Choral icon Alice Parker to be artist-in-residence Next Week

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Alumni Hero

World-renowned composer, arranger, author, and song leader Alice Parker will be artist-in-residence at Lee University and Broad Street United Methodist Church Jan. 29-Feb 2. During this residency, Parker will lecture, conduct, teach, and lead singing in various classes, rehearsals, and evening events.

On Thursday, Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m., Parker will deliver her keynote lecture, "The Anatomy – and Spirituality – of Melody," in the Lee University Chapel. On Friday, Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m., there will be a Community Sing in the Lee Chapel, where Parker will lead the audience in an evening of singing songs both familiar and new.

"Alice's leading of folk hymns and songs is nearly indescribable,” says Cameron LaBarr, assistant professor of choral music at Lee and artistic director of the Tennessee Chamber Chorus. “She does all of the teaching by rote and reading music is not required, but the sound and experience that results is incredible. Alice has a rare zeal about her that communicates music like no one else.”

On Sunday, Feb. 2, Parker will also be guest conducting the Chancel Choir at Broad Street UMC where Cynthia Johnson is director of music. Parker will lead congregational song in: "Wondrous Love: A Service of Hymns for Communion."

Parker began composing music early and wrote her first orchestral score while still in high school. She graduated from Smith College with a major in music performance and composition before receiving her master's degree from the Juilliard School where she studied choral conducting with Robert Shaw. Her life-work has been in choral and vocal music, combining composing, conducting and teaching in a creative balance.

Parker’s arrangements with Shaw of folksongs, hymns and spirituals form an enduring repertoire for choruses all around the world. She continues composing in many forms, from operas to cantatas, sacred anthems to secular dances, song cycles to string quartets. She has been commissioned by such groups as the Vancouver Chamber Chorus, the Atlanta Symphony Chorus, and Chanticleer.

An octogenarian with an infectious joy for singing, Parker has been described by Shaw as "a rare and creative musical intelligence." Founder and Artistic Director of Melodious Accord, her non-profit organization, Parker believes deeply in the possibility of accord rather than discord in the lives of people who sing together. She delights in sharing her joy of singing and unleashing the discovery of the musical potential in us all.

For the full schedule of Alice Parker's residency, visit .

All events in Parker’s residency are free and open to the public, but tickets are required for the Community Sing due to limited seating. Tickets are available at the Dixon Center Box Office from 3-6 p.m. beginning Jan. 23. Any remaining tickets will be available prior to the event on Friday, Jan. 31. For will-call service, call (423) 614-8343 during box office hours.

For more information, please call (423) 614-8240.