IF YOU GO
What: American Choral Directors Association concert.
When: 7 tonight
Where: First Baptist Church, 401 Gateway Ave.
More than 80 choir directors from across the state are in Chattanooga today and Saturday for education and entertainment.
The Tennessee chapter of the American Choral Directors Association is holding its state conference at First Baptist Church in the Golden Gateway. In addition to educational sessions, the delegates will be guests at a concert tonight by two well-known local chorales.
Dr. Kevin Ford, conference organizer and director of choral activities at UTC, said the public is welcome to join the conference delegates for tonight's free concert.
Performing sacred music will be The Kinge's Choir of Collegedale, directed by Gerald Peel.
Dr. Roland Carter, UTC's Holmberg Professor of American Music, will direct the Chattanooga Choral Society for the Preservation of African American Song.
"We're going to sing five of the Scott Joplin choruses from 'Treemonisha,' " Carter said of the singers' portion of the program.
Ford said Carter will also be one of the conference's two featured speakers, along with composer David Dickau from Minnesota State University at Mankato.
Carter will discuss his project to organize spirituals for the church year and will conduct a reading session of his music. His goal is to topically organize the spirituals, i.e. hymns of admonition, those of invitation, etc.
"I'm taking a couple of collections of spirituals, studying the text and trying to relate as many as possible to the liturgical year, particularly of the Methodist church," said the UTC music professor.
Carter began this project two years ago with a friend, who has since passed away. The pair started with a 1927 collection of spirituals from Hampton University.
"The problem in doing this with spirituals is that the texts are not necessarily topical. A spiritual's chorus may be about one thing, but the verses are interchangeable, so you could hear the same verse in a different spiritual. People took the same spiritual verses and repeated them with other songs. So one song could be listed more than once a year," Carter explained.
Dickau will present sessions on solving vocal challenges through gesture and also hold a reading session of his music.
Local experts speaking to the delegates will be Lee University's LuAnn Holden on techniques for children/youth choirs, UTC's Perry Ward on vocal technique and warmups, and Allied Arts' Rodney Van Valkenburg, who will present information on grants for academic and civic musicians.
Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...