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Hillard named to music hall board

Claire Fox Hillard

Claire Fox Hillard

ATLANTA, Ga -- Albany Symphony Orchestra Music Director Claire Fox Hillard was one of five people appointed to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame Authority on Wednesday by Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Perdue's office made the announcement Wednesday afternoon.

"I am honored to be asked by the governor to serve in this capacity, particularly at this crucial juncture time for the Georgia Music Hall of Fame," Hillard said Wednesday evening. "I will do my utmost to represent Southwest Georgia and strive to do what is in the best interest for our state."

Hillard, 52, is a member of the music faculty at Darton College and is a member of the Georgia Council for the Arts Music Panel, as well as a professional affiliate member of the American Symphony Orchestra League. He has served as the music director for the Albany Symphony, which opens its 47th season on at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Municipal Auditorium, since the 1998-89 season. Hillard is also music director of the Meridian (Miss.) Symphony Orchestra and artistic director for OPERAlbany.

He has a Ph.D. and master's degree form the University of Iowa and a bachelor's from Calvin College. He and his wife, Meri Beth, have three children.

The other four appointees to the authority are:

-- David Barbe, 46, Athens, co-owner, president and chief engineer of Chase Park Transduction Recording Studios and is a free-lance recording engineer. He is a member of the board of directors for Nuci's Space in Athens and a member of the board of directors for Athens Little League Baseball;

-- Rob J. Gibson Jr., 51, Savannah, executive and artistic director of the Savannah Music Festival. He is the founding director of Jazz at Lincoln Center where he worked for 10 years. He served as a member of the faculty of The Julliard School. He helped create and co-produce the Peabody Award winning series "Jazz from Lincoln Center" for national public radio;

-- R. Kirby Godsey, 74, Macon, chancellor of Mercer University. He served as president and CEO of Mercer for 27 years. He is chairman of the Board of Birch Communication and a director of NewTown Builders LLC. He is a member of the board of directors of the Rome Chamber Music Festival in New York and the Peyton Anderson Foundation in Macon;

-- Robert S. Highsmith Jr., 39, Atlanta, a partner at Holland & Knight, where he practices legislative, administrative and regulatory law, government relations and litigation. He serves as the national team leader for the firm's State Capitals Team, and leads their Georgia Government Relations Practice. He is past deputy executive counsel for Perdue.