CCSA announces Dr. Ryan Garrison as new artistic director

April 18, 2017 | The Children’s Chorus of San Antonio is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ryan Garrison as artistic director, effective July 2017. The announcement was made yesterday by Sybel Pici, President of the Board of Directors. A native of Cheyenne, Wyoming, Dr. Garrison comes to CCSA by way of Phoenix, Arizona, where he maintained an active schedule as a professional choral singer, conductor, and educator. Dr. Garrison will be the second artistic director in the organization’s 34-year history.

“We welcome Ryan to the CCSA family and are looking forward to his enthusiasm and vision for our organization. Ryan exemplifies everything we were looking for in our next artistic director,” Pici said.

Since 2005, Garrison has been a singing member of the GRAMMY-award winning professional choral ensemble, The Phoenix Chorale, under the artistic vision of renowned conductor, Charles Bruffy. With the ensemble, Garrison is credited on four albums garnering six GRAMMY nominations and two GRAMMY wins, including “Best Choral Performance” in 2016.

In 2013, Garrison joined the choral artistic staff at Arizona School for the Arts in central Phoenix, a school acknowledged as a national model for exemplary education gained through intense emphasis on studies in the performing arts. Numerous students under his direction have been selected for regional- and national-level honor choirs, and Garrison has maintained an active schedule of clinic and guest conducting appearances in Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming.

A vision for the future

The selection of Garrison concludes a national search guided by Arts Consulting Group. Vice President Pamela A. Pantos noted, “Arts Consulting Group was thrilled to work with such a unique organization, and we were fortunate to place a candidate of Ryan’s passion and accomplishments in this strategic leadership position.”

Garrison will be an active and visible presence in the San Antonio community. In addition to primary responsibilities of developing the creative design for all programs and leading the CCSA ensembles through a busy performance season, he will work closely with leadership and the greater music community to maximize the organization’s visibility, ensemble membership, and outreach programs. “I look forward to working with the committed staff, board, and community of educators and directors in San Antonio; together we will nurture and ignite the joy of singing and provide a high standard of quality choral performance in San Antonio and beyond,” said Garrison.

CCSA has maintained a strong profile in the community as a resident company of the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. Recent achievements include participation in three world premieres, membership growth of over 20%, and expansion of its neighborhood choir program to three locations. Garrison’s inaugural season will be dynamic: in addition to its subscription season at the Tobin, CCSA’s 2017-2018 calendar includes performances with the San Antonio Symphony, Opera San Antonio, SOLI Chamber Ensemble, and YOSA, and participation in the Alamo Baroque Festival and the City’s tricentennial celebration. To meet demand, CCSA is expanding its training division into northwest San Antonio and its preparatory division into the Stone Oak corridor. Executive Director Anne Schelleng commented, “CCSA’s outstanding interim team has maintained and strengthened the organization, providing a solid foundation that will thrive and grow in the coming years under Ryan’s direction.”