Clay Whittington serves as organist and music director 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 bars and main-stage performances.
Before signing off of the Carnival Pride in November of 2018, Clay earned top performerstatus 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, and Mexico.
Clay is currently studying vocal performance with a concentration in sacred music at East Carolina University. He sings with the internationally renowned East Carolina University Chamber Singers and is active in the ECU chapter of the American Choral Directors Association and the American Guild of Organists. In the spring of 2020, Clay will portray the role of El Gallo in ECU Opera Theatre’s production of The Fantasticks. His teachers have included Mr. John Kramar (voice), Dr. Louise Toppin (voice), Dr. James Franklin (choir, conducting), Mr. Kwan Yi (piano) and Mr. Andrew Scanlon (sacred music).
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 song leader for the Diocese of El Camino Real Diocesan Convention and the Annual Conference of the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church.