Handy Avery has lived in the Tennessee Valley since 1976. During that time he has served the Highlands Baptist Church in Huntsville, (1976-1984), First Baptist Church of Scottsboro (1984-2002). He has led choral groups, handbell and children’s choirs, volunteer and professional orchestras, and maintained a private studio of voice pupils. Choirs under his direction have sung throughout the southeast as well as on the stage of Carnegie Hall in New York City, the World’s Fair in Knoxville, and as invited guest performers for Opryland, USA. He was called to Weatherly in October of 2002.
Handy is a member of the Tennessee Valley Handbell Association, the Alabama Singing Men, the Alabama Ringing Men and the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers. As soloist he has appeared with the Huntsville Scholar Cantorium, Huntsville Community Chorus and Symphony, and has sung the tenor roles in Messiah and Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. In 1995 he played the role of El Gallo in The Fantastics for the Scottsboro Little Theater and has performed with the Northeast Alabama State Junior College in Rainsville. In 1999, he became a featured writer for Worship magazine.
Handy Avery was raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama , attended local schools and earned a BS in music education from the University of Alabama. He holds a Master of Church Music degree with an emphasis in choral conducting from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He has studied with William Steven, Frank Stovall, Virginia Botkin and William Vennard. He has sung with John Rutter, Sir David Willcocks, Terre Johnson, Robert Shaw and Donald Nouen performing in Nouen’s acclaimed interpretation of Mozart’s Coronation Mass. Married to the former Elaine Kirk of Tuscaloosa, the Avery’s have one daughter, Ashley and reside in Huntsville.