By Rey Lambatin, Choir Director
At 61 years of age, Pepper Choplin is a full-time composer, conductor, and a self-proclaimed humorist, and has gained the reputation as one of the most creative writers in church music today. After obtaining a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, he went to earn a Master of Music degree in composition from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. With a diverse musical background, Choplin incorporates varied styles such as folk, Gospel, classical, and jazz, in his published works that include over 300 anthems for church and school choir with 20 church cantatas and two books of piano arrangements. In 2013, he made his Carnegie Hall debut in a joint concert with Joseph Martin and continued to conduct three cantatas at the Lincoln Center with 250 voices and orchestra. He currently spends most of his time visiting many schools, churches and conferences, conducting and leading music workshops.
I believe it’s helpful to have deeper appreciation of a music to know a little bit about the person behind the songs, and our CGS Choirs are very familiar with some of Pepper Choplin’s music. As a contemporary composer, quite a number of his compositions have been performed by our choirs in our worship services and church special events, such as the Lent cantata “Come, Touch The Robe,” the Keynote Vocal Group favorites “Lay Up Your Treasures In Heaven” and “Fill-A Me Up”, and this past Sunday’s anthem “Beloved, Let Us Love One Another.” His uncomplicated yet beautiful and catchy melodies, paired with lovely arrangements that lend to exquisite harmonies, create a sound that brings both the singers and listeners to a pleasant musical experience.