Sing! Christmas Dreams

Sing! Christmas Dreams
Sunday, Nov 17, 2019
8:30 PM
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall
Joseph Michael Martin, Composer/Conductor
Heather Sorenson, DCINY Composer-in-Residence and Pianist
Martin and Sorenson: Christmas Dreams (NY Premiere)
Featuring Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International
Joseph Martin, Composer/Conductor
Martin: Christmas Evergreen
Featuring Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International
Mary McDonald, Composer/Conductor
Joel Raney, DCINY Composer-in-Residence and Pianist
McDonald and Raney: Sing Christmas
Featuring Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International
Contact us about this concert and future performance opportunities.

Participating Ensembles:

Chancel Choir of First United Methodist Church, Spring Hill (FL)
Burns Memorial United Methodist Church Chancel Choir
Celebration Choir of Oceanview United Methodist Church
Kelowna Community Chorus
Chetek Lutheran Chancel Choir
First Presbyterian Church of Gardner, Kansas
Port Orange United Church of Christ Choir
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir
Shenendehowa United Methodist Church Choir
St. Timothy Choir, St. Timothy Lutheran Church, Houston, Texas
Roseburg Seventh-Day Adventist Church Choir - Roseburg, OR
Chester United Methodist Church Chancel Choir
First Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir
Aldersgate UMC
Lake Travis United Methodist Church Adult Choir
St. Paul's Lutheran Church Choir
Holy Trinity Episcopal Parish Choir
First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir
Wake Forest Baptist Church Chancel Choir
Tallmadge Lutheran Church Chancel Choir
Mars Hill Baptist Church Chancel Choir
First Congregational Church in Billerica
The Sanctuary Choir of First Baptist Church, Pine Bluff, Arkansas
First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir of Hollidaysburg, PA
Altavista Presbyterian Church Choir
First Baptist Church of Gautier, Mississippi Worship Choir
Morris Hill Baptist Church Adult Choir
Beaver Dam Baptist Church - Knoxville, TN
Sanctuary Choir of First Baptist Church, Oak Brook, Illinois
Shady Grove Chancel Choir

Chancel Choir of First United Methodist Church, Spring Hill (FL)

Pletincks David WEB.jpg

David Pletincks

David Pletincks is in his third year as Director of Music at FUMC Spring Hill, FL. He is also the Director of Choirs at Powell Middle School Performing Arts Center where he has been for 18 years. His schools choirs consistently receive ratings of Superior by the Florida Vocal Association. He is an active adjudicator and clinician around the state of Florida.


The Chancel Choir of First United Methodist Church, Spring Hill is a 90-voice choir that sings each Sunday and two special events throughout the year. Their Christmas at Spring Hill Concert in December regularly attracts an audience of more than 2,500 people. They are thrilled to be making their Carnegie Hall debut with DCINY and Joseph Martin.

Burns Memorial United Methodist Church Chancel Choir

Don Boylls WEB.jpg

Donald L. Boylls, Jr.

Don Boylls became interim choir director for Burns UMC on January 2001, following previous directors departure. I had been a member of the choir since 1973. I was hired on and have been the full time director ever since. I graduated from Regis University in 1985 with a BS in business admin., but have over 90 hours of musical education prior to changing majors. I have been singing in choirs since I was 5 and sang my first solo at age 7.


Burns Memorial United Methodist Chancel choir has been in existence since the late 1950's. We are a small, slightly older choir with only about 15-20 voices on a good day. We may be small, but we are mighty! We sing a wide range of Christian music from classical to contemporary Christian Music. We have 8 members joining us for this New York concert.

Celebration Choir of Oceanview United Methodist Church

Joseph A. Farrar WEB.jpg

Joseph A. Farrar

Joseph A. Farrar has been teaching private music lessons since 1991 and holds the Bachelor of Music degree from Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music. With a long career as a professional musician, Joseph has directed ensembles of all types and ages, and currently is the Director of Traditional Music at Oceanview Methodist Church in Juno Beach, FL. He has appeared as a conductor and soloist for many of the cornerstones of choral literature such as Handel's Messiah and Mozart's Requiem with the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra. Joseph is thrilled to be making his second appearance at Carnegie Hall!


