Chris Nemec made his professional debut at age thirteen, and has appeared as organist, accompanist or tenor soloist with Opera Memphis, The Memphis Symphony and Chorus, University of Memphis Opera Theater, and others. He has sung six seasons with the Carnegie Hall Choral Workshop, founded by the late Robert Shaw, under the baton of Maestro Shaw, Charles Dutoit, James Conlon, Sir André Previn and Sir Neville Marriner. Chris sang two performances in September 2002 in Salzburg, Austria, including at the Duomo. He has served as rehearsal accompanist under John Rutter, Sir David Willcocks, Helen Kemp, Constantina Tsolainou, Jim Litton, John Ness Beck and other notables, and has played extensively for the Diocese of Memphis for ordinations and workshops. In January 1996, Chris was the recipient of a two-week internship with The American Boychoir in Princeton, New Jersey where he assisted in preparing J.S. Bach’s B Minor Mass with the New York Philharmonic and Maestro Kurt Masur.
As an organist, Chris performed at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign for the 1994 International Trumpet Guild; was the featured soloist by the Memphis chapter as the American Guild of Organists celebrated its centennial in April 1996, playing J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in d as part of the "World’s Largest Organ Recital"; appeared on ABC-TV on Easter Sunday, 1996 sponsored by the National Council of Churches; and played at National City Christian Church (the Disciples of Christ’s national cathedral) in Washington D.C. in 1999 and 2000.
Chris has served as associate conductor-accompanist of The Gary Beard Chorale since its inception in August 1987, appearing in concerts at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, The Spoleto Festival (1992, 1994, 1997) and Europe (Vienna, Austria and Melk.) Additionally, since 1983 he has served as Organist-Music Administrator, Director of Children’s and Youth Music and Producer of Lindenwood Concerts. He teaches piano, organ and voice in the Lindenwood Studio of Music. He was the staff accompanist for the West Tennessee Metropolitan Opera Auditions for over 20 years.
Chris has performed for numerous industrial shows including Federal Express, ServiceMaster, Merry Maids, Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, WONDERS: The International Cultural Series, and more.
Chris has orchestrated over 200 titles, usually for performance by the Gary Beard Chorale or The Lindenwood Chancel Choir. His first international orchestration was in 1988 for soprano saxophonist/composer Anders Paulsson of Sweden.
Chris’ 2003 calendar included performances in St. Louis, Houston, Tallahassee, Birmingham, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Columbus, MS, and or course the greater Memphis area. His 2004 calendar was as varied and full, including five performances at the Gold Strike Casino in Tunica, MS in October, as Music Director for "Clue -The Musical" murder mystery for the second year.
One of Chris’ love is playing cocktail-style piano, something he has done since age fourteen for wedding receptions, parties, Christmas events, church functions and more. In 2003, Chris began a three-part series of CD recordings: "Do You Remember? – The Piano Stylings of Chris Nemec" draws upon a pool of repertoire Chris has used countless times over the years. His 2nd CD, "The Very Best Time of Year" is music for the holidays, and his latest CD, "Simply Delicious", is music for dinner. The CD’s are available at area stores and can also be ordered from this web site.
An exciting new adventure for Chris began with a commission of a choral-symphonic work, with text from the Old Testament book of Joshua, to be used in a documentary about NASA''s Shuttle Columbia STS-107. The world premiere of the documentary, titled Of Good Courage, will be September 23, 2006 in South Padre Island, TX as part of the South Padre Island Film Festival. On February 1, 2003, as Columbia was re-entering the earth''s atmosphere, it exploded over Sabine County, Texas, a rural community on the Texas-Louisiana border. The documentary will tell the stories of the local residents and their recovery of debris and bodies of the seven astronauts. These heroic citizens refused to accept compensation for any of their services (rather feeling this was their duty) including housing hundreds of searchers from neighboring counties, to feeding over three thousand hot meals daily to the recovery personnel. Click on the link "Be Strong" above to read more of this incredible story, listen to the commissioned music, and find out more information about renting the entire work (for symphony, chorus and narrator) for performance.
The completed documentary, Of Good Courage, had its world premiere at the South Padre Island Film Festival on September 23, 2006, where it took the SPIFFY Impact Award at the Festival; this award is given to the film that garnered "the most positive audience emotional response," according to festival organizers. Additionally, the film won Best Feature Documentary at the 2007 Trail Dance Film Festival in Duncan, OK.
Other recent distinctions for Chris has been the inclusion in the 2007 listing of “Who’s Who in America”, the upcoming premiere of several choral compositions, and his teaching of “The Artist’s Way” class in October, 2007 for 12 weeks.
Additionally, Chris was one of five national award winners for the Chorister’s Guild Choir Leadership Certification Program sponsored by Chorister’s Guild and funded by the Lily Foundation and a Worship Renewal Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Grand Raids, Michigan. Two sessions of four-day classes are offered as part of this distinction, in Grand Rapids, MI in November 2006, and in Louisville, KY in August 2007.
Two national publications have recently featured Chris in articles:
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