Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Some Side Stories about the Civic Chorale (III)

This story is about Kenton Coe, an internationally- known composer, who came to live in Johnson City and was active in many aspects of the arts and music in the city. The Civic Chorale performed some of his works and I am giving you one example below. The top picture appeared on the cover of our concert program. You can see that "The Light in This Room" was the featured part of the concert. It was written by Kenton Coe and performed on October 19, 1986 by the Chorale. The complete program for the concert is in the second picture below; the chorale performed Coe's piece after the intermission. The third picture contains the Notes by Kenton Coe concerning the music.

Some Side Stories about the Civic Chorale (II)

In the early days of the Chorale concerts, the local news paper, the Johnson City Press Chronicle, usually asked a local musical specialist to write a concert review right afterwards. In particular, there was a couple who were often asked. They were Dr. John and Mrs Anne Dowd. He was the Chair of the Music Department at nearby Milligan College and she played with the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra and was a piano teacher who happened to be our children's first piano teacher. It was a very common routine then. Both Janice and I would read their reviews and we learned from their feedback. I am now posting here a couple of examples so you can appreciate their efforts:


Some Side Stories about the Civic Chorale (I)

There is a new web page now for the Civic Chorale (formerly known as the Johnson City Civic Chorale). The web page includes a write-up about the new fourth director of the Chorale and a brief  history of the organization. (See ) Since I know some detailed stories about the chorale, I would like to add them here before they get totally lost. In this post I will report the first story. The chorale was first started in 1973 by Robert LaPella, acting by himself, and primarily involved his students. It certainly was not registered in Tennessee as an "official" organization. It was not until a local attorney, Mr. John D. Goodin, talked to me about the process of obtaining tax-deductible status (which might encourage more donations) that I realized that the first step in the process required you to register the organization as "official" in the state. He offered to help us reach that goal and we started the application process in 1975. The next year I was elected as the chorale's first president and the organization was officially registered in Tennessee. I was asked by John to thank him by singing at his church on the Milligan Highway a few times. He even played the organ occasionally  while I sang. It was great fun!

John was shot in his office by a violent gunman several years later. It was a very sad end to his career!