Beloved Chattanooga music director Glenn Draper dies at 90

Beloved Chattanooga music director Glenn Draper dies at 90

June 15th, 2019 by Staff Report in Local Regional News

Retired Chattanooga Singers director Glenn Draper will attend the April 7 Chattanooga Singers and Chamber Singers concert at Second Presbyterian Church. All alumni of UTC singing groups are invited to join the collegians for the finale, a performance of "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" directed by Draper.

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

Glenn Draper, an internationally known music director whose groups, including the Singing Mocs and Chattanooga Singers, performed for presidents and heads of state, has died at his Signal Mountain home.

Draper, 90, was surrounded by family, including his wife, Lounelle, when he died, according to Heritage Funeral Home of East Brainerd.

Longtime director of music at First Presbyterian Church, Draper served as choral activities director and music professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for more than three decades. He also worked with the military, Lake Junaluska Methodist Center and the University of Miami, among others.

By any measure, his career was a long and successful one, but when he spoke with the Times Free Press in 2016, humility tempered his remembrances.

"You know, I don't think I'm really all that good," he said with a laugh.

Among the highlights of his career were appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. He accompanied his chorus from Keesler Air Force Base in the 1950s after it attained national recognition on NBC radio, and later in 1965, when his University of Miami Singing Hurricanes performed two pieces from the recently premiered hit film "The Sound of Music."

In 1988, Draper and the Lake Junaluska Singers performed for President Ronald Reagan. The performance propelled them to national fame and ensured that his choirs would go on to perform for every president until his retirement in December 2009 from choral production, ending with the Obama administration.

Heritage Funeral Home of East Brainerd is handling service arrangements.


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