The Chorale was founded in 1948. This was during the time that many civic choruses and groups such as Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians, were springing up around our country. In Bessemer, Alabama there was a young people’s choir at South Highland Baptist Church. They were under the direction of Earl N. Clark. This choir combined with a high school choir at McAdory High School in McCalla, Alabama, under the direction of Mr. Clark’s wife, Frances. Their purpose was to learn challenging music and to perform it to the best of their ability.
That summer they raised money by performing South Pacific. The money raised took this group to Ridgecrest Baptist Assembly in Black Mountain, North Carolina, for music week. At this time there was not a young people’s choir at Ridgecrest.This meant the group from Bessemer had to join the adult choir. That, as it turned out, was a blessing.
At Ridgecrest that summer the clinician was Warren Angel, who went on to become the Dean of Fine Arts at Oklahoma Baptist University. Warren Angel was a highly sought after clinician, a wonderful musician. Under his direction the choir at Ridgecrest rehearsed and sang Handel’s MESSIAH.
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