Our Artistic Staff
For the past eight years, Kenney Potter has served as Conductor and Artistic Director of the Charlotte Master Chorale. His choirs have received wide-spread acclaim including winning the Grand Prix for best choir in the Pärnu International Choral Festival in Pärnu, Estonia. As a performer, he has been a featured soloist in Carnegie Hall, and was choir soloist for the Grammy-winning Oregon Bach Festival choir as well as the International Bach Academy, conducted by Helmuth Rilling. Under his leadership, the Master Chorale has received critical acclaim for artistic excellence and creative programming. Committed to music education, he served as Professor of Music at Wingate University and is Editor of School and Concert music for ECS Publishing Group.
In addition to his work with the Chorale, Dr. Potter serves as Choral Conductor at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. In demand as a clinician, he has conducted state-wide festival choirs for NAfME and ACDA in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia as well as in Nairobi, Kenya and Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a recipient of the Lara Hoggard Award for distinguished accomplishments in the field of choral music, given by the North Carolina ACDA, and is a published composer, recently completing a full-length musical based on the life of Robert Smalls. He holds degrees from Florida State University, Portland State University, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and resides in Charlotte with his wife, Heather, and their children, Syl and Calvin.
Managing Director, Assistant Conductor, & Pianist
Philip Biedenbender serves as Charlotte Master Chorale’s Managing Director, Operations and Development; Assistant Conductor; and Pianist. He holds a bachelor’s degree in theory/composition from St. Olaf College and a master’s degree in choral con- ducting from Florida State University. As a pianist, he has collaborated with numerous honor choirs, ensem- bles, and organizations, including the St. Olaf Choir and the Oregon Bach Festival’s Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy. He is an award-winning composer whose works have been performed by musical groups across the globe. His music is available from earthsongs, EC Schirmer/Galaxy, and Biedenbender Music Publishing.
In addition to her role as Charlotte Master Chorale’s Chorus Manager, Christine Starnes is Director of Music and Worship, service pianist/worship leader, choir director, and secretary of Loray Baptist Church in West Gastonia, as well as the accompanist and Assistant Artistic Director of the Gaston Choral Society. A graduate of Gaston County Schools and in-demand pianist, Christine has had the privilege of accompanying choirs for over 20 years in local choir festivals, middle and high school Music Performance Adjudications, and annual concerts. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Gaston Music Education Foundation and has previously served as Charlotte Master Chorale’s Singer Representative on the Board of Directors. She has been a member of the Charlotte Master Chorale since 2004. Christine and her husband, Jarrod, live in Gastonia, NC, with their two cats, Remy and Ezri, and their dog, Kaia.