Gregory A. Fuller
Director of Choral Activities. Professor of Music
In his tenth year as Director of Choral Activities at The University of Southern Mississippi, Gregory Fuller conducts the Southern Chorale and the Hattiesburg Choral Union, teaches graduate conducting courses, supervises candidates in the master’s and doctoral conducting program, serves as the chair of the Conducting Division, and is a member of the School of Music Executive Committee. In 2004 he launched the first Southern Invitational Choral Conference, an event that now hosts over fifty participating institutions each September. Since arriving in 2000, he has presided over growth that has more than doubled the number of vocal/choral majors at Southern Miss.
Previously, professor Fuller held academic appointments at The University of Missouri in Columbia and Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. He has appeared in more than 20 states as a clinician and conductor and has performed at nine conventions of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and Music Educators National Conference (MENC). In March, The Southern Chorale will appear in the world-class Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in Memphis for the Southern Division Convention of ACDA. Dr. Fuller has organized and executed over 60 concert tours, study tours, and pilgrimages, including 28 international trips to three continents. As a result choirs under his leadership have appeared at memorable venues, such as the Basilica of San Marino, Orvieto Cathedral, Cathedral of San Ildefonso (Merida), Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg, Convent of San Bernadino of Siena (Vallodolid), Coventry Cathedral, Melk Abbey, Salisbury Cathedral, University of Orleans, Carnegie Hall, and the Disney Hall in Los Angeles. His choirs have enjoyed short residencies in Japan and the Loire Valley of France.
Dr. Fuller has remained active as a conductor in orchestral and wind settings. To date, he has appeared with professional or university instrumental ensembles on more than 70 occasions. He has also helped prepare orchestral choruses for more than 40 important performances, including presentations with the St. Louis Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Mobile Symphony, Sioux City Symphony, Mississippi Symphony, and the outstanding Orchestras and Wind Ensembles at the University of Missouri and the University of Southern Mississippi. In five seasons with the Sioux City Municipal Band (formerly the Monahan Post Band, a 90 year tradition), he hosted many successful and promising solo artists, including internationally acclaimed horn player, Michael Thompson.
On the podium with community choruses, Fuller started as a graduate assistant with the Choral Union in Columbia, at the University of Missouri. He eventually became the primary conductor of that organization and premiered “Phroheta Lucis”, by John Cheetham, a choral-orchestral work commissioned for the University’s Sesquicentennial Gala Concert. In Sioux City, he quickly expanded the resources, membership, and audience of the Siouxland Master Chorale, culminating in several tours and a short residency in Yamanashi City, Japan, including a performance on Japanese National Public Television. The Choral Union at Southern Miss is the primary orchestral chorus for the Southern Miss Symphony Orchestra. Under Fuller, the group has also performed with other regional orchestras and in various venues. In 2007, they were a partner with the Mississippi Arts Commission and the Mississippi Symphony presenting regional performances honoring important Mississippi composer, William Grant Still. The Choral Union will premiere “An American Requiem,” by Edwin Penhorwood, in the spring of 2010. This large-scale choral/orchestral commission coincides with the Centennial of the University of Southern Mississippi. Fuller has recently been appointed to podium of the Meistersingers of Hattiesburg. Dr. Fuller has organized collaborative community events in Mid-Missouri, Northwest Iowa (tri-state region), and now the Gulf Coast region. Some of the most notable presentations have been ecumenical sacred concerts with guest soloists as well as performances of major choral works with professional soloists and orchestra.
Dr. Fuller’s sacred music career spans more than three decades and has been influenced and inspired by his father, James Fuller. Serving as a full-time church musician in Kentucky, Alabama, and Missouri for over 40 years, James Fuller was regarded as model administrator of graded choir programs for children. He fostered music education and choral excellence in churches. As a continuing advocate for those values, Gregory Fuller organized the first Southern Hymn Festival in fall of 2008. The event featured four guest composers, a 600-member choir from the Gulf Coast region, over 1,000 congregational participants, and full orchestra. While in Iowa, he worked closely with the Catholic Diocese of Sioux City in planning and executing music for important liturgies. This included the rededication of the Cathedral of the Epiphany and the ordination of Bishop Daniel DiNardo, now Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of the Galveston-Houston Diocese. In recent years he has been the chorus master at the First Methodist Church in Gulfport and is now the conductor of the Sanctuary Choir at Parkway Heights United Methodist Church in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Gregory Fuller grew up and attended public school in historic Jefferson City, state capitol of Missouri. He attended Oklahoma Baptist University, in Shawnee, to earn a bachelors degree in Cello and Voice. He then returned home to mid-Missouri to complete masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Missouri and remains a loyal Tiger fan. Among his significant mentors and teachers are James Fuller, Duncan Couch, James Woodward, Michael Cox, Michael Budds, John Cheetham, and Carolyn Hamlin. He has participated in workshops and master classes with Robert Shaw, Sir David Wilcocks, John Rutter, Jere Lantz, John Paynter, and Col. John R. Bourgeois. Dr. Fuller resides in Hattiesburg with his wife Valerie, son James, daughters Avery and Maren, and terriers Madison and Jackson.