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CenturyMen’s Grammy nomination: first for Baptist men’s chorus

NEW YORK (BP)–For the first time in their 30-year history, The CenturyMen, a 100-member men’s chorus of Southern Baptist musicians, have been nominated for a Grammy Award by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

The group’s most recent recording, “Beautiful Star — A Celebration of Christmas,” is one of six nominees in the category of best classical crossover album. The winner will be announced Feb. 23 at the 42nd annual Grammy Awards, to be broadcast on CBS.

Buryl Red, The CenturyMen’s musical director, said, “This is a real honor. I was real pleased when our recording was placed in the category of classical crossover. I was happy that people perceived it that way.

“We see our work as a way to communicate the message of Christ with the secular world,” Red told Baptist Press. “I feel like our music can communicate beyond the musical language of the church.”

Other nominees in the category of best classical crossover album include “Christmas By the Bay,” performed by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra; “If Ever I would Leave You – The Songs of Alan Jay Lerner,” English Northern Philharmonic; “Meyer: Short Trip Home,” Joshua Bell, violin, Sam Bush, mandolin, violin, Mike Marshall, guitar, mandola, violin, and Edgar Meyer, double bass; “Schickele: Hornsmoke,” The Chestnut Brass Co.; and “Take the ‘A’ Train – Canadian Brass Play the Music of Duke Ellington,” The Canadian Brass.

Red, 62, has been the musical director and principal arranger for The CenturyMen since the group’s inception. Several of his choral works, including “Celebrate Life” and the first performing edition of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s “Magnificat,” are considered musical landmarks.

Founded in 1969, The CenturyMen are comprised of more than 100 men, each a director of music from a Baptist church, representing 22 states and two foreign countries. The group has performed across the world, including the People’s Republic of China, Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic.

Red said The CenturyMen will return to the recording studio in the summer to produce a new compilation of music.

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  • Todd Starnes