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Georgia Festival Chorus director celebrates 85th birthday with free concert

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

A press release for Sunday night’s (April 15) gala concert celebrating the 85th birthday of the leader of the Georgia Festival Chorus makes matters perfectly clear in the first sentence: “Frank Boggs is not retiring!”

That would be of little surprise to anyone who came in contact with Boggs during his 23-year run as choral director of the Westminster School, from which he retired way back in 1986, or in his distinguished solo career. Instantly restless in retirement, Boggs placed a newspaper ad in 1987 seeking choral singers, and the Georgia Festival Chorus (originally named Cobb Festival Chorus) has grown from 18 to 112 vocalists.

The Marietta-based chorus has toured England, Ireland, Austria and Italy, where it sang at High Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, and performed on a Holland America Line cruise ship en route to Alaska concert dates.

Boggs and many of his choristers feel essentially they are working to save sacred music from being overtaken by contemporary music.

Featuring Boggs solos and surprise guest performers, Georgia Festival Chorus’ free concert at 7 Sunday night (moved up from the original start time of 7:30 p.m.) is at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church, 955 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta. 404-234-3581, www.tgafc.org.

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