As a prelude to the holiday season in Chattanooga, the Chattanooga Music Club will present its second annual free Holiday Spectacular at Memorial Auditorium on Friday, Nov. 22, at 7 p.m. Guest artist Brett Valliant from Wichita, Kansas, will play the Austin organ from the organ console placed in the center of a decorated stage.
The program also will include holiday music by The Metropolitan Bells, directed by Gary Bynum, and Voices of Lee, directed by Danny Murray. The family oriented program will include a number of surprises, including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Buddy Shirk (as) the Elf, and the audience will be guided through the program by emcee Greg Glover of WRCB-TV.
The hallways will be filled with piano music by members, thanks to Summitt Pianos loan of two pianos. The holiday trees will also be on loan, thanks to the Pool Place.
The program is free and open to the public without charge, although donations are appreciated. The donations will be used for the ongoing maintenance of Chattanooga's Austin pipe organ and for the presentation of future programs showcasing the organ and outstanding organists from all over the United States.
Mr. Valliant began his musical training at age four. While he excelled at the piano, his dream was to play the organ. By the age of 11 he became a church organist, thus fulfilling his musical dream. He attended Wichita State University, has been a featured performer on National Public Radio's Pipe Dreams, and performed at national conventions of the American Theatre Organ Society and the American Guild of Organists. Mr. Valliant "discovered" the theatre organ at age 15, which opened his eyes to a new world of music, and a completely different style of organ playing. Today, he has toured throughout the United States, New Zealand and Australia, performing at notable venues. He is artist-in-residence for Wichita Theatre Organ, Inc. where he plays the world renowned New York Paramount Wurlitzer organ installed in Century II Civic Center.
In the world of silent film, Mr. Valliant is known for accompanying films such as King of Kings, Phantom of the Opera, The Ten Commandments, Broken Blossoms and The Eagle. He plays annually for several film festivals including the International Film Festival hosted by the American Film Institute.
Along with a busy performance schedule, Mr. Valliant continues his love for the classical organ while being a full time church musician at the First United Methodist Church of Wichita. He plays a large, unique Schantz pipe organ and oversees a music department seen by thousands across the midwest on the church's award winning television program. Mr. Valliant's organ hymn arrangements are heard regularly on the national Bible Broadcasting Network. Currently, he has three recordings to his credit.
The Metropolitan Bells, a community handbell ensemble consisting of 14 auditioned ringers from the greater Chattanooga area, have performed with the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, the Chattanooga Boys Choir and the Chattanooga Girls Choir, as well as at both public and private events. The Ringers will return to the stage this year at the Holiday Spectacular after having performed at last year's Spectacular.
The group is under the direction of Gary Bynum who, after ringing with the group for 10 years, assumed the role of music director. He is Tennessee chair for Handbell Musicians of America and co-chair of the annual Chattanooga Area Handbell Festival, which is now in its 13th year.
The Voices of Lee is a 16 member a cappela ensemble from Lee University. Under the direction of Denny Murray, former promotions director for Bill Gather, the Voices of Lee perform a variety of venues. For more information on the Voices of Lee visit their webpage: http://www.voicesoflee.com/
To RSVP or for more information on the free Holiday Spectacular and/or the Chattanooga Music Club contact Buddy Shirk at 529-0315 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Find the Chattanooga music Club on line at: http://www.chattanoogamusicclub.org/ or the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/161040067291007/