Clay Whittington serves as music director and organist for Spilman Memorial Baptist Church in Kinston, North Carolina, where he conducts a variety of choral and instrumental ensembles. Prior to his appointment at Spilman Memorial, 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 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 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 Church Music Institute, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing.