Director of Music for Lake Junaluska and Director of the Junaluska Singers
Glenn Draper has been the Director of the Junaluska Singers for 55 years. Born in Roanoke, VA, he received a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and served in the U.S. Air Force as the Director of the Keesler Air Force Base Male Chorus and Orchestra. In 1976, Draper was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities by Highpoint University.
While serving as the Director of the Keesler Air Force Base Male Chorus, Draper led this group on tours throughout the nation, and they were featured on NBC and CBS Radio. In addition, they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. The Male Chorus’s first performance of Handel’s Messiah was broadcast on NBC.
Draper also served as graduate assistant to the Dean of Music at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where he earned a master’s degree and met his future wife, Lounelle. Glenn and Lounelle were married November 24, 1956. They have two sons, Glenn Wright and Dean, and eight grandchildren.
Draper has served as Music Director for the Lake Junaluska since 1956. He has also been the director of musical groups at Pfeiffer College, the University of Miami, Florida, the University of Tennessee, and the Keesler Air Force Base Male Chorus and Orchestra. In 1954 and 1955, the Keesler Air Force Base Male Chorus won 1st Place Honors from the military and Draper was awarded an Outstanding Services Award.
His groups, including the Chattanooga Singers and the Singing Mocs at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC), have performed at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, the Crystal Cathedral in Los Angeles, Australia’s Sydney Opera House and in concert with such famous performers as Perry Como, Wayne Newton, Tony Bennett, and Liberace. In addition to leading the Junaluska Singers and his college groups, Draper leads his own group, The Glenn Draper Singers. His groups have performed for national audiences on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Hour of Power, and Changed Lives and have produced more than 60 albums.
Dr. Draper’s affiliation with Billy Graham’s World Ministries has taken Draper and his singers across the globe. Dr. Draper and his singers have performed for four historic crusades with Billy Graham, including one in Moscow. Altogether, Dr. Draper’s groups have taken over 55 overseas tours to 39 different countries. In addition, his groups have taken 6 overseas tours for the U.S. Department of Defense to entertain military personnel. While on their prestigious tours, Dr. Drapers groups have performed at the White House twelve times.
Draper has been honored with inclusion in Who’s Who in Music around the World, and Personalities of the South. He has received the Love of Chattanooga Award, the Indiana Wesleyan University Fine Arts Outstanding Achievement Award and the Orpheus Award from the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity and has been the recipient of numerous teaching and advising awards at UTC.
In addition to her lifelong career as a singer, Lounelle Draper has been a costumer and administrative assistant for her husband’s choral groups. She is a frequent speaker for the Christian Women’s Club and a Bible leader for Women in the Church at First Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga. She has served in a variety of leadership roles for groups at Lake Junaluska and throughout the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church.
Discover Dr. Glenn Draper’s legacy and impact on Lake Junaluska as we examine how his life and ministry have and will continue to be influential at Lake Junaluska.