IN UNISON Chorus Director & Staff

Kevin McBeth, Director

Kevin McBethKevin McBeth was appointed Director of the IN UNISON Chorus in 2011. McBeth is the Director of Music at Manchester United Methodist Church in suburban St. Louis. He serves as full-time administrator for the Music Ministry, which includes 18 choral and handbell ensembles, involving nearly 500 children, youth, and adults. Kevin has also served as Adjunct Professor in Choral Music at Webster University. Over the past 20 years, he has conducted honor, festival, and touring choirs (choral and handbell) in the United States and Canada. Previous appointments include Assistant Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus and Music Director of the St. Louis Metro Singers. His 30-year career in church music has included appointments in churches in Houston, Texas, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

McBeth is a graduate of Houston Baptist University, and has done graduate studies in Choral Conducting at the University of Houston. In addition to being a published composer and author, he was also choral music editor for Abingdon Press. McBeth has served on the board of the Iowa Choral Directors Association, the Missouri Choral Directors Association, and the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers. He was also the Repertoire and Standards Chair for the Southwest Division of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). Influential teachers in conducting have been David Wehr, Robert Linder, and John Yarrington. A strong advocate for training future conductors, McBeth has presented several workshops and interest sessions at the state and national levels.

McBeth has conducted concerts at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Choirs under his direction have also performed at regional and national gatherings for choral and handbell music, including both state and division ACDA conventions, and at the American International Choral Festival. McBeth has prepared choruses for performances with Sarah Brightman, Josh Groban, John McDaniel, Andy Williams, Billy Porter, Take 6, Larnelle Harris, Jenifer Lewis, Wintley Phipps, and Hugh Smith. In the fall of 2002, the National Religious Music Week Alliance named him as one of the top ten Church Music Directors in the country. In the church music field, he has collaborated with Mark Hayes, John Leavitt, Hal Hopson, Joseph Martin, Howard Helvey, John Purifoy, Michael Burkhardt, Craig Courtney, David Morrow, and Jeffery Ames.

His orchestral conducting credits include performances with the Indianapolis Symphony, Houston Civic Symphony, the New England Symphonic Ensemble, and with members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in a concert featuring Garrison Keillor. Most recently, McBeth conducted a Festival Chorus in his first European concert tour to Great Britain, and prepared choruses for a concert at Lincoln Center.

McBeth is the proud father of two talented sons, Cameron and Austin.

W. Christopher White, Accompanist

W. Christopher White started piano studies at the age of five in St. Louis, Missouri. He furthered his musical studies with Mary Mottl, Robert Ray, and Eugene Haynes. Mr. White received a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Missouri–St. Louis and an MBA from Fontbonne University. Mr. White has a dual career as a musician and non-profit management professional. He currently serves as organist at West County S.D.A. Church in Chesterfield and previously served as Minister of Music for Washington Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church of St. Louis and organist for St. Andrew United Methodist Church of Florissant. He has performed with the IN UNISON Chorus and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra at Powell Hall for their concert traditions Gospel Christmas and Lift Every Voice. Mr. White has performed with various conductors including David Robertson, Kevin McBeth, Robert Ray, Hans Vonk, and Richard Hayman, and has performed at numerous concerts at IN UNISON churches. In addition to performing, Mr. White has worked in arts administration roles for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra as Community Programs Director, IN UNISON Program Director, IN UNISON Chorus Manager, and Artist Liaison. He also served as Co-Chair of the Education & Community Relations Committee of the League of American Orchestras. He continues to perform while working in the non-profit management area and is currently the Chief Development Officer of the St. Louis Housing Authority. 

Michelle Byrd, Manager


Michelle Byrd started her musical experience in public schools of St. Louis. She contributes all her musical success to former SLSO IN UNISON Chorus Manager, the late Delores Greathouse, and retired music educator Patricia Spencer. Byrd received an Associate of Music degree from St. Louis Community College–Florissant Valley in May 2014. In 2018, she graduated with honors from the University of Missouri–St. Louis with a Bachelor's in Music Education, K-12 certification, emphasis in voice. Byrd was an SLSO IN UNISON Scholar throughout her years at UMSL. She became the SLSO IN UNISON Arts Administration Fellow in 2017 and was tapped to coordinate the SLSO Holiday Festival Chorus that same year. She became a member of the SLSO staff in February 2018 as Interim IN UNISON Program Coordinator, and became the IN UNISON Programs Coordinator and Chorus Manager upon her graduation from UMSL. Byrd continues to perform as second soprano with the chorus and is the proud parent of two wonderful daughters, Tremayia and Micayia.