Choral classics, new works, spirituals, opera, folksongs. novelties, contemporary Christian songs—the Harding Chorus explores all areas of the choral art with style and enthusiasm. This select group of 60 voices is chosen by auditions which are held at the beginning of each school year. Preference is given to music majors, but membership is open to talented singers in all disciplines. Rehearsing daily and traveling through this country and abroad, Chorus members develop lifelong friendships, have wonderful musical and cultural experiences, and serve as Harding's ambassadors. The Chorus takes an extended tour each January and shorter trips during the school year in addition to giving a number of concerts on campus and in the Searcy area. They have often appeared with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in the orchestra's Masterworks Series; and in March 2014 they again join with the orchestra to present Verdi's Requiem.
Ten recordings of the Chorus have been released and are available through the Harding Bookstore or at tour concerts.
The group has performed in 37 countries in such venues as the Town Hall in Brisbane, Australia; the Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China; the Festival Hall in Corby, England; the University Church in Oxford, England; the Stiftskirche in Aschaffenburg, Germany; the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy; the Chopin monument in Warsaw, Poland; the Beloselsksy-Belozersky Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia; and the Palazzo del Toscano in Catania, Sicily. In all of their concerts they bring a message of musical excellence and spiritual commitment. In May and June of 2010 the group traveled for three weeks to South America, giving concerts and working with churches in Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Viña del Mar, and Santiago. In May and June of 2014 they will sing in Italy, France, Switzerland, Slovakia, and Croatia.
In May of 2006 the Chorus was awarded the Grand Prix in competition with 14 groups from ten countries in the Mundus Cantat International Choral Festival in Sopot, Poland.
Other vocal ensembles at Harding include the 100-voice Concert Choir; Belle Canto, a ladies' choir; the Chamber Singers; the Belles and Beaux, a pop music ensemble; and the Good News Singers, a contemporary Christian group.
Harding also boasts an outstanding instrumental program, with especially strong marching, concert, and jazz bands. A number of the Chorus members play in the band or orchestra, and they play major roles in the annual fall musical and Spring Sing. The music department encourages its students to develop their vocal, instrumental, and keyboard talents through many avenues.
Here's what other are saying about the Harding Chorus
"The repertoire of the Harding [Chorus]...is extraordinarily diversified and presented in a fashion that no British choir would dare attempt.... This splendidly extrovert and sonorous choir treat every piece as though it were its finale." - the Glasgow Herald
"Hosanna in Excelsis... immediately established the top-flight credentials of the young singers....Tenebrae Factae Sunt... displayed a refinement of phrase and line which was thoroughly sophisticated and entirely admirable." - the Aberdeen Press and Journal
"From their opening... the choir's secure intonation, attention to detail and a huge range of shading emotion and pace were apparent." - the Otago Daily Times (Dunedin, New Zealand)