Founded in 1973, the Civic Chorale (TCC), formerly known as Johnson City Civic Chorale, is a non-profit group of auditioned volunteer singers under professional direction that contributes to the musical arts in the Tri-Cities region. Founded by Robert and Jane LaPella, the Chorale’s purpose is to provide opportunities for adult singers to perform serious choral music and contribute to the cultural environment of the area. The Chorale currently has a roster of over 60 singers and typically performs with 35-45 singers for each concert.
In addition to being recognized for excellent choral sound, dedicated and competent singers, and constant musical improvement, the Chorale provides an environment for camaraderie and enjoyment among members during rehearsals and performances. Singers strive to learn and perform musically challenging choral literature, from Gregorian chant and early Renaissance motets through regional and world premieres of recently-composed works.
The Civic Chorale has collaborated with many regional arts organizations, including the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra, Johnson City Community Concert Band, the Symphony of the Mountains and Voices of the Mountains, the Johnson City Community Theatre, the Milligan College Choir and Orchestra, the East Tennessee Children’s Choir and the Highlands Youth Ensemble. The Chorale has hosted the Ayre Valley Singers from England.
Recognized for their distinct sound and musical ability, The Civic Chorale has been invited to perform at events such as the opening of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville, Tennessee, the Knoxville World’s Fair, and local concerts sponsored by the Johnson City Area Arts Council.
The Civic Chorale has been ably led over its 40+ years by Robert La Pella (1973–1993), Douglas Grove-DeJarnett (1993–1997), David Hendricksen (1998-2016), and Rodney Caldwell (2016-present). The Chorale is supported by two outstanding accompanists, Lisa Adkins Runner (piano) and David C. Runner (organ).
The Civic Chorale has been the recipient of grants from the Tennessee Arts Commission through the Arts Build Communities program of the Johnson City Area Arts Council and the Arts Fund of the East Tennessee Foundation.