events. He conducted the Armed Forces Chorus and Marine Orchestra at the funerals of Presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. Most notably, Clanton was the music director for Queen Elizabeth II’s 2007 visit to the White House.
Renowned for his versatility, Clanton has directed many independent ensembles, such as the London Symphony, Ravinia Festival Orchestra Pops, San Francisco Symphony Pops, and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. He is currently a freelance musician who has offered master classes at several universities including Shenandoah Conservatory.
Clanton will be conducting the Concert Band on Monday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. in Turner Chapel on NGU’s Tigerville campus. The concert is free of charge and open to the public.