The Sound of Charleston    

About Us

Our Artistic Directors

William Schlitt & Maida Libkin, Co-Artistic Directors / Performers

William Schlitt, Co-Artistic Director and Host of The Sound of Charleston, enjoys a long and distinguished career as an administrator, singer, actor, poet, conductor, producer and teacher. A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University in music education (vocal and instrumental), Bill completed an M.M.Ed. in choral conducting at the University of Oklahoma and later continued doctoral study in vocal performance there after serving as head of the music department at Oklahoma Panhandle State University.

In addition to administration and conducting, Bill has performed nationally, with several musical theatre credits including the roles of Professor Harold Hill in The Music Man, Faust in the Gounod opera, and featured roles in regional productions of Jesus Christ, Superstar; Cabaret; Carousel; and Big River. A resident of Charleston since 1991, Bill served as Director of Music for the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and the Diocese of Charleston for 9 years. He has performed in, conducted and produced numerous theater and musical events for the Charleston community.

Maida Libkin, Co-Artistic Director for The Sound of Charleston, is an accomplished director, pianist, conductor, vocal arranger, music therapist and educator with several international and Broadway credits, including Jerry’s Girls, starring Carol Channing and Leslie Uggams. Maida has traveled extensively, conducting Aladin in Jordan and Peter Pan in the former Soviet Union. Moving to Charleston from New York in 1991, she served as Associate Director of Music at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and joined the theatre faculty at the College of Charleston as artist-in-residence in 1994.

Since 2009, she has served as Director of Theatre Arts at Ashley Hall School. Along with husband William Schlitt, she serves as co-founder of The Company Company, a non-profit arts group which has produced a number of high quality productions which she has directed, including The Drowsy Chaperone; Into the Woods; Pirates of Penzance; and The Good Time Variety Hour.

Meet the Artists

Ann Caldwell   Charlton Singleton
Micah McLaurin Irwin Jiang D'Jaris Whipper-Lewis
Bart Saylor
Ghadi Shayban Anna Booman John Tecklenburg Lonnie Hamilton, III

Ann Caldwell 

Ann Caldwell has appeared in Porgy and Bess, Clay Rice’s musical production Lowcountry Legends and has studied with June Bonner, of the Metropolitan Opera. Ann is a master of accents, accurately recreating the tonalities of speech which are important to both jazz and blues.

Ann has a long list of performances as a jazz and blues singer. She is a vocalist with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Pops Concert, as well as a featured artist for the Aid to Africa Concert.

Other performances include:
  • Indigo Jazz Concert
  • Japanese National Anthem in Japanese
  • Charleston Symphony Orchestra Gospel Choir
  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow
  • Wrote and performed a short story to a sold-out crowd at South of Broadway Theatre Company.
Charlton Singleton 

A native of Awendaw, SC, Charlton Singleton began his musical studies at the age of three on the piano. He would then go on to study the violin, cello, and the trumpet throughout elementary, middle and high school.  In 1994, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance from South Carolina State University. Since that time, he taught music at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, as well as being an adjunct faculty member at the College of Charleston.

Currently, he is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra, a 20-piece jazz ensemble of some of the finest professional musicians in the Southeast and the resident big band in Charleston, SC. As a performer, Charlton leads his own traditional jazz group (Charlton Singleton Quintet) and a contemporary group (Charlton Singleton Band). He has had the good fortune to play in France, Great Britain, Scotland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, The Netherlands, as well as many great cities throughout the United States. He has also shared the stage with and worked with some of the most talented entertainers in the world. Outside of music and entertainment, he is a devoted husband and proud father.

Photo Credit: Keith Bradshaw
Micah McLaurin 

Micah McLaurin, 15, is a native of Charleston, SC. A former student of Marsha Gerber, he now studies with Enrique Graf at the Charleston Academy of Music. Micah has already won or placed in a number of national and international piano competitions, including second prize in the Ettlingen International. Competition for Young Pianists in Ettlingen, Germany; first place in the Southeastern Piano Festival's 2010 Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition in Columbia, SC; and second place in the 2008 IIYM International Piano Competition in Lawrence, Kansas.

Micah has appeared with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Youth Orchestra of the Low country, and will perform this season with the South Carolina Philharmonic. He has also performed in the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, MusicFest in Perugia , Italy and the International Piano Series in Charleston, South Carolina.
Irwin Jiang 

Irwin Jiang was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is currently studying on a full scholarship at the School of the Arts, College of Charleston under University Artist-in-Residence Enrique Graf.

He started studying piano at the age of four under Ms. Joanna Fan. At the age of seven, he continued his studies at the Ellen Masaki School of Music in Honolulu under the tutelage of Ms. Ellen Masaki. He participated in many recitals and competitions and received the highest marks on eight National Piano Guild Auditions. He also received awards several times in the Hawaii Music Teachers Association competitions. He was the recipient of the Morning Music Club scholarship.

