Vocal recording artist, David Ford will be the featured soloist at Brainerd Presbyterian Church on Sunday, at the 10:45 a.m. service. He will narrate “Breath of Heaven,” a Christmas musical composed by Craig Adams. Mr. Ford will also sing “The Birthday of a King,” accompanied by his wife, Linda Ford. Mrs. Ford recently retired from the Piano Faculty at Belmont University in Nashville after 32 years of service.
David Ford served as the premiere bass soloist on many of the international tours with the famed Robert Shaw Chorale. In 1962 they made two international tours including the historic US State Department Cultural Exchange tour. While rehearsing in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg again) they were told, “There is a problem between our government and Cuba.” The ‘Cuban missile crisis’ brought us to the brink of nuclear World War III. In 1964 there were two more tours, one of which covered eight South American countries in 10 weeks.
Mr. Ford also appeared with Mr. Shaw during his days as associate conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra, and was soloist for the famed Britten “War Requiem” in performances with the Knoxville Symphony, and in the choral workshop held at Westminster Choir College and performances at the Princeton Chapel.
A unique accomplishment to David Ford is his accumulation of well over 200 performances of Mendelssohn’s “Elijah.” He is regarded in many quarters as the quintessential Elijah.
Mr. Ford was a Southern Baptist Minister of Music in Kentucky, Texas and Oklahoma before assuming that position at First Baptist Church in Nashville where he served for 5 years. He had a lengthy career as a full-time Christian concert artist. In addition to earlier work in radio and television Mr. Ford has been very active for 30 years as a voice-over professional. His rich, booming bass voice is used regularly in religious recordings and is often referred to affectionately as “The Voice of God.”
Mr. and Mrs. Ford have enjoyed 55 years of marriage. They have two children, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Dr. Tom Hammett, music director at Brainerd Presbyterian Church has been a life-long fan of the Robert Shaw Chorale and sang with Maestro Shaw for many years in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Dr. Hammett said, “I appreciate David and his talent on a personal level, as a Christian brother, as an active professional soloist, and in his role in American Choral Music for over 60 years. This will be the Ford’s third visit to Brainerd Presbyterian Church and we anxiously await the musical blessing they will provide.”
Brainerd Presbyterian Church is at 1624 Jenkins Road, just off of East Brainerd Road, 899-2424.