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Volume 26, Number 4 — April 2019

Transitions: MECCA adds Chorister Director

Patricia "Patty" Denmark

December 24, 2007

The Mountain Empire Children's Choral Academy (MECCA) has hired a third director of its Chorister choirs program, bringing to four the number of singing groups for second- and third-graders in the greater Tri-Cities area.

Patricia "Patty" Denmark of Kingsport joins Angelia "Angee" Woody and Valerie Pickard as directors of MECCA's Choristers. The Choristers were organized to extend MECCA's outreach in musical education and performance. The East Tennessee Children's Choir, which consists of fourth- through eighth-graders, and the Highlands Youth Ensemble, made up of eighth- through 12th graders, comprise the rest of the MECCA's vocal music education program. Currently, two Choristers choirs are meeting on a regular basis: the Johnson City Choristers on Tuesdays, and the Greeneville Choristers on Thursdays. Registration is underway for the new Bristol Choristers, who will rehearse from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays at Woodlawn Baptist Church, and the Kingsport Choristers who will rehears from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m. on Mondays at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church.

Denmark has been an avid participant in choral music and music education for 20 years. She earned a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from Texas A&M University and, following additional coursework, received certification in All-Level Music Education through East Texas Baptist University. She taught music in grades 3-12 at Trinity School of Texas, Longview, which included the direction of middle and high school choirs. She has participated as a chorus member in the Carnegie Hall Professional Choral Workshop on several occasions and has attended three week-long workshops twice as a chorister under the leadership of the late Robert Shaw, once with Andre Previn and most recently as a choral alternate with Helmut Rilling.

She is employed as an instructional assistant for the Kingsport City Schools at Andrew Johnson Elementary School and serves as director of music at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church in Kingsport. She sings soprano in the Civic Chorale and enjoys opportunities to sing in smaller chamber ensembles. She is a member of the Dobyns-Bennett Orchestra Guild, the Choristers Guild, and serves as sub-dean for the Northeast Tennessee/Southwest Virginia Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.

Parents interested in registering their second- and third-graders for a Chorister choir may e-mail Tuition is $150 for the year or $75 per term. Chorister choirs are open to second- and third-grade children; in addition, parents of mature first-graders may inquire about participation. Fourth-graders who are not able to sing in the ETCC may participate in the Choristers as well. For more information, visit or e-mail