Dr. Charles Jones EvansCharles Jones Evans is currently Music Director of the Pine Bluff Symphony Orchestra. A native of Dallas, he has held conducting positions with numerous professional orchestras and music festivals, including the Eastern Philharmonic (Greensboro, NC), the Memphis Symphony, the Mississippi Symphony and the Eastman Philharmonic (Rochester, NY). As guest conductor, he has been featured on the podium with organizations such as the Richmond (VA), North Carolina, Virginia and Arkansas Symphonies and the Memphis Ballet, as well as ensembles in Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, Spokane, Santa Barbara and other cities across the U.S.
Critics have praised Maestro Evans' conducting as "exuberant", his style as "straight-ahead, no-nonsense" with "unflagging energy". A champion of contemporary music, Evans has conducted several world premieres in addition to numerous modern concert, dance and operatic works. He also has an equally extensive background in the traditional and popular idioms. In addition to performing with major pops artists such as Judy Collins and Maureen McGovern, he has created a wide variety of programs, including highly acclaimed "Rock 'n Roll" pops concerts for which he has written many of his own orchestral arrangements. Evans' conducting training has included a fellowship under eminent American composer/conductor Gunther Schuller at the Festival at Sandpoint, as well as a fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival. He has also studied under Leonard Slatkin, David Zinman, Boris Goldovsky and David Effron. In 199 1, he was one of four Americans selected to compete in the Antonio Pedrotti International Conducting Competition in Italy. Evans holds a B.M. degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a M.M. from Southern Methodist University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music. In addition to his activities with the Pine Bluff Symphony, Maestro Evans serves as Music Director of the Long Bay Symphony, in Myrtle Beach (SC) and as Artist-in-Residence at Coastal Carolina University.
He has been the resident conductor of the Festival since 1995.