Chattanooga Now Chattanooga Boys Choir leads community Hymn Festival

Chattanooga Now Chattanooga Boys Choir leads community Hymn Festival

Community sing-along led by Chattanooga Boys Choir

October 26th, 2017 by Staff Report in Chattnow Music

The Chattanooga Boys Choir and adults from area choirs lead congregational singing at a previous Hymn Festival.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

If you go

› What: Chattanooga Boys Choir Hymn Festival

› Where: First Baptist Church, 401 Gateway Ave.

› When: 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29

› Admission: Free

› For more information: 423-634-2299


The Chattanooga Boys Choir will host its seventh biennial Community Hymn Festival, "Rejoice!", on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 29, bringing together members of area church choirs and local instrumentalists to perform with the CBC choristers for an innovative program of collaboration and song.

The hymn festival will be held in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church in the Golden Gateway.

The event has become a favorite of area residents and church choir members as it brings together an audience from all denominations to sing together favorite hymns. Dozens of churches and hundreds of community and church singers have participated since the hymn sing began in 2005, says Vincent Oakes, CBC director.

"It is quite gratifying to see people from various traditions, ages and experiences coming together instantly through their love of song," says Oakes.

"St. Augustine is quoted as saying, 'He who sings, prays twice,' which implies a deeper and more meaningful relationship found with others through community song. I think there's a lot of truth in that sentiment, and those in attendance will see, and hear, this lived out at the hymn festival," says the director.

This year, those in attendance will also enjoy a brief, inspirational message delivered by Dr. Eric Nelson, noted choral conductor and composer. Nelson is the director of choral studies at Emory University and artistic director of the acclaimed Atlanta Master Chorale.

The program is comprised of pieces the festival choir alone performs, anthems the CBC sings and hymns on which the audience will join the festival choir.

The festival choir will perform arrangements of hymns such as "There Is a Balm in Gilead," "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" (with cello accompaniment), and the Jamaican folk melody "Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ."

Among anthems the Boys Choir will sing will be "The Children of the World," "Hine Ma Tov," the African-American spiritual "My Lord What a Morning" and the Guatemalan folk song "El Cielo Canta Alegria!"

The festival choir and Chattanooga Boys Choir will combine to perform settings of "Praise the Lord, His Glories Show" and a setting of "Children of the Heavenly Father," which was arranged by the festival's guest speaker.

The choirs will be joined by organist Jeffrey Harbin, music director of First United Methodist, Dalton, Ga., a brass ensemble and percussionists to accompany the choral selections and congregational singing.

Church choirs or individual singers interested in participating in the festival choir should contact the Chattanooga Boys Choir today at 423-634-2299 or e-mail The festival choir will rehearse Saturday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to noon.

There is no admission fee to attend, however a freewill offering benefiting the East Lake Expression Engine will be collected at the concert. East Lake Expression Engine is an arts-centered tutoring and mentoring program that uses music as an effective avenue for developing children's creativity and problem-solving skills.