Conductor and violist Dr. William James McClain has appeared in major venues across the United States and abroad including Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, and the Sheremetev Palace in Saint Petersburg Russia. He has conducted professional, community, and youth orchestras for over ten years. In the spring of 2006, he conducted Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite with the Macon Symphony Orchestra in Georgia as the 2005 winner of International Conducting Workshop and Festival Competition. Since then he has been awarded that distinction again and invited back to lead the Macon Symphony as a guest conductor. Dr. McClain was also honored by the International Academy of Advanced Conducting in Saint Petersburg Russia where he conducted the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic’s Congress Orchestra. Dr. McClain is in his second year conducting the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra during their annual Holiday Pops Tour. He has also conducted the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and the Onondaga Civic Orchestra in upstate New York.
As a violist, Dr. McClain has recorded with the Adriane String Quartet (faculty string quartet at Ithaca College) and maintains an active solo recital schedule. He is a former member of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and Tri-Cities Opera Orchestra. He also has performed with the Bakersfield Symphony, Allentown Symphony, Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, and the Austin Symphony (as principal).
As a graduate assistant, Dr. McClain taught undergraduate viola at Ithaca College and the University of Maryland at College Park. He was also invited to teach viola and violin as a guest artist at Huston Tillotson College and Mercer University. Before arriving at Georgia College, Dr. McClain served on the faculty of Phillips Exeter Academy, where he was named the John and Elizabeth Phillips Fellow. While at the academy he directed the chamber music program, conducted the Exeter Symphony Orchestra, founded the Exeter Symphonia, and taught in the music theory program.
A native of Washington D.C., Dr. McClain is currently an Assistant Professor of Music and the Orchestra Director at Georgia College. Dr. McClain received degrees in conducting and viola performance from the University of Maryland, Ithaca College, and the University of Texas at Austin.
Academic Department: Department of Music
College: College of Arts and Sciences