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The Saint Simons Sacred Music Festival, founded in 2019, is an event inspired by the Music and Worship services of the American Choral Directors Association National Conference.  Its goal is to further our sense of community through the healing powers of music.  It is a completely non-denominational endeavour open to any and all singers who wish to make our Golden Isles an even better place to be.   It also exists to introduce new music to our worship community and to support contemporary composers in the genre of sacred music.  We hosted our inaugural composer and clinician Elaine Hagenberg in 2019, and reemerged from COVID with renowned choral composer and clinician Craig Courtney in March of 2022. We are now pleased and proud to host Dr. Z. Randall Stroope in 2023.  You can read about our 2023 composer-in-residence and listen to some samples of his music HERE.  Dr. Stroope will rehearse and conduct our festival “Honor Choir” and lead us in the world premiere of his newest piece, Come, Walk with Me, commissioned by the festival, at a special service Saturday, Feb. 4th at 5:00 p.m.  Want to be a part of choral history?  Join our festival choir!  Our service, Sing for Community, Sing for Peace, is open to everyone.  Donations at the door are warmly encouraged and appreciated. 

January 26 & 27, 2024

St. Simons United Methodist Church
624 Ocean Blvd.
St. Simons Island, GA 31522

Registration to open soon. Stay tuned!


Dan Forrest

Dan Forrest (b. 1978) has been described as having “an undoubted gift for writing beautiful music….that is truly magical” (NY Concert Review), with works hailed as “magnificent, very cleverly constructed sound sculpture” (Classical Voice), and  “superb writing…full of spine-tingling moments” (Salt Lake Tribune). His music has sold millions of copies, has received numerous awards and distinctions, and has become well established in the repertoire of choirs around the world via festivals, recordings, radio/TV broadcasts, and premieres in prominent international venues.
Dan’s work ranges from small choral works to instrumental solo works, wind ensemble works, and extended multi-movement works for chorus and orchestra. His Requiem for the Living (2013) and Jubilate Deo (2016) have become standard choral/orchestral repertoire for ensembles around the world, and his more recent major works LUX: The Dawn From On High (2018) and the breath of life (2020) have also received critical acclaim.
Dan holds a doctorate in composition and a master’s degree in piano performance, and served for several years as a professor and department head (music theory and composition) in higher education. He currently serves as Editor at Beckenhorst Press, Chair of the American Choral Director’s Association Composition Initiatives Committee, and Artist-In-Residence at Mitchell Road Presbyterian Church (Greenville, SC). Details about Dan and his work can be found at