The Celebration Choir is a dedicated group of singers who provide music for the traditional worship services at Oceanview United Methodist Church in Juno Beach, Florida. In addition to leading the congregational singing of this seaside church, they present the best of 500 years of choral repertoire on a weekly basis as well as two larger works per year. The choir feels blessed to be joining with the Distinguished Concert Singers International, to make their first appearance in Carnegie Hall.

Kelowna Community Chorus

Susan Skinner WEB.jpg

Susan Skinner

Susan Skinner began her vocal training at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Music and finished her Masters of Vocal Performance program. She sang as a professional opera singer throughout Germany, the USA and Canada, earning critical acclaim for her vocal skills. During her Master studies, she studied Choral Conducting from Rodney Eichenberger and has kept up her conducting training with summer programs with Mr. Eichenberger and others. Susan is currently a Voice Teacher at Wentworth Music and Musical Director of Kelowna Community Chorus.


The Kelowna Community Chorus , 90 members strong, is a non-audition SATB choir united by their love of good music of all genres, enjoyment of being able to sing together, and appreciation of our director and accompanist for their inspiring talent and dedication. We love the challenge of pushing the limits of our musical ability forward every year enthusiastically embracing challenges such as the performing the Chorus of the Canadian Premiere of Hunchback of Notre Dame, and are excited to be participating in the New York Premiere performance of Joseph Martin and Heather Sorensons' Christmas Dreams, presented by Distinguished Concerts International New York.

Chetek Lutheran Chancel Choir

Bruce Kamrath.jpg

Bruce Kamrath

Bruce Kamrath has been the Chancel Choir Director for 25 years and counting. Each year this group performs a major musical Cantata during the Christmas season. A number of these works have been by Joseph Martin. Mr. Kamrath is a retired Director of Bands at Chetek High School in northern Wisconsin. His wife Mary has been his accompanist for the choir since the beginning.

 

The Chetek Lutheran Chancel Choir has been in existence for over 50 years providing beautiful religious music to enhance their services. The choir is made up of some outstanding musicians that are always happy to share their talents locally as well as some small yearly tours.

First Presbyterian Church of Gardner, Kansas

User-added image
Dean R Faulk
A Native of Kansas, Dean holds a Bachelors of Business Administration and a Masters of Business Administration from Baker University, Baldwin City Kansas. Dean has been a member of choir since his childhood. He is currently the Music Director at First Presbyterian Church of Gardner. Previously he was the Music Director and Primary Pianist for Spirit of Hope Metropolitan Community Church in Kansas City, Missouri. He is a former member of Heartland Men's Chorus. Dean was also the Executive Director of the Kansas City Women's Chorus. Dean enjoys singing and serving the Lord. He is honored to have this opportunity to bring this new commissioned piece to life.

The First Presbyterian Church of Gardner Kansas Choir is comprised of 30 singers of various backgrounds. The choir rehearses once a week and presents special music to the congregation each Sunday during the traditional worship service. The choir often does community work with in the Elder Care Facilities in Gardner. The choir brings music and the word of God to those that are unable to attend church. The choir helps to promote not only the Word of God but the choir has been a stepping stone to help young individuals to pursue a career in music. The choir is honored to have this opportunity to represent their church and their community for this historic event. Praise and Glory to God.

Port Orange United Church of Christ Choir

Thomas Naus WEB.jpg

Dr. Thomas H. Naus

Dr. Thomas H. Naus holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Temple University and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Michigan State University. He has held a number of full-time Director of Music positions in churches in Pennsylvania and Florida. In addition, he has taught in college and high school and served as assistant director of an opera company. He recently retired as Director of Choral Activities at Ocoee High School, Orange County, Florida. As a choral director, he has conducted many choral/orchestral works and taken choirs on tours in the United States and Europe.


The Port Orange United Church of Christ Choir leads worship regularly at traditional Sunday services, as well as special services throughout the church year. The choir also presents an annual Lessons and Carols service at Christmas. In addition, the choir has performed for events outside the church and for the Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ.

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir

Carole Haines WEB.jpg

Carole J. Haines

Carole J. Haines graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree in music education. She is a professional flute and piccolo player performing in many symphony orchestras and bands in the central Pennsylvania area. She has played for many choral workshops with Joseph Martin, Mary McDonald, and Heather Sorensen. Carole is the Director of Music Ministry at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church since 2010.


The Chancel Choir of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church leads worship and sings the morning anthem each Sunday. The choir sings music in a variety of styles with organ, piano and additional instrumental accompaniments. Our twenty regular choir members comprise a wide range of age groups and come from many professional careers. This choir forms a strong bond of Christian fellowship singing and praising God with beautiful music.

Shenendehowa United Methodist Church Choir

Lauri Nair WEB.jpg

Lauri Nair

Lauri is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in Voice and Music Education and has extensive graduate work in sacred music and music education. She taught school music for 34 years in Saratoga Springs, NY, retiring in 2007 and has been involved in church music for almost 60 years. She is currently celebrating her 40th year as Coordinator of Music Ministries at Shenendehowa United Methodist Church where she oversees and/or directs 8 vocal and handbell choirs. She also enjoys travelling with Joseph Martin as a member of the American Tapestry Chorus.


The Shenendehowa United Methodist Church Choir is composed of members of our Chancel and Youth choirs. We are an active group sharing our music in church services, concerts and also for community mission projects. We are following our mission to connect people to Christ and community.

St. Timothy Choir, St. Timothy Lutheran Church, Houston, Texas

Craig Harmann WEB.jpg

Craig Harmann

Craig Harmann serves as the Minister of Music and Celebration at St. Timothy Lutheran Church. He is organist, choir director, handbell director, children's choir leader and serves many other roles in the church. He has been a church musician since he started playing the organ for worship at age 14.


The St. Timothy Choir is the primary vocal group that facilitates and leads in the worship at St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas. They prepare and lead in worship services regularly, as well as prepare and share a cantata in December as well as on Palm Sunday.

Roseburg Seventh-Day Adventist Church Choir - Roseburg, OR

Lymy Beth Toenies WEB.jpg

Lymy Beth Toenies

Lymy Beth Toenies was born in the Philippines and began piano lessons at age seven. She has been playing piano and organ for church services and accompanying musicians and choirs since age twelve. Her primary interests are performing and arranging religious music, classical music, musicals, and conducting choirs/ musical ensembles. She plays the piano, cello, flute, violin, and organ. She moved to the USA and married her husband Mark (her biggest supporter) in 2004. Together, they write and compose music and enjoy ranch life in rural Oregon. She is employed as an Intensive Care Registered Nurse.


The Roseburg Seventh-Day Adventist Choir has twenty members ranging in age from 33 to 70+. We perform two concerts a year, Spring and Christmas, that are available to everyone in our community. We also perform special music for regular church services. We especially appreciate Joseph Martin's work and have performed his Legacy of Faith and Morning Star Cantatas.

Chester United Methodist Church Chancel Choir

Joshua Wortham WEB.jpg

Joshua Nash Wortham

Joshua Wortham has been the Director of Music at Chester UMC for over 15 years. He frequently works as a musical director for community theater projects around Richmond, VA. He founded the Chester Community Chorus and is the former director of the Richmond Men's Chorus. Mr. Wortham is also popular is a solo performer and a cabaret pianist. He graduated from Campbellsville University with a degree in Church Music (vocal emphasis) in May 2004.


The Chancel Choir of Chester United Methodist Church has a rich history of providing spirit-filled worship leadership and seasonal concerts that reach several thousand listeners every year. The choir takes a musical mission tour every other summer. We have traveled as far north as Niagara Falls, as far south as Sebring, Florida, and as far west as St. Louis so far! We are eager to see where God will lead us next!

First Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir

User-added image
Melissa Moore
Melissa Moore serves as Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church in Elmira, NY. In addition to conducting the Chancel Choir in Sunday worship, Melissa helps run the church concert series, performs in the Handbell Choir, and directs an annual Christmas Cantata. Outside of church music, Melissa teaches middle school band and plays piccolo in the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes. She resides in Elmira, NY with her musician husband, Brian, and twin toddlers Miles and Reese.

The First Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir of Elmira, NY has been enhancing the church worship experience for over 100 years. The choir is made up of professional and amateur musicians from the beautiful Finger Lakes region, and is responsible for providing worship music for Sunday services, special services, holidays, and large-scale works such as the annual Christmas Cantata. In addition to singing, the members of the Chancel Choir assist in the organization and presentation of the First Presbyterian Church Annual Concert Series.

Aldersgate UMC

Marlane Sturm has served as the Director of Music and Arts Ministries at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Fort Wayne, IN since 1989. She oversees the Music Ministry and directs Choral and Handbell Choirs, Orchestra, Drama, Dance and Visual Arts. For 20 years, Marlane also led mission groups to the Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota.


Our participants have worked under the direction of Joseph Martin in Fort Wayne, NYC, Ireland, Germany and France.

Lake Travis United Methodist Church Adult Choir

Patty Highland WEB.jpg

Patty Highland

Patty Highland has served in Austin area churches for over 30 years, and currently serves as the Director of Music Ministries at Lake Travis United Methodist Church, in Austin, TX. She directs both choral and handbell ensembles. Patty is an accomplished pianist and regularly accompanies ballet classes at a local dance studio. She also accompanies school choirs and vocal soloists. Patty is a founding member of the Austin Handbell Ensemble, and she serves as the board chair of Handbell Musicians of America, Area 9. She holds music degrees from Furman University and The University of Texas at Austin.


Lake Travis United Methodist Church Adult Choir has sung at the church's worship services for 30 years. It is one of the founding choirs that have performed at the Thanksgiving Benefit Concert since 2002. Funds raised at this concert go to the Lake Travis Crisis Ministries. The choir also participates in a community Good Friday service.

St. Paul's Lutheran Church Choir

User-added image
Alice Emme
Alice was born in Quincy, IL and raised on a hog farm near Augusta, IL. and graduated from Augusta High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in music from Western Illinois University and a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University. She then taught music at Manito, IL, Springfield IL Public Schools, and Western Illinois University Laboratory School. She later earned a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Western Illinois University and was a speech therapist in Havana Schools. She still teaches private piano, voice, flute, and organ. She and her husband, Bob, are the parents of three grown children, Mike, Katie, and Steve.

Our choir consists of 25-30 members. We sing each week during the months of September through March/April. We perform a Christmas Cantata each year in December. Our members range in age from 13-80. Choir members children and grandchildren are also invited to sing a special number in our Adult Christmas Cantata.

Holy Trinity Episcopal Parish Choir

User-added image
Mace Graham
In his 43rd year at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Mace serves as Organist/Choirmaster, Director of the Partington Handbell Choir and Children's Choir and assists with liturgical planning. A Carbonell Award winning musical director and performer in numerous South Florida productions, Mace also teaches piano, voice and theory, tutors students at Bak and Dreyfoos Schools of the Arts and appears nightly at Palm Beach venues as a singer/pianist. He is eternally grateful to Holy Trinity Parishioners and friends for making this "once in a lifetime" opportunity to sing at Carnegie Hall with choristers from around the country a reality.

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church’s Parish Choir prepares music for Sunday worship services and Feast Days throughout the Liturgical Year. We are blessed to have a dedicated group of talented choristers who graciously offer their gifts of music, ranging from the classics to contemporary with integrity, to a diverse and eclectic parish. For many years we have presented a Joseph Martin work on Christmas Eve, with as many as 40 singers accompanied by a 20 piece orchestra. We are grateful to DCINY for the opportunity for 28 of our choristers to sing at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Joseph Martin!

First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir

User-added image
Joan Wiley
Joan Wiley has served as the Chancel Choir Director at First United Methodist Church in Brownsville, Texas for 13 years. Before retiring, Joan worked in the Texas public schools as a choir director. During her tenure teaching, her choirs consistently won awards and recognitions at the local, state and national levels. In her spare time she enjoys cooking and spending time with her three grandchildren.

