Leading men


By Barry Kaufman | Photo by Rob Kaufman

Taking over the reins from the recently retired Tim Reynolds, who spent 20 years making the Hilton Head Choral Society one of the finest choral musical organizations in the South, might be intimidating to some.

To Dr. Dustin Ousley, new Artistic Director of the Hilton Head Choral Society, it was love at first sight. Or first sound.

“I just clicked with the choir. The reaction was just pure joy,” he said. “I really felt like they enjoyed working with me right when I first met everyone.”

Ousley brings with him years of experience studying, teaching, participating in, and directing musical performances in a variety of settings. He has a Bachelor of Arts in music from Furman University, a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from UNC-Greensboro, and a Doctorate in Music Arts from the University of South Carolina.

While the Charleston resident was at first delighted to be giving up the long commute to Columbia where he had recently led a choir, one meeting with HHCS had him ready to start hitting the road again.

“During our first conversations I was impressed by how well they’re organized and how they wanted my involvement in every aspect of it,” he said. “I love the music, but I’m much more interested in making music with good people. When we’re asking our audience to feel something, having the right people involved makes for a much more enriching artistic experience.”

As Ousley begins his next musical chapter in the Lowcountry, we’re as excited as he is to see what experiences he can create with the Hilton Head Choral Society.