Ask any former vocalist what their favorite thing about being a part of the Junaluska Singers has been, and they will probably say that it has been the opportunity to experience the passionate and caring direction of Glenn Draper.
Since he became the Director of Music at Lake Junaluska in 1955, Draper has focused on training his vocalists to give powerful and entertaining performances. When Draper auditions vocalists, he looks for more than just a person who can project a wondrous sound. Instead, Draper has always sought to bring together performers who not only have positive personalities and stage presences, but that also are Christian witnesses whose commitment to Christ will help them minister to audiences through their musical abilities.
Since the early ‘90s, the Junaluska Singers have grown in popularity. They have continued to serve and perform for churches throughout the Southeastern Jurisdiction as well as throughout the world.
Draper has done an excellent job ensuring that the Junaluska Singers have had plenty of opportunities to witness through music. In 1996, Draper and the Junaluska Singers performed at the World Methodist Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. That same year, they also performed on an Alaskan cruise. In 2001, they took a one-week tour of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
Although Draper has made sure that the Singers always enjoyed their travels, he also made sure that they never lost sight of their mission to spread the gospel through their performances. Often, the proceeds from the Junaluska Singers’ concerts went to charitable events. For instance, during tours throughout the Southeast and Texas in 2007, the Junaluska Singers accepted donations to benefit African mission work.
For the last 55 years, Glenn Draper and the Junaluska Singers have enriched the lives of many by providing music for conferences and worship services at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. Although this 16-member choral group started with a quartet in 1956, as the years passed, Dr. Draper gradually and successfully expanded the Junaluska Singers into a larger group of sixteen vocalists that audiences enjoy today.
Ever since Draper began his mission as the Director of Music at Lake Junaluska, he has skillfully led the Junaluska Singers to present several full-length concerts each year in historic Stuart Auditorium at Lake Junaluska. As we have seen, their blend of talent, creativity, enthusiasm and passion have taken them over the years to tours throughout the United States, England, the Caribbean, Central America, the Bahamas, Good News Convocations in Dallas and Cincinnati, National Methodist Conferences in Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Baltimore, the World Methodist Conferences in Denver in 1971 and Rio de Janeiro in 1996, and the Billy Graham Library in 2008. They have done five television specials, and recorded 34 albums of sacred and secular music since 1966.
As Draper approaches his final performances as the Director of the Junaluska Singers, Lake Junaluska is proud to acknowledge his hard work and dedication to the musical ministry at the Lake. Without his steadfast devotion and musical gifts, the Junaluska Singers would have never existed. His vision established a musical legacy that will endure. The main goal of Dr. Glenn Draper and the Junaluska Singers has and always will be to passionately share the Gospel of Christ through their music.
The Junaluska Singers performed at the World Methodist Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1996.
Glenn and his group also performed at a concert in Indonesia in 2000.