The Chancel Choir at the First United Methodist Church in Brownsville is an intergenerational choir made up of singers ages 15 through 85 (and counting!). This group rehearses once a week, providing special music at weekly services and presenting two cantatas with orchestra each year. In existence for over 75 years, this group has established a tradition of musical excellence. They are thrilled to be able to spread God's word by performing with Joseph Martin at Carnegie Hall.

Wake Forest Baptist Church Chancel Choir

Bryant Moxley WEB.jpg

Bryant L. Moxley

Rev. Bryant L. Moxley has served as Minister of Music and Worship at Wake Forest Baptist Church since 2014. A graduate of Ouachita Baptist University and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Rev. Moxley has served churches in Arkansas, Kentucky, Virginia, Kansas and North Carolina. Additionally, he served as Assistant Professor of Music and Music Department Chair at Bluefield College, Bluefield, Virginia, from 2002-2014. His choirs have performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, throughout the southeastern United States and in Europe. He is married to Lisa Nevin Moxley and they are the proud parents of Anna Moxley and Sarah Grace Moxley-White.


The Wake Forest Baptist Church Chancel Choir is composed of 70 singers who provide music and worship leadership for two weekly services and four major seasonal presentations each year. The Chancel Choir performs a wide variety of sacred music including anthems, hymn settings, spirituals and oratorio choruses. The Chancel Choir has commissioned anthems from well-known sacred composers such as Joseph Martin, Pepper Choplin and Jay Althouse and hosts a biennial Composer Residency. Membership in the Wake Forest Baptist Church Chancel Choir is open. The Chancel Choir is accompanied by Dr. Jeanine Skinner.

Tallmadge Lutheran Church Chancel Choir

Bryon Black WEB.jpg

Bryon Black II

Bryon K. Black II currently serves as the Director of Music at Tallmadge Lutheran Church, conducting the Chancel Choir and leading the Praise Team. As a Professor at Kent State University, Bryon conducts Coro Cantare (Men’s Chorus) and Gospel Choir and teaches conducting courses. Bryon received his M.M. in Choral Conducting from KSU in 2016. Bryon's choral compositions have been premiered by ensembles at TLC, KSU, and Slippery Rock University. He previously performed with a DCINY concert in 2012 featuring Eric Whitacre’s music. He currently holds membership in the American Choral Directors Association and resides in Akron, OH.


The Tallmadge Lutheran Church Chancel Choir believes in providing uplifting ministry through quality music as we glorify Christ through song. The choir rehearses Wednesday evenings from 7:30–9:00pm in the sanctuary, September through May. Music reading skills preferred. Vocal and choral technique is taught to strengthen the ministry of our messages. This choir prepares anthems for our Sunday 8:00 and 10:30am services, and usually sings twice per month, as well as for special services during the Advent and Easter seasons.

Mars Hill Baptist Church Chancel Choir

Sharon Welsh.jpg

Rev. Dr. Sharon Howell Welsch

Sharon Howell Welsch, D. W. S. , is an ordained minister who has served as the Associate Pastor at Mars Hill Baptist Church since 2006, where she directs the Chancel Choir, a Handbell Ensemble and a combined Children's Choir. Sharon holds a Doctor of Worship Studies from the Robert E. Webber Institute of Worship. She is married to William Welsch, director of The Lord's Harvest, a food ministry serving 1,750 hungry families in Madison County, NC. They have three children: Melissa, Will and Melody and eight grandchildren. Sharon is currently studying to be a spiritual director.


The Mars Hill Baptist Church Chancel Choir is an outstanding group of 25 non-professional musicians who provide musical leadership for worship services and other special events. With a 167 year tradition of musical excellence, this is the first time the choir has ever submitted an audition tape. We are proud to have been selected to sing with Mary McDonald at Carnegie Hall.

