Dr. Isaiah McGee
Dr. Isaiah R. McGee is the chair of the music department and director of choral music at Claflin University.
Dr. McGee directs the Concert Choir, University Chorale, and the Men and Women ensembles along with teaching courses in general and choral conducting. A native of Anderson, South Carolina, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, S.C.; a Master of Music degree in vocal performance with an emphasis in Opera Theatre from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. and a Ph.D. in Music Education with choral conducting emphasis from The Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.
He has directed ensembles in performances at the local, state, and regional conferences and conventions. Dr. McGee has served as clinician for numerous workshops, honor choirs, and clinics. He was requested to conduct the full assembly of the opening session of the national meeting of The National Association of Schools of Music. Recently,
The National Association of Schools of Music has appointed Dr. McGee on the National Board and made him a national accreditation evaluator. Dr. McGee has served as a South Carolina Allstate judge.
His research interests include topics such as his dissertation “The Origin and Historical Development of Prominent Professional Black Choirs in the United States”, the spiritual, music composed by black composers and conducting. He has also co- authored an article that was published in the International Journal of Music Education titled “The Influence of Music Style and Conductor Race on Perceptions of Ensemble and Conductor Performance.”
As a vocalist, Dr. McGee made his opera debut as the Conte in the 1994 Studio Lirico production of Cimarosa’s Il Convito at Teatro Signorelli in Cortona, Italy. For the South Carolina Opera Theater in Columbia, he received rave reviews for his portrayal of Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen, Doctor Malatesta in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale and was equally well received by audience and critics alike for his portrayals of Maesetto in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Bardolfo in Salieri’s Falstaff. He was the 1993 winner of the William L. Dawson Vocal Competition at Tuskegee University and one of the 1997 winners of the Opera Carolina’s Young Artist Recital Program.
In the Community, Dr. McGee as been called upon to evaluate and make recommendations on how to improve the cultural arts in cities and towns throughout the state and region. He co- founded an AAU youth basketball organization to increase character development, soft skill, and academic focus through athletics. He is the director of Leadership Orangeburg that is sponsored by the Orangeburg Chamber of Commerce and a member of the board of directors for the Orangeburg Fine Arts Center.
Dr. McGee has received numerous awards such as the Excellence in Teaching Award by the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Recognized by the US Congress in the congressional record, Exemplary Teacher Award by The United Methodist Church, Carolina Young Artist Award given by Opera Carolina in Charlotte, NC, Winner of the First Annual William L. Dawson Vocal Competition at Tuskegee AL, and Recognized by the US Congress for outstanding service and leadership listed in the Congressional Record.
He holds membership in the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, College Music Society, Opera America, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Professional Music Fraternity, National Association of Negro Musicians, National Association of Schools of Music, Rotary International, Pi Kappa Lambda National Honorary Music Society and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.