July 26, 2021 - The Savannah Children’s Choir (SCC) Board of Trustees has announced the appointment of Mr. Gif Lockley, longtime principal of Savannah Arts Academy, as its new Executive and Artistic Director.
After more than a year of online activities, distanced-outdoor singing, and Kessler Collection commissioned recording projects, the SCC is unveiling its plans to return to singing in-person with educational activities and performances for live audiences this fall under the direction of its new dynamic leader, Mr. Gif Lockley.
Mr. Lockley, recently retired from the Savannah Arts Academy, brings to this restart a deep and respected connection to the Savannah community which enables him to hit the ground running. Mr. Lockley will assume executive and artistic direction of the organization. This will leadership of “Choral Foundations”, SCC‘s City of Savannah-sponsored and Gulfstream supported after school program held at several Title I schools throughout Savannah and open to all children in 4th and 5th grades. He also will work closely with the Board of Trustees on strategic planning and reinstitution of international touring beginning with a tour in Ireland in 2022.
A native New Yorker, Lockley has performed and choreographed in musical theater and opera throughout the United States and Europe. He has performed in musical solo recitals, oratorios, and opera in England, Scotland, and Wales. His performances have taken him through major cities in New York, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, and as a guest performer at the United States Naval Academy. Mr. Lockley has been a featured singer with the Orange Bowl Half-Time Shows and with Barry Manilow’s One Voice tour. He has shared the stage with gospel artist Babbie Mason, Michael W Smith and Phil Driscoll.
Of his appointment, Lockley said, “Co-founders Roger Moss and Cuffy Sullivan created an organization 15 years ago that fostered musical excellence with Savannah's youth by developing young singers to performance level music education. With the Savannah community’s support SCC developed a quality, performance-based children's choir that has grown to international prominence. I am pleased to work with SCC’s Board of Trustees as it begins it next chapter of success while fulfilling SCC’s mission of making world class music education available to all children."
“The Board of Directors could not think of a more perfect fit for our organization at this time," said George Woods, SCC's Chairman of the Board of Trustees. "Gif is an expert in arts education and choral performance. His reputation in our community is simply outstanding. His presence and advocacy for our children is already making an immediate impact. I look forward to working with him to bring our children’s music back for all to hear.”
SCC’s Vice Chairman of the Board, Mario Incorvaia added, “many in our community know Gif for his adept administrative leadership of the Savannah Arts Academy. What is less well known is his impressive vocal training and children’s choir background.Gif also has a great passion for the vast body of American music which is the bedrock of contemporary children’s choir literature.”
Visit savannahchoir.org for more information.