W. Thomas Ardrey, Artistic Director
W. Thomas Ardrey is the choral director at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mississippi, where he teaches choir, AP Music Theory, and general music. A native of Madison, Alabama, he received a Bachelors of Music Education in vocal music education from Auburn University in 2012, where he studied with Drs. Rosephanye and William Powell, Dr. Sarah Lynn Baird, and Dr. Jane Keuhne. In 2014, he graduated from the University of Mississippi with an Master of Music in Choral Conducting, summe cum laude, where he studied with Dr. Donald Trott and Dr. Debra Spurgeon. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, American Guild of Organists, National Association for Music Education, Percussive Arts Society, American Musicological Society, Pi Kappa Lambda, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Steve Taranto, Accompanist
Dr. A. Steven Taranto currently serves as Choirmaster and Organist for St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Oxford, Mississippi. Steven also is one of the Assistant Directors in the Office of Financial Aid at The University of Mississippi. Steven completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education at The University of Mississippi in 2010. Before moving to Oxford in 2006, Steven was the Director of Music and Organist for the First Presbyterian Church of Jackson, Tennessee from 1996 to 2006. Along with his church music responsibilities, Steven was actively involved in the musical life of Jackson, and was musical director for the Festival Singers (a community-wide inter-denominational choir hosted by the First Presbyterian Church in Jackson), musical director for the Jackson Theater Guild, and accompanist and assistant director for the Jackson Community Children’s Choir at Union University. Steven received a Master of Sacred Music from the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1995. While in Dallas, Steven was the Assistant Music Director and Organist for North Park Presbyterian Church, and also worked for the Choristers Guild as a music editing assistant. Steven received a Bachelor of Music in Music Business and a Bachelor of Arts in Church Music from Elmhurst College in 1992. During his years at Elmhurst, Steven was organist for Bethel United Church of Christ. Steven remains active as a composer of music for choir and organ, and has four children’s and two handbell anthems published by the Choristers Guild.