New Teacher Profile: Chris Sweatt

Mr. Chris Sweatt, Prep’s new choir director, at his piano. (Anna Blaire Bryant)

Mr. Chris Sweatt is the new show choir director at Jackson Prep. Mr. Sweatt was born and raised in Homewood, Alabama which is in the center of what some might call the “show choir belt.” He has a degree in music directing and also has experience as an assistant show choir director.

Since junior high, he has loved the arts and has had a knack for playing the piano. He played football in high school and liked sports, but show choir drew his attention more than anything. With the ability to express himself more through dance and meet new friends, he fell in love with it immediately despite the fact that he did not find great enjoyment from singing until later in his life.  

Mr. Sweatt attended Birmingham-Southern, New York University, and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, a very prestigious music school in Scotland.  Mr. Sweatt had heard great things about Prep’s Show Choir program, so when the opportunity arose to work at Prep, he was “beyond thrilled.”

Although nervous, Mr. Sweatt is excited and prepared to begin his first position as a show choir director, even during a pandemic. He said the students are splitting up and rehearsing in Fortenberry Theatre during and after school, rather than the choral music room, to limit the possible spread of Covid-19, and that it has so far been a success. In addition to conducting Reveillon, he has started a new singing group called Glitz. It is for sixth through ninth grade girls.

Mr. Sweatt thinks show choir season will occur, but it will be much different from the past.  Reduced capacity and social distancing will be a must. Mr. Sweatt is optimistic about this year, and he sees it as “an opportunity to try new things and grow creatively.”