Renowned Chattanooga Musical Director Glenn Draper Dies

Saturday, June 15, 2019
Glenn Draper is shown in 2013 presenting a music scholarship to Leigh Wattenbarger of Rossville
Glenn Draper is shown in 2013 presenting a music scholarship to Leigh Wattenbarger of Rossville

Renowned Chattanooga musical director Glenn Draper has died at his residence at Alexian Village on Signal Mountain.

Mr. Draper came to Chattanooga in 1968 and spent more than 30 years as director of Choral Activities and professor of Music at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and director of Music at First Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga.

During his illustrious career, he directed singers’ performances before heads of state, including every U.S. President since Richard Nixon and British Royalty. In addition, he led 49 international concert tours and countless American tours.

His groups, including the Chattanooga Singers and the Singing Mocs at UTC, have performed at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, the Crystal Cathedral in Los Angeles, Australia’s Sydney Opera House and in concert with such renowned performers as Perry Como, Tony Bennett and Liberace. They have also performed for national audiences on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and “The Hour of Power”. He has traveled with his singers across the globe and received numerous awards and commendations. Mr. Draper is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the Music Educators National Conference, the National Association of Teachers of Singing and, Rotary Club International.

Mr. Draper, who was known for his effervescent personality, came to the University of Chattanooga the year before it became the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. At this crucial time, he founded the choral ensembles - Chamber Singers, Singing Mocs and the Chattanooga Singers.

He was a pioneer in the national show-choir movement, which combines choral versions of popular songs with choreography.

When evangelist Billy Graham came to Baylor School in 1991, Glenn Draper led the musical portion of the program.

The Glenn Draper Music Scholarship is awarded to a student who has completed two successive years in UTC Choral Activities and has demonstrated successful academic performance. The scholarship was established in 2002 by friends and colleagues of Glenn Draper and is funded through a UC foundation endowment.

Funeral arrangements will be by Heritage Funeral Home of East Brainerd.


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