Arts Council youth chorale large in quality

Published 2:16 pm Tuesday, February 22, 2011

(L-R) Nic Patterson, Jessie Kate Davis, Becca Blankenship, Jon Connor Davis and Brenda Seale. (Special/Phoebe Robinson)

By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist

Shelby County Arts Council President Terri Sullivan desired to create a youth chorale to offer students from fourth through eighth grade a quality music program that teaches voice and music theory.

She chose gifted musician Nic Patterson to be its director.

The chorale debut performance at the Have a Heart for the Arts luncheon was a hit. Small in quantity but great in quality, the chorale’s sound was magic. Soloist Becca Blankenship, Jessie Kate and Jon Conner Davis angelically sang accompanied by pianist Brenda Seale.

Patterson came to Columbiana one year ago to become the director of worship arts and program ministries at Columbiana United Methodist Church. He is married to wife Kim and they have three children: Gracie, 5, Silas, 3, and Ainsley, 8 months.

Patterson, a profoundly talented pianist, was the first student from his Alabama hometown, Kellyton, to be accepted to the Classical School of the Alabama School of Fine Arts.  Patterson won many piano competitions and was awarded a full tuition scholarship to the University of Montevallo.

He also became the music director of his first church at age 16.

However, music was not the only love in his life. Patterson excelled in training dogs, specifically collies. At age 18, Patterson left college and moved to Pennsylvania to competitively show dogs.

He worked full time as a church music director, taught music therapy to severely mentally and emotionally challenged young people, and gave private piano lessons.

He also made three piano CDs available at A Time Remembered, Meditation and Sounds of the Season.

Patterson’s life was forever changed when teaching music therapy; he heard an alert and went to answer the call.  Patterson found an enraged emotionally disturbed student beating his personal assistant.

Patterson threw his body over the unconscious man and the student began to beat Patterson for 20 minutes until more help arrived.

Patterson was in ICU for one week and recovery for nine months from his injuries.

His heroic action left him with the inability to memorize music, and suffers from post traumatic stress disorder.

Patterson moved to Alabama after his recovery, became a licensed United Methodist minister, and was led to Columbiana where his music gift has transformed the CUMC’s programs.

Patterson’s three goals for the chorale are to develop good self esteem; read music; and  gain exposure to quality music.

Scholarships are available for need. For info to join the chorale, call 669-0044.

Phoebe Donald Robinson can be reached by e-mail at

About Phoebe Donald Robinson

I am President of Donald Real Estate and Ins. Co., Inc., a company that my grandfather , Charles J. Donald, founded in 1925. I am the third generation owner of the business. I am also the Columbiana Columnist for the Shelby County Reporter.

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