Billy Orton, Artistic Director
Serving as artistic director since 2002, Billy Orton has brought great energy and creativity to HCCA. He conducts the 150-voice Symphonic Chorus and the select 30-voice Chamber Chorale, which he founded in 2004. Under Billy’s direction TheChorus has grown in numbers as well as artistic impact. Billy’s convivial approach to music has brought a wide range of collaborators onto HCCA stages, adding exciting flavors to the repertoire. His gift for creating powerful concert experiences has made him known as a musical leader who brings people together and makes wonderful things happen. Billy is also minister of music and worship at Huntsville’s First Baptist Church. Outside HCCA, he makes music—either as conductor, chorus master, singer, or trombonist—with a number of area groups.
Ian Loeppky, Associate Artistic Director
Dr. Ian Loeppky joined the HCC artistic staff as Associate Artistic Director in July 2017. Together with Artistic Director Billy Orton, Dr. Loeppky will provide leadership for both the flagship Symphonic Chorus and the elite Chamber Chorale. Dr. Loeppky is Director of Choral Activities at the University of North Alabama. He directs the two elite choral ensembles at UNA and teaches undergraduate and graduate choral conducting, choral techniques, world music, and graduate choral literature. Founder of the Florence Camerata, he has worked as a singer, scholar, conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and arranger in Canada, the United States, and Portugal.
Eric Wilson, Principal Accompanist
Dr. Eric Wilson is accompanist for TheChorus and the Chamber Chorale. He has been recognized throughout Alabama as a pianist and accompanist par excellence. He is known in the HCCA for his musical sensitivity, his clear tenor voice, and for filling in the solo lines until the soloists show up! Eric is director of music ministry at Epworth United Methodist Church.
Shelli Rimes, Youth Chorale Director
Shelli Rimes is director of the HCC Youth Chorale. She taught at Sparkman High School from 2002–2010 and was the assistant and accompanist for the Huntsville Children’s Chorus from 2002–2008. In 2009, she created a small ensemble of 9 young singers that has now blossomed into our HCC Youth Chorale with over 45 singers. Shelli has an enthusiastic teaching style that enables young singers to find a true love of choral music that will last a lifetime.
Lea Hoppe, Children's Chorale Director
Lea Hoppe is director of the Huntsville Community Chorus Children’s Chorale. She is elementary music specialist at Randolph School. Lea has more than 25 years’ experience working with children’s choirs and was the 2010 recipient of the Harold J. Wilson Music Educator of the Year award given by the Huntsville Youth Orchestra.