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Christian recording artist Kelly Garner will be in concert at the ACHS Fine Arts Building Saturday, April 22nd at 7 pm with the ACHS Choral Department. Kelly Garner began her career as a gospel recording artist at Diadem Records after graduating from Belmont University in 1992. While finishing her degree, she worked as a background vocalist and hand music copyist. Her debut album was released and distributed by Brentwood-Benson in 1995 while she was touring extensively across North America. She became an exclusive staff writer for Niles Borop at Centergy Music Group from 1998-2003. Other artists in the gospel market first recorded several of her original songs. ‘Stand & Testify’ was originally recorded by Vestal Goodman & The Martins. ‘There At The Cross’ was originally recorded by Brian Free & Assurance. ‘I Stand Redeemed’ was recorded by Legacy Five, went to #1 on Southern Gospel Charts for 2 months in 2000, was nominated for a Dove Award for Southern Gospel Recorded Song Of The Year in 2001 & was nominated for a Southern Gospel Music Award in 2001 for Song Of The Year. 

While staff writing at Centergy, she was asked to teach Commercial Voice for Belmont University in 2001. She concurrently worked on a Master of Arts in Jazz Studies from Middle Tennessee State University, graduating in 2004. In 2006, she left Belmont and returned to industry work, building Yellow Tree Music Publishing and Big Dog Studios from 2006-2011. Kelly was also the Assistant Professor of Commercial Voice in the School of Music at Belmont University. In 2019, she was recruited to build a program for Union University in Jackson, TN, and successfully built a fully-accredited commercial music program, a Master of Music in Music Technology, and a 1,300-square-foot recording studio before her departure in 2022. Dr. Garner is now back to pursuing her first love, the very reason she moved to Nashville 32 years ago, to be a recording artist and create content. She has just completed recording a gospel album with Grammy-nominated producer, Kris Crunk, which was released on April 16th. 

Kelly will be working with Appling County High School Choral Department on Friday, April 21st, and Saturday, April 22nd before the concert. The choirs will be joining Kelly onstage during the concert as her backup choir. On Sunday, April 23rd Kelly will lead worship at Christ Community Church at the 10:30 am service and at Hillcrest Baptist Church in Hazlehurst at 6 pm. She will return to the school on Monday, April 24th to talk with the students about the recording industry in Nashville as well as share her knowledge of the recording studio with our high school music technology classes.

Karen Davis, ACHS high school choral director, stated, “I am excited to have Kelly at our schools to pour into our students. She is a phenomenally talented vocalist who also has a loving generous heart that loves to pour into others. We are blessed to have her in our county.” 

The concert Saturday night is in the ACHS Fine Arts Center and is free and open to the public.