Following a challenging fall semester due to circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chattanooga Boys Choir and several community partners combined to create and release a production of choral and orchestral music and dance that they hope will brighten the holidays for area residents.
Due also to the closure of the historic Tivoli Theater, the choir was unable to present its annual Singing Christmas Tree performances, which would have been the 58th consecutive year of this widely celebrated holiday tradition.
They are proud to have partnered with the Chattanooga Choral Society for the Preservation of African-American Song, alumni of Ballet Tennessee, the Metropolitan Handbells, and the Baylor School Orchestra in this holiday collaboration. UTC music faculty Dr. Monte Coulter (percussion, Chattanooga Boys Choir alum) and Jenny Parker (piano) also join the choir on this diverse offering of holiday repertoire. Audio production by Bryan Laseter and video editing by Wil Martin, Jeri Eduave, and Donna Marie Siegel ensure that all audiences will enjoy all that they see and hear in a new and innovative on-line streaming video format, said officials.
“This fall has obviously been met with several challenges, said Vincent Oakes, Chattanooga Boys Choir artistic director. "I have been amazed at how well our choristers, their families, and our collaborative artistic partners have responded to our call to join together to keep music thriving in this environment. It speaks to the importance of the arts for personal fulfillment and growth as well as their importance to the community.
“While we would have preferred to celebrate the holidays in the traditional way in-person, I am excited that this performance has already reached audience members around the country and has been enjoyed by people for whom traveling is not possible.”
When the Hamilton County Department of Education announced Phase One (all distance learning) for the final days of the fall semester, the choir made several excerpts from their holiday production available to HCDE music teachers. Thousands of students were able to view the recordings with their teachers for virtual field trips and listening examples when the videos were placed on the music teachers’ remote learning platform last week.
After starting the season on-line, the CBC resumed in-person rehearsals in mid-September through gatherings that were masked, distanced, limited in capacity, and outdoors. They started meeting aboard the deck of the Southern Belle Pier 2 and continued rehearsing in-person at AT&T Stadium (home of the Chattanooga Lookouts) and Finley Stadium (home of the UT-Chattanooga football team and the Chattanooga Football Club).
Founded in 1954, the Chattanooga Boys Choir has been a vibrant part of Chattanooga’s cultural landscape for more than 65 years. They have been deemed Chattanooga’s official “Ambassadors of Goodwill” on their performance tours throughout the United States and throughout the world, with recent appearances in Cuba, Costa Rica, and Ireland.
For more information or to view the video (no fee required), please visit the choir’s website at www.chattanoogaboyschoir.org – for additional information, contact the Chattanooga Boys Choir at 634-2299 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook direct link: https://www.facebook.com/cbchoir/