Dr. Chris Sheppard, Director of Choral and Vocal Activities at MSUB, began working with Rimrock Opera in 2008 as chorus master and continues this relationship into 2009-2010. At MSUB, he directs Chamber Singers and Concert Choir, and teaches voice and choral conducting.
Sheppard will sing Schaunard in La bohème in RO’s 2010 production, and has also appeared as Dancaïro in Carmen and Antonio in Marriage of Figaro with Rimrock Opera. Sheppard is also Music Director at First English Lutheran Church in Billings and directs the Magic City Singers. In 2006 and 2007, he served as chorus master and voice instructor at the Maud Powell Festival’s International Opera Institute during summers in Illinois. In 2001, Sheppard was the choral director for the World Scholar-Athlete Games, which involved over 2,000 participants ages 15-19, from 152 countries and all fifty states.
A native of West Virginia, he has also taught at Bluefield College in Virginia and Aims Community College in Greeley, Colorado. Sheppard was given a Faculty Excellence award at MSUB in 2009 and has been honored twice in “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.” In demand as a festival conductor and adjudicator, he has conducted honor choirs in four states and has received nine such invitations in the last four years. A proficient baritone, Sheppard has appeared on stage in a variety of venues, including opera, oratorio, musicals, and plays. Sheppard holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin, University of Northern Colorado, and Marshall University.