Claire Gardiner joined Vienna-Falls in 1984 and became director in October, 1993. She has a degree in Music Education from James Madison University and has extensive performance experience as a classical clarinetist and jazz saxophone player.
She taught music at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington for five years before moving on to the Copyright Office where she was an Examiner, Senior Examiner and finally a Supervisory Registration Specialist in the Performing Arts Division. It was one of the rare Federal Government jobs which required a music degree! Claire retired in 2018, after a 31 year Federal career.
Claire has competed in many quartets over the years, placing in the top 5 Regionally multiple times. In 1989, her quartet Metropolitan Transfer won the Regional Championship. She has been a member of the Regional Faculty for over 30 years, coaching choruses and quartets, and also teaches classes at Regional meetings. Her favorite class is beginning music theory. She loves 'geeking out' on Tuesday nights by sprinkling a little theory into rehearsals! Just ask anyone in the chorus!!
Vienna-Falls has won seven regional championships under Claire’s direction, qualifying to compete on the International stage. They've also qualified as a 'wild card' chorus on two occasions.
Claire is also a passionate photographer, specializing in nature and wildlife photography. She also loves photographing barbershop events!