A.F.A. (Music), Lenoir Community College. Clay Whittington serves as Director of Music Ministries for First United Methodist Church in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, where he conducts a variety of choral and instrumental ensembles. Prior to his return to sacred music, he performed with Carnival Cruise Lines in onboard piano lounges and main-stage performances.
Before signing off of the Carnival Pride in November of 2018, Clay earned top performer status with Carnival Entertainment after entertaining on nine vessels in two and a half years. His tenure with Carnival included in-port performances in Aruba, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Cuba, Curaçao, Hawaii and Mexico.
Clay currently studies vocal performance with a concentration in sacred music at East Carolina University. He has performed and directed with ECU Opera Theatre and the internationally renowned East Carolina University Chamber Singers. His teachers have included Mr. John Kramar (voice), Dr. Daniel Shirley (voice), Dr. Louise Toppin (voice), Dr. James Franklin (conducting), Mr. Kwan Yi (piano) and Mr. Andrew Scanlon (sacred music studies).
In the role of choirmaster, Clay has directed vocal ensembles for the Episcopal and United Methodist Churches in North Carolina and California. In 2017, he shared the stage with the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, The Most Rev. Michael Curry, as music director for the Diocese of El Camino Real Revival. He has also served as cantor and worship leader for the Diocese of El Camino Real Diocesan Convention and the Annual Conference of the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church.
He is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, the American Guild of Organists, the Royal School of Church Music America and the National Association of Teachers of Singing.