Anthony comes to us with a passionate love for music from Memphis, Tennessee. Anthony is a native of Bruce, MS, and attended Indianola High School, Millsaps College in Jackson and the University of Memphis as well as the American Institute of Musical Studies in Austria with Bachelor and Master degrees in vocal performance and vocal music. Anthony has a wide background in music instruction in a variety of settings from Memphis University School to Christian Brothers University and Germantown Community Chorus and vocal performance and direction at numerous churches and even assistant cantor at Temple Israel in Memphis. His background is quite lengthy, and we cannot list every accomplishment, but one thing stands out, Anthony loves music and teaching, especially great choral music. His vision for the Oxford Civic Chorus is to increase in size, quality and performances.
You will find that Anthony’s rehearsal style is to greet each singer, start and end rehearsals on time, with vocal warm ups and light stretches to loosen up, and then lots of singing and instruction. With a keen ear, Anthony will work to fine tune each piece of music with the kind of training and attention to detail that we are accustomed to. He is excited beyond words to get to know each and every member of the chorus and to provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere for each of us anytime we gather to sing. Although he is knowledgeable and experienced in many music genres and styles, he is also hoping to learn from the chorus and is open to suggestions and ideas from us.
Debra Atkinson Accompanist
Debra Atkinson received her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Master of Music Education with Choral Emphasis from Delta State University. She received her Doctor of Arts in Music Education with Choral Emphasis from The University of Mississippi. After graduating from Ole Miss in 2006 she became the Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Music Education at Mississippi University for Women. In 2011 she moved to Gulfport and became the Director of Choral Activities and Instructor of Music at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. After retiring in May of 2021, she and her husband moved to Oxford to be closer to children and grandchildren.
Believing in community involvement, Debra has served as accompanist and choral director for numerous choral and theater groups throughout her career. In her hometown of Greenwood, she was musical director and accompanist in numerous Greenwood Little Theater productions. She was also the director of a women’s community choir for 20 years. After moving to Oxford, she worked with the Oxford Children’s Chorus as accompanist and director. While in Columbus, she was on the Board of the Columbus Girl Choir and the Columbus Arts Council. While on the Coast, she was the accompanist for the USM Gulf Coast Civic Chorale and musical director for Center Stage Theater. Debra has been a church musician for over 40 years and is now the organist for All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Tupelo. In addition to serving as accompanist for the Oxford Civic Chorus, she will be an adjunct instructor in the music department at Ole Miss in the fall, serving as a collaborative pianist and class piano instructor.