Thursday, February 11, 2010

Celebrating Grace Hymnal to Premiere in Two Congregational Concerts

Nine Georgia Choirs will Participate in the Atlanta Concerts

After four years in development, Celebrating Grace Hymnal will be in church pews across the nation, beginning in March. Highlighting the premiere of the highly anticipated hymnal will be two congregational concerts held Sunday and Monday, March 7 and 8, at Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, 2713 Peachtree Road, Atlanta.

Each of the evening concerts will feature five choirs, accompanied by organ, piano, hand bells, brass quintet, and timpani, to lead the congregation in singing. Several new works by well-known composers and arrangers will be performed, including four congregational anthems, a commissioned anthem, and the first anthem in the “Celebrating Grace Choral Series.”

Participating in the Sunday concert will be The Georgia Youth Choir Festival, and the choirs of First Baptist Church of Marietta, First Baptist Church of Griffin, First United Methodist Church of Milledgeville and Wieuca Road Baptist Church of Atlanta. Performing at the Monday program will be the Belmont University Chorale of Nashville, Tenn., the Mercer University Children’s Choir of Macon, and the choirs of First Baptist Church of Macon, and Peachtree Baptist Church and Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, both of Atlanta.

The Sunday concert will begin at 5:30 p.m., and the Monday event, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person, which includes a commemorative hymnal. Seating is limited, so advance registration is recommended, especially for groups. For more information, or to order tickets, go to or call (877) 550-7707, ext. 7019.

About the Hymnal
Celebrating Grace Hymnal is a collaborative initiative of more than 50 leaders from the United States and Canada comprised of pastors, church musicians, composers, scholars and laity. The five-member editorial board purposefully took a grassroots approach to developing and designing the hymnal. Editors and committee members traveled across the nation, holding meetings with church leaders and seeking new ideas of how to meet the music needs of churches today.

The result is a comprehensive collection of timeless hymns and songs that have been sung for generations, along with new expressions of Christian faith by many of today’s most distinguished church music composers and arrangers. The format is designed to provide depth as well as flexibility to congregations and worship planners who seek fresh ways to tell the Gospel story.
Two components have been developed to complement the Hymnal: The Worship Matrix™ and Supplemental Music Resources. The Worship Matrix™ is an interactive library of online resources for worship planning. This web-based component provides an easy-to-use planner that enables users to develop a well-balanced cohesive worship service with scripture, readings, music and prayers complementing and building upon each other.

Supplemental Music Resources provides churches with quick online access to a full line of music and worship resources designed to enhance the music ministry. Some of the nation’s finest composers and arrangers in church music are participating in the creation of this exceptional music collection, including C.L. Bass, Cindy Berry, Todd Billingsley, Pepper Choplin, Michael Cox, Lee Dengler, Patti Drennan, Steve Dunn, Mark Edwards, Dan Goeller, Marty Hamby, Gary Lanier, Lloyd Larson, Ralph Manuel, Joseph M. Martin, Mary McDonald, Hart Morris, Anna Laura Page, Mary Kay Parrish, Stan Pethel, David Schwoebel, Robert Sterling, Martha Lynn Thompson, Sandy Wilkinson and Daniel Zamora.

J. Thomas McAfee III, Chairman and President of Hallmark Systems, Inc., Macon, and church music proponent, initiated the Hymnal Project in 2006. He serves as Chairman and Editor and has been primarily responsible for the business side of the Hymnal’s development, publishing and distribution.

Mark Edwards, retired longtime Minister of Music at First Baptist Church of Nashville, joined Celebrating Grace in 2007. As Vice President of Music and Worship Resources, Edwards has overseen the music side of the Hymnal.

Other members of the editorial board are John Simons, Director of the Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Church Music Studies, Mercer University; David Music, Professor of Church Music, Baylor University, Waco, Texas; Milburn Price, retired Dean, Samford University School of Performing Arts, Birmingham, Ala., and Stanley Roberts, Associate Dean and Director of Choral Activities, Townsend School of Music, Mercer University.

Celebrating Grace Website
More information on the Celebrating Grace Hymnal is available at Celebrating Grace is located at 6501 Peake Road, Building 350, Macon, Georgia 31210.
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