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Photo by Lawson Whitaker / Singers and orchestra perform in a previous Christmas concert at First Presbyerian Church. This year's performances are Dec. 7-8.

Longtime residents of Chattanooga will remember the annual Christmas concerts directed by the late Glenn Draper on the first weekend of December throughout the 1970s to early 1990s.

A combined choir of First Presbyterian Church and Chattanooga Singers from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, both of which Draper directed, accompanied by a full orchestra, would perform classical, sacred and pop holiday songs to standing-room-only audiences, many of whom arrived more than an hour early to get a seat in the church sanctuary.

Kelly Stultz, now the choir director at First Presbyterian, is reviving these performances as a community outreach, calling it a "legacy" concert.

This year's Christmas concert, "Lamb of God, Lord of Glory," will feature the current First Presbyterian choir and former FPC Christmas Concert singers, accompanied by an orchestra, singing selections from the three decades of Glenn Draper's concert ministry along with seasonal selections from the past 14 years at First Presbyterian.

Two free performances are set for Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 7-8, at 4 p.m. at the church, 544 McCallie Ave. The singers will be accompanied by Tabernacle Praise Orchestra, directed by John Feezell.

Stultz says the program will include four selections from Handel's "Messiah," "Sing Noel (African Noel)," "Coventry Carol," "O Holy Night" and "Mary Did You Know?"

Guest soloists joining the singers will be Michael Mays, David Luther, Sarah Barron, Angie Roach, Laurie Eismeier, Tom Hammett, Shawn Clark, Richard Lockery, Judy Faulkner and Laura Ayres.

A nursery will be provided for infants to age 3 for both concerts.

For more information: 423-267-1206.

 

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