He won the 1st prize in the Young Artist level of the 2008 Aloha International Piano Festival Competition.  He also performed in the Hawaii Theater on Oahu and Maui's Castle Theater for two shows on NPR's "From The Top" in 2008.

Last semester he was Second Prize winner of the South Carolina Music Teachers Association Competition and played with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in three concerts at the Gailliard Auditorium and the Lightsey Chapel.

During the summer of 2010 he founded the Chinese Wushu Cultural Arts Center in Honolulu, a non-profit aimed at bringing together the community through the education and sharing of arts.
D'Jaris Whipper-Lewis 

D'Jaris Whipper-Lewis, soprano, performs for many civic and private functions and festivals throughout the United States. She has performed as a soloist with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Chorus, The Palmetto Singers, The Choraliers, The Edwardian Singers, and numerous other orchestras and ensembles.

D'Jaris began choral conducting at the age of 15 and continues today as Minister of Music at Covenant Missionary Baptist Church in Charleston, SC, where her husband serves as Pastor.

Ms. Whipper-Lewis has appeared in numerous productions of Porgy and Bess; as well as starring in Charleston Stage Company's production of Ain't Misbehavin'.

She recorded "Summertime" for the 100th Anniversary Documentary of George Gershwin, and her music may be heard on South Carolina Educational Radio.
Bart Saylor 

Bart Saylor has been playing traditional American Folk music for thirty-five years. He is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter, performing on banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, bouzouki, hammer, and mountain dulcimer, and harmonica. He has recorded four solo albums and has been featured on many other recording artists' albums. He provided Civil War period music for the PBS movie Brother Future and for the Footlight Players production of Raising Blue. He has been the featured musician of Middleton Plantation's annual Fall Plantation Days program for twenty-eight years. He has had the good fortune to play with and learn from master old time musicians in their nineties, including Melvin Wine and Ralph Blizzard, who learned fiddle tunes from their grandfathers who actually served in the Civil War.
Ghadi Shayban 

Ghadi Shayban was born in Beirut in 1983, at the height of the Lebanese Civil War.  He started learning piano after immigrating to Canada.

An artist at home in any genre, Ghadi has recently served as the principle keyboardist with the Charleston and Hilton Head orchestras, and has directed live musicals in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Charleston. He plays in any style, planned or improvised, and collaborates with a multitude of instruments and voices.

Ghadi is the recipient of the top prize from the Pennsylvania MTNA Young Artists Competition as well as a Chancellor's Award for Excellence from the North Carolina School of the Arts.  His piano teachers have included Clifton Matthews, Enrique Graf, the late Earl Wild, and Ilana Vered.  He holds degrees in piano and conducting from Carnegie Mellon University.
Anna Booman 

Anna Booman is a native of an idyllic small town in rural Minnesota. She got her stage legs performing at a charming outdoor theatre in her hometown where she played such roles as Lola in Damn Yankees, Milly in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and The Baroness in Sound of Music.  However, the setting changed dramatically as Miss Booman ventured to the great city of New York and Manhattan’s School of Music, where she was to earn her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance.  During her time there, she studied under the chair of the vocal department, and enjoyed performing in many musical theatre, opera, and art song productions.  Some of her favorites include the roles of Stepmother in Into the Woods, and Featured Performer in musical reviews by Bernstein, Gershwin, Kander and Ebb.  Miss Booman is now thrilled to be performing and teaching music in the Low Country and enjoys being a chorister at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church.
John Tecklenburg 

John Tecklenburg (piano) is a native of Charleston. John’s vacation is commercial real estate, but his avocation is music. John plays piano and has a keen interest in early jazz inspired by the life and music of his great uncle, Fud Livingston. John studied piano in high school under George Darden, an amazing classical pianist and musician. After obtaining a Chemistry degree from Georgetown University, John studied piano and jazz specifically at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has played with various small jazz bands, including a weekly gig with the Gennaro’s house band for 27 years running and plays often with Lonnie Hamilton.
Lonnie Hamilton, III 

Lonnie Hamilton, III (Saxophone) is considered the Ambassador of musical goodwill in Charleston and is a seasoned musician still making a musical statement with his saxophone. He organized the first band at Bonds Wilson High School and directed the band for twenty years. This band received numerous awards and was considered the best marching band in the state during Mr. Hamilton’s directorship. More than 130 students received scholarships when he directed the band. Lonnie earned his Bachelor of Science degree from South Carolina State College in Orangeburg, SC, and his Masters Degree in Music Education from Vandercook College of Music in Chicago, IL. Mr. Hamilton served as Chairman of the Charleston County Council and the county’s public service building is named in his honor.
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