First Congregational Church in Billerica

Tim Jenkins WEB.jpg

Timothy Jenkins

Tim Jenkins has studied music for most of his life, beginning with piano and violin, and eventually adding percussion, handbells, and organ. He graduated with honors from the University of Maine with a Bachelor's degree in Music Performance with a concentration on piano. Soon after graduating, he obtained his current position as music director at the First Congregational Church in Billerica (MA). Besides his church duties, Tim enjoys ringing handbells and dancing in local ballet productions whenever he can.


The choir at First Congregational Church in Billerica is known for being a highlight of the service each time they sing! Its members range greatly in age, occupation, and worldview, but they all love to make wonderful music together. Over the last several years, the FCCB choir has grown not only in number, but also in musicality and variety of works shared with the congregation. They, along with the FCCB children's choir, are integral parts of our church's music program.

The Sanctuary Choir of First Baptist Church, Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Bryan Bolton WEB.jpg

Dr. Bryan Bolton

Dr. Bryan Bolton is originally from Arkadelphia, AR and holds a BM degree from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR; an MMCM degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, LA; and a DEdMin degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Bolton serves as Minister of Music and Children at First Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, AR. He previously served Southern Baptist churches in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Kentucky. Additionally, he served as Assistant Professor of Music at Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, KY from 2007-2009. He is a member of the Pine Bluff Community Band, playing French Horn, and the Arkansas Master’Singers. Bolton is married with two children.


The Sanctuary Choir of First Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, AR is the backbone of the church’s music ministry and provides weekly leadership during Sunday morning worship services, as well as special seasonal programs. These special presentations include chamber instrumental ensembles to accompany the choir. Made up of 35 voices, the choir is a non-auditioned group that presents a wide repertoire of sacred choral music, in a variety of musical styles and genres. This is the choir’s first time to perform with DCINY.

First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir of Hollidaysburg, PA

Susan Hamilton WEB.jpg

Susan T. Hamilton

Susan Hamilton is a United Methodist Director of Music originally from Somers Point, New Jersey. She graduated from the University of Dayton (B.S. Music Education) and completed graduate work at Morehead State University and Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. Beginning her career as a music teacher in Greenup County, Kentucky, she has served as organist, choir director, and minister of music in Methodist churches across the country. She currently serves as the Minister of Worship at FUMC in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, overseeing five services each weekend. A mother of three and grandmother of two, she has made music her lifelong passion.


The choir at First United Methodist Church of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania has approximately thirty-five members. We are a diverse group, but united in our pursuit to bring an outstanding music ministry to our congregation and our community. Many of our members also perform with other local groups, both vocal and instrumental, and are very active in other areas of volunteer service as well. We are led in our endeavors by our talented director, who is always pushing us to be just a little bit better.

Altavista Presbyterian Church Choir

Stephanie Moehlenkamp WEB.jpg

Stephanie E. Moehlenkamp

Stephanie Moehlenkamp began singing with the Altavista Presbyterian Church Choir at the age of 13. Her love of music has been lifelong, beginning with piano lessons at an early age. She received her Bachelor's of Music in Music Education from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. She taught music in public schools for ten years. She earned her Master's Degree of Education in School Counseling from Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, VA. She has been a school counselor for the past thirteen years, also serving as choir director at APC during much of that time. She and her husband Mark have two children, Megan and Jackson.


The Altavista Presbyterian Church Choir is comprised of fifteen members ranging in age from 15 to 88. We are small in number but mighty in voice and in faith. We provide anthems for our weekly worship services, in addition to cantatas for Christmas and Easter. Our choir is honored to have been invited to participate in Sing! Christmas Dreams. We enjoy the music of Mary McDonald and Joel Raney, and are looking forward to working with them both.

First Baptist Church of Gautier, Mississippi Worship Choir

User-added image
William R. Lewis
William Lewis has been a choral and orchestral conductor for nearly 30 years. He holds a Masters Degree in Conducting from the University of Florida and has conducted volunteer, semi-professional, and professional performing ensembles in Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi. Mr. Lewis is also a music educator having taught elementary, middle and high school music in addition to teaching at the college level. Mr. Lewis has also appeared as tenor soloist in many concert venues for performances of Handel's "Messiah", Mendelssohn's "Elijah", and Haydn's "The Creation" among others.

