Local Musicians Come Together To Raise Funds For Adoption

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Collegedale Community Church will host a benefit concert involving a number of musicians from the Chattanooga area and beyond on Saturday, March 31, at 7 p.m. The concert will help raise funds for Alan and Nicole Parker, who teach at Southern Adventist University and are presently in the process of adopting an orphan girl named Anya from the Ukraine. The funds will help cover the high adoption fees. 

Featured performers will include Steve Darmody, Martin Young, Eryca Nelson, OneLittleLight (Sarah Tullock), Ethan McGrath, Naomi Jackson, Matthew Kimbley, and the inSpirit Men’s Chorus. Benjamin Jenkins, the newest member of the King’s Heralds Quartet, will come from Nashville to participate. 

Review for the performers:

Mr. Jenkins, who sang for evangelistic meetings in southern California before joining America’s longest-running gospel quartet last summer, will collaborate with composer-pianist Ethan McGrath to perform music from their recent joint album, The Invitation, consisting primarily of Mr. McGrath’s compositions. 

Two of the region’s most creative singer-songwriters, Eryca Nelson and Sarah Tullock (Sarah uses the pen name OneLittleLight) each draw on diverse influences, including various folk styles, to create fresh and exciting new music. 

A missionary in Honduras before taking up a position at local missions organization Outpost Centers International, Naomi Jackson is a talented and diverse singer. Equally at home with CCM/gospel and classical music, Ms. Jackson was the alto soloist in Southern Adventist University’s performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah in 2016. 

Steve Darmody is a widely known gospel singer and recording artist who has toured widely and performed in many celebrated venues. Singer-songwriter Martin Young, who has collaborated with Mr. Darmody in the past, is also no stranger to local fans of Christian/gospel music and has himself recorded several albums. In addition to his well-respected solo work, Mr. Young sings with the inSpirit Men’s Chorus. 

One of the region’s best-loved choral ensembles, inSpirit performs widely in Chattanooga and the surrounding area and had a very successful tour in Europe last summer, performing spirituals with soloist Robert Sims and Chattanooga’s own Roland Carter. The director, Gerald Peel, is a stalwart of local choral music, serving as Minister of Music at First Cumberland Presbyterian Church and director of the Kinge’s Quire, a chamber choir focusing on music from the Renaissance. 

The event will also feature some comparatively new talent: Matthew Kimbley is an extraordinary young pianist and was one of the winners of the Concerto Competition at Southern Adventist University last year. 

“It’s always inspiring when people come together to rally around a good cause,” says Mr. McGrath, one of the organizers. “It’s what music is about, for me—creating community and then coming together as a community to help those who need it. The Parkers are doing everything in they can to help someone in need, and I am so pleased that the local music community is able to support their efforts. It is my hope that, through our participation, an even wider community will want to help, too.” 

Admission to the concert will be free and a collection will be taken for the adoption fund. Donations will be tax deductible. 

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