An array of guest artists as well as Boggs will perform at the gala beginning at 7 p.m. at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church at 955 Johnson Ferry Road. The free concert is open to the public, and a reception will follow.
“Music is my life. I have found in music everything I’ve ever hoped and dreamed of in my life, especially in working with a chorus,” Boggs said.
Over the years, Boggs has worked with both adult and youth choruses in schools, churches and privately. “Choral music has got a magical quality. I love it,” he said.
In 1996, Boggs retired from his last job after 23 years as the choral director of The Westminster School in Atlanta but his career is still going strong. He continues to direct the Georgia Festival Chorus (formerly the Cobb Festival Chorus) that he started with only 18 singers.
“The first year we sang Handel’s Messiah which was quite an undertaking as you can imagine,” he said. “Now we have 112 singers. About 10 of them are the ones that started with me.”
Boggs has enjoyed a prolific career that has taken him all over the world and a fruitful list of accomplishments including being the first recording artist for Word Records (that became largest sacred record label in America); recording 24 albums, three of which were with the London Symphony Orchestra; recording six BBC television specials; being inducted to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and other societies; serving in churches and schools; and co-authoring the fight song for Baylor University, his alma mater, that is still used today.
“I attribute my success to the Lord. He has blessed me in so many ways and given me so many opportunities,” said Boggs. He has been married to Doris Lyons Boggs for 55 years. They have two grown daughters and four grandchildren.
“I always tried to keep my heart right with the Lord. He blessed me with all these opportunities,” he said.
Through music, Boggs has touched the lives of many from school children to royalty. A highlight of his career was at age 26 when he was the only American to sing at festivities for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. He sang at the Prayer and Dedication Service before an audience of 6,000 in the Royal Albert Hall on the eve of the Queen’s ceremony in Westminster Abbey. The invitation came from General Sir Arthur Smith who had heard Boggs sing in Royal Albert Hall while Boggs toured with British evangelist Tom Rees.
Boggs reminded Smith that he was not English, who replied, “I’m choosing a voice, not a nationality.”
Known for his rich, golden, baritone sound, Boggs has no intention of slowing down anytime soon. “I’m going to keep going with my music until I keel over,” Boggs said, chuckling.
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