DECATUR, GA, March 22, 2013 /Worldwide Who's Who/
-- Mary Anne Sharp, Director of the Decatur Civic Chorus, has been named a Worldwide Who's Who Professional of the Year in Musical Performance. While inclusion in Worldwide Who's Who is an honor, only a small selection of members in each discipline are chosen for this distinction. These special honorees are distinguished based on their professional accomplishments, academic achievements, leadership abilities, years of service, and the credentials they have provided in association with their Worldwide Who's Who membership.
Ms. Sharp initially became involved in her profession when the first director of the Chorus inspired her to renew her piano and voice lessons; she has been a child prodigy on the piano. This then led to her being named Assistant Director and to choosing music as her career. She has since gained 50 years of experience, 45 years as conductor and 5 as assistant director to Mary Clark, the founder and only other conductor of the Decatur Civic Chorus, a nonprofit civic chorus that travels around the world delivering inspired performances. The organization is celebrating 65 years of continuing service to the public through benefit concerts. As one of the oldest continuing choral groups in the Southeastern U.S., it has provided quality performances to the local community, state, nationally and the world. Decatur Civic Chorus has sung for many prestigious companies, causes and celebrities. The organization can be heard regularly singing within Greater Atlanta, giving two annual concerts every year.
Ms. Sharp provides exemplary leadership as the conductor, choosing the music and all programming. She also works with the executive board on the business end, and markets the organization through TV, radio and print publications.
The Decatur Civic Chorus has hosted the DeKalb International Choral Festival since 1991, when it started. In 1993, Ms. Sharp was named Artistic Director of the festival, bringing over 1,000 singers from around the world as well as renowned Composer/Conductor John Rutter to Georgia from England. In 2000, the Chorus was invited and sang at the largest International Choral Festival in the U/S. in Missoula, MT and in 2006, the Chorus sang in Carnegie Hall under the baton of John Rutter. The Chorus also gave mini-concerts in New York including Ground Zero. In May 2008 the Decatur Civic Chorus sang in the first Memorial Day concert at The Kennedy Center as well as other concerts in Washington, D.C. representing the state of Georgia.
Ms. Sharp has led the Chorus on many major European tours of Italy, Spain, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, England, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands. She has fond memories of conducting in St. Mark's in Venice, at the American Embassy and Trinity College in Dublin, for the U.S. Consulate General in Edinburgh, at an orphanage favored by the king of Spain, at the English Reformed Church in Amsterdam, where the pilgrims worshipped before coming to America, and beside the crypts of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. She has also led the Chorus on tours of the Southeastern U.S., to the World's Fair in Knoxville and New Orleans, Disney World, the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. and Mexico City where the Chorus sang in the palace of Fine Arts with the Mexican Symphony orchestra. The concert was broadcast live to more than 40 million people.
Before retiring after 33 years as an elementary school teacher in the Atlanta Public School System, Ms. Sharp wrote and directed many musicals based on children's literature and Georgia history. Many of them were aired on WABE and PBS.
Named Outstanding Georgia Citizen in 1987 and 1998, Ms. Sharpe has been recognized by the U.S. and Georgia Congress for her contributions to the community through music. She is listed in Who's Who of American Women (1999, 2000), named Woman of the Week by DeKalb News Sun (1982), named Outstanding Woman of DeKalb County (1990), nominated for the prestigious ABBY Award for Community Service in the Arts (1997), and a finalist in the ABBY Lifetime Achievement Awards (2002).
Ms. Sharp received a master's degree in education in 1971 from Emory University. Her thesis was a technical piece of writing designed to teach elementary students how to read music. She also earned a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Oglethorpe University in 1958. She has studied with many well-known choral conductors such as Fred Waring, Norman Luboff and John Finley Williamson. She is proud to serve as Director of the Chorus because she grew up in Decatur and is a product of the City of Decatur School System.
For more information about the Decatur Civic Chorus, visit http://www.decaturcivicchorus.org
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