Soprano Charli Mills enjoys a varied musical career as a vocalist, conductor, and church musician. As a singer, she has performed many seasons with the Salem Bach (formerly Magnolia Baroque) Festival in Winston-Salem. In October 2020, she made her Piedmont Opera debut as Sadie in Carlisle Floyd's Slow Dusk, where she was praised for her “effervescent tone and imaginative phrasing” (Voix de Arts) and "beautiful dynamic nuance" (CVNC). Engagements this season include the Salem Bach Festival, Duke Chapel, the Winston-Salem Choral Artists, the Choral Society of Greensboro, and Piedmont Opera.
As a church musician, Charli has served as music director at churches in North Carolina and California. She is currently Director of Traditional Worship at Mount Tabor United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem, where she recently conducted Michael John Trotta’s Seven Last Words with a fifty-voice choir and instrumentalists drawn from the Winston-Salem Symphony. Outside of church, she has served as assistant conductor for the Piedmont Chamber Singers, assistant conductor for Piedmont Opera’s production of Il Trovatore, and as director of the women’s choir of Methodist University.
Recent vocal workshops include Chorworks at Duke, the Seraphic Fire Professional Choral Institute at the Aspen Music Festival, and Classic Lyric Arts Italy. She has pursued advanced studies in conducting at the Sarteano Chamber Choral Conducting Workshop and the Atlanta Conducting Institute.
Charli earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Christian Studies and a Master of Church Music from the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. As an undergraduate at Southeastern, she received the Gerald C. Cowen Outstanding College Student Award and was the winner of the Southeastern Baccalaureate Colloquium for her senior research paper on Martin Luther’s view of cosmic harmony. As a graduate student, she received the Ben. S. Johnson Church Music Award and the Raymond Bryan Brown Memorial Scholars Award, Southeastern’s most prestigious scholarship, as well as the Charles B. Keesee and Daniel R. Hoover scholarships.