David Ezell - Artistic Director and Founding Conductor
Greg Barnes - Conductor
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David Ezell taught orchestra in public schools for 35 years, before founding the Benedict College Community Orchestra in 2002, which Benedict sponsored until 2005. At that point community members of that orchestra decided to continue the orchestra as an independent organization, and thus the Columbia Community Orchestra was born. Ezell served as founding conductor of CCO until 2011 and continues as Artistic Director. He also has served as Director of Music at Unity Church of Columbia since 1990. Ezell has a degree in Music Education from Converse College and a Masters in Composition from the University of South Carolina.
Gregory Barnes earned degrees from the College of William and Mary and from East Carolina University. He has played viola with the Atlanta and Richmond Symphonies, conducted the Virginia Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Bay Youth Symphony, and served as Supervisor of Orchestras for Norfolk Public Schools. When he retired to South Carolina, he founded the Palmetto Youth Orchestra, directed the Anderson Symphony and the Presbyterian College Chamber Orchestra, and served as principal violist with the Greater Spartanburg Philharmonic. He also served as music critic for The State (Columbia's principle newspaper), and co-authored Playing and Teaching the Viola: A Comprehensive Guide to the Central Clef Instrument and its Music.