The Gateway Chorale consists of approximately 60 auditioned volunteer singers. All singers have considerable experience in choral music: some hold professional positions with other choruses and church choirs; some are accomplished music educators and music directors; but, regardless of their individual career pursuits, all Chorale singers are musically-gifted and relish the satisfaction of achieving excellence while singing together.
All singers are deeply devoted members, committing to weekly rehearsals during 8-12 week rehearsal blocks in preparation for concert performances with the Gateway Chamber Orchestra. Occasionally, the Chorale will undertake all-choral concerts or ‘service performances’ at prominent area churches. While the choir generally rehearses on Sunday afternoons, singers must occasionally commit to additional rehearsals during performance weeks.
Director, Gateway Chorale
Conductor/composer Tim Sharp recently completed thirteen years as Executive Director of the American Choral Directors Association, the world’s largest professional choral organization. Tim led ACDA to innovations that changed the course of this professional association for the 21st century. While in Oklahoma, Tim was Artistic Director and Conductor of the Tulsa Chorale, a 100-voice civic chorus performing the major choral repertoire of the choral/orchestral canon. Dr. Sharp remains on the Executive Board of the International Federation for Choral Music and the World Choral Council, representing choral music in North America. These associations have taken him to six continents and to China over 25 times, performing and lecturing.
To date Tim has authored 17 books, the most recent being Sacred Choral Music Repertoire: Insights for Conductors. Tim’s writing centers around choral conducting pedagogy, but he has also written in the area of Tennessee music history with his three-part Arcadia Publications series Nashville Music Before Country; Memphis Music Before the Blues; and most recently, Knoxville Music Before Bluegrass. He has published over 100 choral compositions and arrangements, including his High Lonesome (Bluegrass) Mass for choir and bluegrass band, and Angel Band for choir and chamber orchestra. In addition to specializing in Early American/Late Classical era choral music, Tim is a five-string banjo player and Deering Banjo Artist, composing and arranging music that incorporates this African American original instrument.
Dr. Sharp has conducted and performed the major choral/orchestral works of JS Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Haydn, CPE Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Rheinberger, Bruckner, Saint-Saens, Faure, Ravel, Britten, Vaughan Williams, Holst, Finzi, Barber, Thompson, and contemporary choral composers Christopher Theofanidis, John Tavener, Eric Whitacre, Morten Lauridsen, Karl Jenkins, Bob Chilcott, John Williams, Arvo Part, and John Rutter, who he works with on a regular basis at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Further, he has championed and performed the contemporary choral music of Rosephanye Powell, Stacey Gibbs, Andrea Ramsey, Byron V. Smith, Joan Szymko, Jocelyn Hagen, Patti Drennan, and Chen Yi.
A graduate of Bluefield University and Belmont University, Tim has received the outstanding alumni award from both schools. His graduate and doctoral work was completed in 1981 at The School of Church Music, Louisville, Kentucky, and has further studied at the Aspen Music School (conducting), Harvard University (musicology), and the University of Cambridge (UK) where he is a Life Fellow of Clare Hall. Before leading the American Choral Directors Association, Tim was Dean of Fine Arts and Director of Choral Activities at Rhodes College (Memphis), and prior to Rhodes was Director of Choral Activities at Belmont University. He has taught at the University of Oklahoma, Taylor University, and The King’s College. He received Memphis Theater’s Ostrander Award for his conducting of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. He contributed the choral work for A Glen Campbell Christmas which won a Dove Award for Best Country Album and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Southern, Country or Bluegrass Gospel Album. The recording Come Away to the Skies with his professional ensemble Kentucky Harmony was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2020 in the category of Gospel Roots.
Since returning to Nashville in 2020, Tim has been guest conductor of the Nashville Concert Chorale and Music Director at Immanuel Baptist Church. He recently formed and prepared the supporting choir for the Eagles’ Hotel California tour. He created and directs the Center for Community Arts Innovation at Trevecca University where he assists community arts organizations rethink and restart because of the recent pandemic and teaches conducting. Tim serves on the Executive Board of Choristers Guild (Dallas), and in January 2022 was named Principal Conductor and Executive Director of MidAmerica Productions, the largest producer of choral concerts at Carnegie Hall, New York City. With the exception of rehearsals and concerts, Tim works from his farm in Hickory Point (Montgomery County, Tenn.), where he, his wife Jane, and their daughter Emma Jane take care of a small herd of cattle, goats, alpacas, chickens, two cats, a donkey, and their most recent addition, Darby, a four-month-old Labrador Retriever.