Georgia Festival Chorus with Frank Boggs

May 2, 2010

We went to Marietta First Baptist Church to hear the concert by the Georgia Festival Chorus, directed by Frank Boggs, in their last concert of the season. Here the president of the Chorus, Greg Caudle, introduces Frank.

This was a concert with lots of connections for us. We had known Frank Boggs back in the early 1960's when he did concerts at Atlanta First Baptist Church when we were there as college students. That was in the days when Roy O. McClain was pastor, and Rod sang in the choir under the direction of Ray Smathers. We enjoyed Frank's music and had kind of kept up with him over the years.

Frank became Choral Director at the Westminster School in Atlanta and held that position for 23 years.

Our connection with Marietta First Baptist was as the church of Nancy Bonds and also our old friends the Moncriefs.

Frank leads the chorus in the first two numbers, "Praise to the Lord" and "Holy Art Thou" which are wonderful old classics that really lifted me. The chorus was wonderfully strong, with actually a mens section that was stronger than the womens - a rare occurrence! These are two of my all-time favorites so it was really a reverie for me.

The other strong connection that brought us to the concert was that it was featuring some of the poems of Ruth Bell Graham set to music by Diane Dennington Abdi. Diane, shown at left as a member of the Chorale, is the daughter of Grace and Frank Dennington. Brenda has known Grace, the sister of Robert Jackson, all of her life and has known Diane since she was a baby. We have had fellowship with Grace and Frank at First Baptist Church Atlanta and at various times over the years and love the whole family.

Diane sings with the Ensemble, directed by David Scott, as they sing the musical versions of the Ruth Bell Graham poems "Sitting By My Laughing Fire", "Puppet", and "A Little More Time, Lord".

Diane with the Ensemble. They sing the poem "A Little More Time, Lord".

A little more time, Lord,
just a little more time.
there's so much to do, so much undone
If it's all right with You, Lord,
Please stop the sun.
There's forever before me forever with You;
but a little more time
for the so much to do.

Frank Boggs introduces Diane to direct the musical arrangements of the last two poems.

Diane shares some of the background of how she came to set the poems to music, and about her interaction with the Graham family. Frank also shared a card he had gotten from Anne Graham Lotz.

Diane directs the Georgia Festival Chorus in her musical arrangement of Ruth Bell Graham's poem "Lord, When my Soul is Weary".

Diane directs the Chorus in her arrangement of "I Awoke Heavy, and Heavy I Prayed".

The Festival Chorus has brought flowers for Diane which Frank presents.

Diane responds to the flowers from the Chorus and to the appreciation of the audience.

Frank directs the wonderful men's group within the Chorus. For the fullness and strong bass section and harmony, the men's section was extraordinary.

Frank Boggs was the ultimate in gracious hosts, acknowledging the pianist Cathy Callaway Adams, the organist John Innes, and his associate directors David Scott and Ken Terrell. We were very blessed by the concert.

Frank's wife Doris was sitting a couple of rows in front of us, seen in the corner of the photo.

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