Encore Time: Music Returns to Station Street 

By Mary Howard Ade-Glover
Grab the kids, call your bestie, and head to Station Street to visit the new Songbirds launching this fall. The facility, located upstairs inside the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo that once housed the Guitar Museum (now closed), is being revived by the local nonprofit Songbirds Foundation. The space will operate as an interactive learning experience, a rental space, and a performance hall.

During daytime hours, you can learn about the guitar and Chattanooga music history. At night, the facility will operate as a music venue, hosting some of the best artists that tour the Scenic City. For guitar lovers, don’t fret. The new interactive learning experience offers tons of cool vintage and rare guitars, amps, and pedals for you to ogle. Rare guitars are sprinkled throughout the space, and a large celebrity guitar room features guitars owned and played by Chuck Berry, B.B. King, Loretta Lynn, Duane Allman, and many more.

In addition, there are numerous STEAM-based exhibits that teach visitors (of all ages) about the guitar and how it works. There are hands-on exhibits such as, Amplify, Pedal Power, Distortion, What is Sound? and many more. The space also provides several historical exhibits that spotlight Chattanooga’s vibrant music history, The Impressions whose career is rooted here, and the cultural impact of the electric guitar. The space also functions as a rental facility for holiday parties, rehearsal dinners, birthday parties, corporate meetings, or whatever you desire. 

The Songbirds venue includes a performance stage, audio equipment, giant LED screens as well as bar and catering packages. With the stunning vintage guitars on display, your event is sure to rock. At the heart of this new venture is a mission to spur the future of music. All profits generated from the space will support the Songbirds Foundation’s Guitars for Kids program, which provides thousands of free guitars, cognitive music therapy, and free music lessons to kids across the South.

Be sure to check out the Songbirds website to view its exciting lineup of concerts this fall. The 250-person venue offers a variety of seated and standing shows in an intimate setting, surrounded by some of the world’s rarest guitars. Songbirds opens Sept. 18, 2021.