Adult Choir Festival Youth Choir Festival Youth Choir Festival 15th Anniversary

The Festival By the Sea music festivals, begun in 2000, grew out of a need to provide high-quality music festivals for Cooperative Baptist Fellowship churches. This has grown into an ecumenical series of festivals encompassing Youth Choirs and Adult Choirs. Noted clinicians provide leadership for the festivals helping participating choirs achieve levels of performance not normally attained in the local church setting. Choirs leave challenged to work harder and strive for greater achievement in their local music programs. One of the hallmark features of these festivals has been the deeply spiritual worship experiences that have been designed to coincide with the music that has been prepared for the festivals. Not only do participants learn to sing but they learn to integrate their music into a worship framework that has meaning – engaging the heart, mind, and spirit. Additionally, the festivals have provided an opportunity for participants to meet others with similar music interests and build relationships that will last for years to come.

January 27-28, 2023

Emily Burch, Guest Director

Location: First Baptist Church, Charleston, SC

More information coming soon.

How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place, Brahms, Hinshaw, HMC-761

For this Joy, LaBarr, Walton Music, WW1917

Come Thou Fount, Wilberg, Oxford, 0193860600

Ubi Caritas, V. Johnson, Choristers Guild, CGE64

Total Praise, Smallwood, arr. Barnett/Rao, Boosey & Hawkes, 10280032

Let Everything That Has Breath, Ames, Earthsongs

Singers not associated with a choir may contact Mark Kemp ( for help acquiring music.

March 3-5, 2023

Kingston Plantation (Brighton Tower)
9800 Queensway Blvd
Myrtle Beach, SC 29572


Reservations must be made before Friday, January 27, 2023. Here is our group’s Personalized Booking Link.

Reservations may also be made by calling the reservations line at 800-876-0010.
Please give the group code (FBS), in order to obtain the group rate for the accommodations.
You may also go online to  Again, you will need to use the group code (FBS) to receive the group rate.


7:30pm-9:00pm – Check-In and Registration (Palladium Foyer, Brighton Tower)
9:00pm-10:30pm – Rehearsal [Palladium Ballroom]

9:00am-12:30pm (with break) – Rehearsal
8:30pm-10:30pm – Rehearsal


9:00am-9:30am – Rehearsal
9:30am-10:45am – Worship Service
11:00am – Check-Out

More details coming soon!

Lawrence Abernathy

Lawrence Abernathy

Lawrence Abernathy

Lawrence Abernathy is a choral artist based in greater-Kansas City where he is in demand as a conductor, clinician and tenor. He is currently the Director of Choirs at Washburn University where he leads the University Choir, University Singers and teaches classes in conducting and rehearsal techniques, diction, and vocal pedagogy.

Recognized for his engaging and dynamic conducting style, Lawrence is noted as a versatile musician and is comfortable in a wide range of styles and periods. Recent conducting engagements include performances of Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis, Luis Advis’ Cantata Popular: Santa Maria del IquiqueThe Hope of Loving by Jake Runestad and Bach’s BWV 22, Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe with the Bloomington Bach Cantata Project. Lawrence made his international debut in 2017 with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and Elora Singers, has appeared with the Vancouver Chamber Choir and in 2024 will lead a performance of Marianne Martinez’s Dixit Dominus in Paris with Mid America Productions. In addition, Lawrence was the Associate Director for Poulenc’s Gloria at Indiana University, and served as the Assistant Chorus Master for Puccini’s La Rondie, Rossini’s Il barbieri di Siviglia, and Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro produced by the IU Opera Ballet Theater.

Lawrence is a lifelong church musician and has served congregations in Texas, Indiana, South Carolina and Georgia. Before his appointment at Washburn, Lawrence was the Director of Music at A&M United Methodist Church in College Station, TX, Lawrence oversaw a vibrant music ministry consisting of multiple vocal and instrumental ensembles. Highlights of his time at A&M UMC include performances of the requiem’s of Gabriel Faure, and Howard Goodall, Vierne’s Messe solennelle, the Son of God Mass by James Whitbourn and the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah.

Lawrence holds a Masters of Music from the University of South Carolina, and has completed coursework towards the Doctor of Music at Indiana University.