Dr. CHRISTOPHER SWANSON came to Longwood University in 2003 and has been a full Professor since 2012. He teaches private voice lessons, Diction for Singers, Aural Skills, and Honors Music Appreciation. Dr. Swanson is also the music director for many music theater productions at Longwood.
Dr. Swanson received degrees in vocal performance and opera from Michigan State University (1997) and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (1999) and his doctorate from Florida State University (2003).
A lyric tenor, Swanson has performed throughout North America and Europe. Some of his favorite operatic roles include Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore, Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress and Peter Quint in Benjamin Britten’s Turn of the Screw. His recital performances have been heard across the United States, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Swanson has also dazzled audiences with his wide-ranging concert repertoire. In a performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, a reviewer noted that the role’s “near-impossible tessitura [was] ably conquered by Swanson.”
Dr. Swanson is the music director for the Danville Area Choral Arts Society, the music director and co-founder of the Summer Garden Opera, and the music director at Johns Memorial Episcopal Church in Farmville. Between 2014 and 2018, he was the conductor and music director of the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra.
A native of Michigan, Swanson has been teaching, conducting, and singing in Virginia since moving here in 2003. He lives in Farmville with his wife Melanie Swanson, a professor in Longwood’s Nursing Program, and their children: Breanna, Dani, Ellie, Abigail, Charles, and Vienna.