The Worship Choir of First Baptist Church of Gautier, Mississippi is the flagship choral ensemble of the church. The Worship Choir provides musical worship leadership every Sunday morning through special music as well as special musical and dramatic programs to highlight various holiday seasons. This all volunteer ensemble performs a wide variety of musical styles from classical to modern. The members range in age from 20 to early 90s.

Morris Hill Baptist Church Adult Choir

User-added image
Jimmy Tompkins
Jimmy Tompkins has served as Worship Pastor of Morris Hill Baptist, Chattanooga, TN, since August of 2012. He has been in full time ministry with several churches since 1985. He has also directed numerous men's Barbershop Chorus ensembles throughout the southeast and in January of 2019 directed a men's Barbershop "Seniors" Chorus to in International Championship with the Barbershop Harmony Society.

The Morris Hill Baptist Adult choir leads their congregation in exciting, spirit-led worship services each week. They also have at least two seasonal presentations for the church and community each year. The choir has a extensive history of singing the great gospel classics as well as the newest arrangements for choir and congregation.

Beaver Dam Baptist Church - Knoxville, TN

Anne Allen WEB.jpg

Anne C. Allen

Anne Allen, interim director of the choir contingent from Beaver Dam Baptist Church, Knoxville TN, is the Music Ministry Assistant at Beaver Dam. (Mary McDonald's first job as a church organist was at Beaver Dam and she and her husband were married there as well.) Mrs. Allen is a semi-professional pianist who has served as a church pianist/organist for over 50 years. Singing at Carnegie Hall has been a bucket list item for many of those years.


Choir members from Beaver Dam Baptist in Knoxville, TN first sang Sing Christmas! in December 2018 when they premiered it in the Knoxville area along with Christ United Methodist, a neighboring church. Originally, Christmas plans were to simply feature Mary as a solo performer with backup from the two choirs. But, when Mary came to meet with the director at the time (Ryan Flint) to discuss the details, she brought with her the just-released orchestra recording of Sing Christmas! and her enthusiasm and joy at presenting this project was infectious. We knew immediately that we were all in! When Mary came in December to conduct the choir, she mentioned the opportunity to Sing Christmas! at Carnegie Hall and we were excited all over again!

Sanctuary Choir of First Baptist Church, Oak Brook, Illinois

Raney-headshot WEB.jpg

Joel Raney

In addition to serving as director of music ministries at the First Baptist Church of Oak Park, Joel Raney also works as a full time editor at Hope Publishing Company in Chicago. He has hundreds of choral anthems in print with numerous publishers, as well as piano solo and duet books, Christmas musicals, handbell compositions, and other ensemble music. A sought-after choral and keyboard clinician, Joel stays busy conducting and performing piano concerts throughout the country. He resides in the Chicago area with his wife, Susie. They have three grown sons who live and work nearby.


The Sanctuary Choir of the First Baptist Church of Oak Park is a multi-generational group that sings regularly for worship services and other events there. They rehearse weekly and embrace many styles of music from classical to gospel. In addition, they regularly give special concerts at Christmas, Easter, and late Spring.

Shady Grove Chancel Choir

Linda Matthews.jpg

Linda D Matthews

Linda Matthews has an AB degree in Music Education and a Master's degree in Choral Conducting from Marshall University. She has taught school from K-12 in vocal and instrumental music. As a teacher, she has marched in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with the band and performed at the governor's inauguration with her show choir. After moving to Naples FL she became Music Director at a large UMC church for 26 years. When she retired from church music, she still directs the music at Shady Grove UMC in Dandridge TN. She has played many two-piano concerts with Jodie DeSalvo in Naples FL and is still playing for the church.


Our wonderful Chancel Choir reunited in 2016 and has grown ever since. While still small they make a "joyful noise" to the Lord each week when they lead in worship. The Chancel Choir also participates in the Dandridge Community Choir with the Knoxville Symphony at Christmas and other community events. The group is made up of all ages and is so excited to sing with other groups at Carnegie Hall.