The Celebration Singers is a community show choir and non-profit charitable organization established in 1997 in Abilene, Texas. The Singers' goal is to present quality music to Abilene and the Big Country community at no admission cost. We have not and will not charge admission to attend, and our family-friendly shows ensure people of all ages can enjoy our performances. Because we do not charge admission, we rely on generous donations and support to cover our expenses.
Members of the Celebration Singers come from Abilene, Baird, Buffalo Gap, Clyde, Dyess AFB, Merkel, Noodle, Rotan, Stamford and Tye. Our performances feature a variety of music and include two annual concerts in Abilene’s historic Paramount Theater as well as special programs at other venues throughout the Big Country. We have performed for the American Legion National Convention, Dyess Air Force Base, Abilene Philharmonic, Abilene Zoo, Abilene Art Walk, Abilene holiday events, area colleges, churches, assisted living facilities, retirement communities, Cisco, Cross Plains, Stamford, and Sweetwater. Our shows also feature smaller ensembles that add to the variety and allow more of our members to shine.
If you love music as much as we do, you won't want to miss the Celebration Singers!
CHRISTMAS HIGHLIGHTS FROM 20 YEARS
Come celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Celebration Singers with some of our greatest holiday hits!
7:00 PM • Paramount Theatre, Downtown Abilene •
Annual Spring Show
Annual Fall Show
Spring Highlights from 20 Years
Christmas Through the Ages
All About Feelings
It's All ABout Christmas
Music in America
Christmas Through the Ages
The Magic of Movie Music
In God We Still Trust
50 Years of Hits
Sing of Christmas
All Kindsa Country
From Broadway to Hollywood
Christmas is Love
Becoming a Member
New members are invited to join the organization at the beginning of either the fall or the spring season. Singers should be able to read music, or at least have a "good ear," are quick learners, or have been successful choir members in past ensemble experiences. Rehearsals are held every Tuesday evening during the season, and a final dress rehearsal is held on the evening before the show. Singers should attend all rehearsals and performances and be willing to volunteer with the show's production (sorting music, sewing costumes, creating props, etc) if able. Dues and costume fees are kept to a minimum.
If you are interested in becoming a member or would like more information, please contact us!
Our Director & Accompanists
Betty Ann Blackburn
Ms. Betty Ann Blackburn is not new to the role of the consummate professional performer. She toured with Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians for many years. Betty Ann was selected to be the first artist to introduce a new and innovative instrument called the "Cordovox" which is a combination of an accordion and synthesizer. As the first to introduce this unique instrument, she had to develop techniques in which to showcase it and blend the reeds of the accordion with the electronics of the synthesizer. Because of this unique sound and talent, she has been selected to accompany many recording artists such as Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians and as "Orchestra of Two" with Julius Ehrenworth (master cellist). Ms. Blackburn has appeared on national television with: The Bell Television Hour, David Frost, Johnny Carson, Fred Waring and The Pennsylvanians, Captain Kangaroo plus numerous "Talk Shows" on national and local television programs.
Ms. Betty Ann Blackburn has performed, in concert, throughout 49 of the 50 states, as well as in Europe, and in college and community concerts with rave revues. Ms. Blackburn has performed with the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Shinik Hahm and has also been accompanist to the Abilene Opera Association's productions and accompanied other operas with the Abilene Collegiate Opera. She has also accompanied international opera star, the late Caesar Antonio Suarez on many occasions.
Here in Abilene, Ms. Blackburn has served many years as the accompanist and choir director for Dyess Air Force Base and also with the Hardin-Simmons University vocal department as a staff accompanist.
Lora Lynn Christensen
Lora Lynn Christensen is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music and owner of an independent piano studio for over 30 years in Abilene. She is also an adjunct faculty of McMurry University since 2011. She is the Past State President of Texas Federation of Music Clubs (serving on the board of Opera in the Ozarks) and is a member of the Abilene Music Teachers Association (Texas Music Teachers Association and Music Teachers National Association) and the Harmony Club (TFMC). She is also a founding member of Abilene Opera Association.
Lora Lynn currently serves on the boards of Harmony Family Services, Young Audiences, and the Celebration Singers. She is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Abilene, is an SAI patroness, and is the pianist at St. James United Methodist Church.
Tim Adcock attended the very first rehearsal in 1997 and is a charter member of Celebration Singers. He served as one of the regular accompanists and as a board member for over 10 years. He has played keyboard now for a few shows. He has been a church organist/pianist for 40 years, and presently serves as Organist & Finance Administrator at First Christian Church Abilene.
A native of Iowa Park TX, he is a graduate of Hardin-Simmons University with a BBA degree in Accounting. He maintains an income tax consulting practice and does work for several churches, non-profits, and a few individuals. He is a member of the National Society Tax Professionals, Abilene Community Band where he plays mallet percussion, Big Country Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Kiwanis Club of Abilene, and serves on several other non-profit boards. He also occasionally performs music programs for various organizations and churches in the area.
grew up in a very musical family: his father, a violinist and teacher at the University of Georgia, his step-father, in the producing and recording business with Fred Waring, and his mother, Betty Ann Blackburn, a musician and Director of the Celebration Singers. Mark studied trumpet in his earlier years and was an outstanding member of the East Stroudsburg marching band during his high school years. Mark always had a fascination with the drums and taught himself to play them. He had a rock band, the 25th Hour when he first settled in Abilene while stationed at Dyess in the USAF. He has also worked as a sound engineer for many different groups.
Mark joined the Celebration Singers in 1999 singing tenor. He was also a member of the Celebration Singers Men’s Group. He demonstrated his many talents not only by singing but providing special effects in novelty numbers and also building sets for the Celebration Singers performances. Mark has now been our drummer since 2010 and we are delighted and thankful for the way he enhances our show!
The Celebration Ladies
The Celebration Ladies began their journey as ambassadors for the Celebration Singers with Dr. J.G. Martin soon after the choir was organized in 1997. The group has performed for many organizations such as the Kiwanis Club, the Women's Club, retirement centers, church groups, and many others in and around the community. Their number one supporter is Billie Martin, the wife of the late Dr. J.G. Martin, who carries with her his spirit and his love of music.
The Celebration Ladies' harmonies are second to none, and their lovely voices can fill any room with cheer. And as Irving Berlin's famous song says, "There were never more devoted sisters!"
The Mixed-Up Group
The Celebration Singers' founder, Dr. J.G. Martin, selected several people to join the "Celebration A Capella" group with Dave Small as the coordinator. Betty Ann Blackburn transformed the group into an entertaining comedy group called The Mixed-Up Group, or as we like to say, The MUG. It's called the Mixed-Up Group due to its makup of mixed voices of men and women - and MUG has a nice ring to it, like the ringing a boxer has in his ears when he's been hit too hard.
This mixed-voices group knows how to have fun with every song they sing. Four-part harmonies are no problem for this group. You can be the judge at how mixed-up they really are!
Our Board of Directors
Immediate Past President
Betty Ann Blackburn
Lora Lynn Christensen
Educating organizational members and the community at large in the performance and appreciation for musical art in a variety of forms and presentations of vocal and instrumental music.
Providing the community and public at large with the opportunity to attend public performances of vocal and instrumental performances of well-known and obscure American and foreign vocal and instrumental music.