JG Morgan GSO Chorus Director
Bryan Black is the founding conductor of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra Chorus which he established in 2007. Over sixteen seasons the ninety-voice Chorus has performed masterworks such as Orff’s Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Poulenc’s Gloria, Bach’s Magnificat, Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, Vaughan-William’s Sea Symphony, and the Georgia premier of William Grant Still’s And They Lynched Him On A Tree. Other concerts have featured notable choral repertoire including Corigliano’s Fern Hill, Handel’s Let God Arise, and Robert Ray’s Gospel Mass. The chorus made its first international tour to Spain in 2012 under his direction and anticipates a tour of the United Kingdom in 2025.
Black has been active in the broader music community for three decades and was recognized as a “Lexus Leader in the Arts” by Atlanta Public Broadcasting in 2003. After a collaborative performance of Hugo Distler’s Totentanz in 2004, Bryan was awarded a cultural ambassadorship from the Atlanta Goethe-Institut and attended an advanced language symposium in Weimar, Germany. He sang for several years with the ASO Chorus and Chamber Chorus, including Robert Shaw’s final performance of Bach’s B-minor Mass in Carnegie Hall. He also taught on the adjunct faculty of Georgia State University and was visiting conductor for the Candler School of Theology Choraliers at Emory University. Choirs led by Black have performed at the Vatican, Christ Church Cathedral (Oxford), the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, and on tours to Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Norway.
Bryan is past-president of Georgia ACDA (American Choral Director’s Association) and served six terms at the divisional and national levels as Resource and Repertoire coordinator for reading sessions and conference performances. While serving ACDA, he assisted John Rutter as organizer for a conductor’s honor chorus in 2013 and planned the national 2019 “Music in Worship” event featuring Jason Max Ferdinand and the Aeolians. He has contributed articles to the Choral Journal, the Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology, and Tim Sharp’s Sacred Choral Music Repertoire (pub. GIA) reflecting his work as a practicing church musician since the age of seventeen. Black currently serves as organist / choirmaster at St. James Episcopal Church on the historic square in Marietta, Georgia.
Bryan holds a certificate in German as a foreign language (Goethe-Institut Berlin), a BM degree in organ (Samford University), and an MM degree in choral conducting from The Florida State University where he studied with Rodney Eichenberger and André Thomas. His doctoral thesis (DPM, Southern Methodist University) considered the impact of choral music in a maximum-security women’s prison and how the inmates’ lived experience of musicking models resilient community in an age of technological acceleration and relational isolation.