Dr. Damion Womack Named New Director of Choral Activities / Rachel Faulk
MC has a long and decorated tradition of choral music, and that tradition is sure to continue to flourish in the capable hands of Dr. Damion Womack, MC’s new director of choral activities.
In this role, Womack will direct MC’s two student choirs, Singers and Choctaw Chorus, in addition to teaching courses on choral literature and conducting. “Basically if there’s something that has to do with choir on campus, he’ll be involved in some way,” said Dr. Ben Williams, chair of the MC Department of Music.
Williams explained that in the search process, candidates for the position were brought to campus to meet with students and faculty, conduct a choir, and teach in the classroom. Womack was selected as “the clear and obvious choice,” Williams said. “He was remarkably personable in the rehearsals. I really think our students are going to enjoy working with him.”
Womack’s passion for choral music and conducting was sparked during what he described as a “life-changing experience” in the ninth grade, while performing with his high school choir at a cathedral in downtown New York. “We were singing ‘Ave Verum Corpus’ by William Byrd, and I experienced how music inspires and connects with everyone who is listening. From that point I knew that I wanted to make music with people and inspire and challenge lives.”
Since then, Womack has gone on to lead an illustrious career. Having earned degrees in Music Education from Alabama A&M University and Alabama State University and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of South Carolina, Womack spent 19 years conducting high school choirs before becoming the chair of the Department of Fine Arts at Huntingdon College. He received the McLemore Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Montgomery Academy in Alabama and serves as the National Chairman for High School Choirs for the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). Womack is also scheduled to perform as a guest conductor at New York’s prestigious Carnegie Hall in April 2022.
Concerning his decision to join the faculty at Mississippi College, Womack said, “I have known about the excellent choral tradition [at MC] for quite some time.” He first heard MC’s choirs at the ACDA National Convention in 2006, and the high school choral ensemble he directed had the opportunity to perform with the MC Singers at the 2014 ACDA Southern Conference in Jacksonville, Florida. He’s kept up with the MC choirs for many years.
Womack is thrilled to be joining MC’s faculty this year. “I look forward to establishing meaningful relationships with students, faculty, and the community. I also look forward to making music and reaching new heights with our students.”
When not teaching or conducting, Womack said he can be found most weekends cheering on his 12-year-old son at soccer games.
Womack looks forward to connecting and engaging with students in his role as director of choral activities. “If you like to sing, consider joining one of our choirs at MC! We would love to have you!”
Interested students have the opportunity to participate in MC’s two choirs. MC Singers is MC’s award-winning choral ensemble which performs the Festival of Lights annually and has toured across the U.S. and internationally. Auditions for Singers will be held during the fall semester. Choctaw Chorus is MC’s other campus choir, which is open to all students and performs a variety of sacred and secular music on campus. To join, students can register for MUS 194 (a one-credit course). Rehearsals will be held Thursdays from 6:00 to 7:15 p.m., and no auditions are required.