300+ gathered at Christian College Choral Festival for free performance

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Lipscomb's A Cappella Singers were among many groups to perform at the Christian College Choral Festival.

The biennual Christian College Choral Festival was held in Nashville for the first time insome years on Jan. 11 and 12, drawing more than 300 college students from Church of Christ-affiliated colleges to study and perform a range of sacred, a cappella choral works.

Choirs from Lipscomb, Faulkner, Freed Hardeman, Harding and Ohio Valley universities and Crowley's Ridge and Rochester colleges gathered at Lipscomb for combined rehearsals culminating in a performance at 7 p.m. on Saturday in Collins Alumni Auditorium. The finale concert was free and open to the public.

The Christian College Choral Festival is one of only a few events across the nation to feature a cappella sacred choral music.

Works performed by the combined grand chorus of more than 300 voices included “Glory Hallelujah to the Newborn King,” “All That Hath Life and Breath Praise Ye the Lord!” and “The Road Home.”

Works performed by the individual choirs during the finale concert included: “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus,” “This is My Father’s World,” “Amazing Grace,” “Entreat Me Not to Leave You” and “Alleluia.”

The performance clinician was Stanley Roberts of Mercer University (Ga.). Roberts teaches graduate courses in conducting, choral literature and techniques. He has conducted all-state choirs, honor choirs and festival choruses throughout the United States and England.

“The Christian College Choral Festival is an opportunity for students and devotees to hear and learn from groups from many other colleges,” said Gary P. Wilson, director of Lipscomb’s choruses and director of the event. “Our singers get to hear groups both similar and dissimilar to their own ensemble and take away lessons from that. In addition, this is one of the relatively rare times that I as an a cappella choral director get to interact with my colleagues and see what new things their ensembles are doing.”