The Georgia Festival Chorus serves the spiritual needs and ministers to both local audiences and the greater global community by singing a repertoire of classical, contemporary, spiritual and traditional sacred choral works in live concert presentations and through professionally produced recordings.
THE GEORGIA FESTIVAL CHORUS
After 23 years at the Westminster School, where he directed the choral groups and started the orchestra program, Mr. Boggs was considering his future opportunities. His friend Lewis Abbott said to him, “Frank, if you don’t have a chorus to direct, you will be miserable.”
Convinced by this encouragement, Mr. Boggs put a small ad in the Marietta newspaper, revealing his plan to start a community chorus. Eighteen singers passed the chorus auditions. At their first concert, the Cobb Festival Chorus sang Handel’s Messiah. As years passed and the chorus started touring, the “Cobb” became the “Georgia” Festival Chorus.
After several years, some 40 singers were ready to sing overseas. Mr. Boggs’s year of singing in England during 1953 had provided him the contacts to plan a tour to the United Kingdom. The chorus sang at All Souls Church, Langham Place in London, as well as several other churches, with their final concert sung in the magnificent Westminster Abbey.
Over the years, the chorus repertoire has expanded to include a wide variety of styles and works by emerging composers. For several seasons, the chorus partnered with the Kennesaw State University Orchestra under the direction of Stephen Byess.
The chorus’s overseas concert tours have included a trip to Denmark, where the chorus sang for the birthday of Prince Henrik, Mr. Boggs’s close friend from his time in England. In 1967, the prince married Queen Margarethe of Denmark, becoming the Prince Consort of Denmark. His birthday celebration was held in the Royal Palace with fifty of Henrik’s royal friends from all over Europe. Another splendid concert was held in the Copenhagen Cathedral.
The concerts at the start of the tour in Ireland were held in several country churches, culminating with a concert in Dublin at the great cathedral built on the site where Saint Patrick baptized the first Christians in the year 450. Visiting the well outside the cathedral where Saint Patrick performed those baptisms was a special highlight.
In the spring of 2016, the chorus traveled to Mr. Boggs’s home state of Texas. They sang in Dallas, Tyler, Austin, San Antonio, and Waco, where they presented three chapel concerts at Baylor University, Frank’s alma mater. The tour concluded with a concert at Highland Park United Methodist Church, a gothic cathedral on the campus of Southern Methodist University.
This spring, the chorus celebrates thirty years of music ministry and service to the Greater Atlanta area and the world.
Frank Boggs, Founding Director
David Scott, Associate Director
Ken Terrell, Assistant Director
Cathy Adams, Accompanist
Randy Romig, Organist
Chris Owenby, Composer-in-Residence
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