Composer John HC Thompson has functioned as Artistic Director for 51XO since its inception in 2009. He has both written for the group and enjoyed finding and supporting new composers through performances of the ensemble – all in furtherance of the mission of 51XO, which is to find the bridge between modern classical music and the pop world audiences know without compromising any artistic vision or the beauty and complexity of modern art music.

As a composer he has been performed as close to home as West Cleveland and as far away as the Pacific Islands, receiving numerous commissions along the way. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Composition from the Baldwin ­Wallace Conservatory of Music and a Master's Degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he received the Donald Erb Prize for composers. Mr. Thompson teaches privately and serves as organist at the huge Grace Lutheran Church in Lakewood, Ohio.

Our Artistic Director is currently on sabbatical, listening and writing in the islands of Indonesia.