History of the Chattanooga Boys Choir
The Chattanooga Boys Choir (CBC) was founded in 1954 and is the oldest boy choir in the Southeast. Started by Carolyn Brown, a local music teacher, and several Chattanooga residents as one choir of some thirty boys, the organization now includes over 120 boys in five different ensembles from across the Chattanooga area and northwest Georgia. Members represent over 45 different public, private, and parochial schools and many home school students.
The Chattanooga Boys Choir has performed all across the United States and in nineteen different countries around the world including England, Australia, Mexico, and Germany. Most recently, the CBC has represented Chattanooga at the World Festival of Singing for Men and Boys in the Czech Republic (2004). They made their Carnegie Hall debut in 2005 and appeared at the renowned Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston South Carolina in 2006. June 2007 marked the Choir’s first tour to Ireland and 2008 brought them to the Crescent City Music Festival in New Orleans. The choir’s 2010 tour took them through the east coast with performances throughout North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, and in Washington, D.C. In 2011 the choir toured French Canada including Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec. In 2013 the Chattanooga Boys Choir became the first children's choir from the United States to perform in Cuba in over half a century. From the great cathedrals of Europe and the White House to Major League ballparks and the Grand Ole Opry, the CBC represents the city as Chattanooga’s “Ambassadors’ of Goodwill.”
The CBC regularly hosts other choirs which travel through the Chattanooga area. Recent choirs which the CBC has hosted include the Boychoir of Maryland, the Boys and Girls Choirs of St. Peter’s (Charlotte, NC), the St. Olaf Choir, the Varna Choir of Men and Boys from Bulgaria, and the American Boy Choir. The CBC regularly works with some of the finest artistic organizations throughout the area. Recent collaborations include the Chattanooga Symphony & Orchestra, CSO Youth Orchestras, the Chattanooga Choral Society for the Preservation of African-American Song, UTC Chamber Singers, and the Birmingham Boys Choir. The CBC has also appeared in several commercially released recordings, including Peace on Earth by Casting Crowns (2008) and a compact disc featuring the works of Maurice Ravel by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra (2009), which was nominated for a GRAMMY award in 2010. The boys are included on a CD with Steven Curtis Chapman recorded in April 2011, released in the fall of 2011.
The CBC has also taken bold initiatives within our community, which have included benefit projects and concerts for the Chattanooga Area Food Bank, hosting in-service clinics for local elementary school music teachers (when their funding was cut), and serving as a training ground for interns in both Music Education and Non-Profit Management programs. In the fall of odd-numbered years, beginning in October 2005 the CBC has sponsored a Community Hymn Festival that includes over 200 participants from Chattanooga area churches. A special collection is taken at the Festivals to benefit the St. Andrews Center, a non-profit outreach ministry in downtown Chattanooga which provides programming and activities for underserved youth populations.