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Posted: March 9, 2011 6:00 a.m.

Community choir to make a joyful noise

Photos By Gabriel Khouli/

Mack McKibben wants to form a true community choir. He wants 100 to 150 people joining voices for some good old-fashioned Southern gospel music.

"We want to involve the whole community. From people who have been singing for years to juts plain Joe Blows from Kokomo," said McKibben, owner of McKibben Music on the square. "We want to expose the talent we have here."

About 50 participants have attended the group's weekly rehearsals. Those interested in joining the choir can call the store at (770) 784-9101 or e-mail McKibben at mac@mckibbenmusic.com.

McKibben said he is hoping to emulate the contemporary gospel style of Bill and Victoria Gaither among others. He wants to revisit some of the old Stamps-Baxter Music Company hymns like "Precious Memories" and "I'll Fly Away," as well as songs like Rich Mullins' "Awesome God." He wants the group to sing both old and newer songs.
"All ages will love this," he said.

The choir's first concert will be at 7 p.m. March 26 at The Church at Covington. Tickets are free, but sitting is limited to the first 1,200. Tickets can be picked up McKibben Music.

McKibben said a band has been picked out to accompany the choir, including banjos, harmonicas, guitars and drums. In addition, local artists including Drew Parker, the Biggers and Sounds of Glory will sing with the group.

"Southern gospel is what I grew up on," said choir member Olivia Adams, who regularly sings at weddings and events. "I hope this will reach people in a new way and show them the kind of singing they don't always see in church anymore. It's very exciting."

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