The Chattanooga Choral Society for the Preservation of African American Song presents The Seventh Annual Lee Norris Mackey Memorial Concert, Saturday, June 2, at the Second Presbyterian Church, downtown Chattanooga.
The concert to honor its late co-founder will include performances by the Society, and guest choirs InSpirit Men’s Chorus, directed by Gerald Peel and the Greater Atlanta Adventist Academy High School Choir, under the direction of Luther Washington, II.
During a professional education career of some three and one-half decades, Dr. Mackey served the music ministries of several Chattanooga area churches and directed the choirs at both Brainerd and Chattanooga High Schools. He also taught at Middle Tennessee State and Tennessee State Universities.
In 1984, with a special grant from the Benwood Foundation, Dr. Mackey undertook a study of the trends in the programming of Negro Spirituals by high school and college choirs in the southeast United States. The study revealed a steady decline in the performance of this important genre of American music, thus was born the mission and name of the Society – The Chattanooga Choral Society for the Preservation of the Afro-American Spirituals. Documents support performances as early as 1974 under Mrs. Edmonia Simmons; however, it was in 1984 that the Society became an integral part of the newly organized Chattanooga Afro-American Museum.
In 1989, upon his return to Chattanooga, Roland Carter took the helm of the group. Under his leadership the repertoire was expanded to include all genres of music traditions and compositions of African Americans. The name was amended to reflect the broaden focus and mission – The Chattanooga Choral Society for the Preservation of African American Song.
Michael J. Mitchell Jr., will conduct the Society for this performance. InSpirit will be conducted by its music director, Gerald Peel and the Greater Atlanta Adventist Academy Choir will perform under the direction of Luther Washington II.
The concert will begin at 5 p.m. and is open to the public without charge. A free will offering and contribution will be solicited for the Society’s Scholarship Fund for Student Singers. Second Presbyterian Church is located at the corners of Seventh and Pine Streets.
For additional information call 892-1439 or 226-7728