The 90-member Concert Choir was organized in the fall of 1988. Members are chosen by audition. The majority of members major in disciplines other than music; approximately 30 majors within the university are represented. The maintains an active schedule. Past performances with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra include the Verdi Requiem, Mahler Resurrection Symphony, and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The Choir also collaborates with the other choral ensembles and the band for joint performances on campus featuring such dignitaries as former President George Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.
Why you should join the Harding University Concert Choir
Every day, members of the Harding University Concert Choir seek to worship and praise God through singing fantastic pieces in an atmosphere filled with friends, fun, and laughter. As musicians, we strive to develop constant attention to musical excellence, a tradition that dates back to 1988, and one we hope to continue for many years to come. By joining Concert Choir, you get the opportunity to nurture lasting friendships with other Christians, and you become a member of a giant, boisterous family – one that will laugh, cry, and pray with you. You will get to know people from every academic major, from art to music to nursing, and will develop relationships that will connect you with every aspect of campus life.
Will Concert Choir be a massive time-drain?
Not at all! With rehearsals only three times a week and little assigned homework, Choir is a very fun and memorable way to integrate into campus life. We have about 8-10 events per semester outside of class—fewer than one per week.
Do you go on choir trips often?
We go on an average of three overnight trips a year: last year we went to Van Buren, Texarkana, and Memphis. Most other performances are usually about an hour long and are performed on campus or in Searcy.
Is memorization of music required?
It depends on the concert. Early in the year we often sing with music. As the year progresses, we move toward singing from memory, but most of the memorization happens in class. Some pieces require it due to strategic hand-clappery.
Will it be fun?
Heaven’s sake, yes! Dr. Neill both nurtures and contributes to an off-kilter atmosphere of laughter and good-natured teasing.
How much does it cost?
Choir fees are only $20 to $30 for the entire year. The course can be taken for one hour of credit (you pay for one tuition hour), or can be taken for zero credit (and thus no fee).
Do I have to be a music major?
No, there are majors from all disciplines, from French to Graphic Design to Business.
How do I get into Concert Choir?
There are open auditions the weekend before the fall semester starts (during Impact). Announcements are posted in the Reynolds Center with information and times for auditions.
Dr. Kelly Neill has been the director of the Harding University Concert Choir for the past three years. Blending a drive for musical excellence with a great sense of humor, Dr. Neill helps make the group rewarding and enjoyable.
The Harding University Concert Choir provides many great opportunities to make friends, improve your musical talents, and expand your musical repertoire. With a fun and engaging atmosphere during rehearsal, members share a sense of belonging to both a family and to an integral part of campus life.
With the fall kick-off at Dr. Neill’s house, new members get the chance to meet returning members in an informal setting, get to know Dr. Neill and his family, eat ice cream, and play some football, Frisbee or card games. Early in September, we have a choir retreat at Greer’s Ferry Lake, where we sing an outdoor concert, swim, play volleyball and have a special choir devotional.
Concert Choir traditionally sings our first major performance of the year at Harding's Bible Lectureship in September.
The remainder of the fall semester consists of concerts, on and close to campus, and an occasional full-day or overnight tour.
In the spring semester the Choir might participate in festivals and workshops, short overnight trips, and other special activities such as the winter banquet. In 2011-2012, we toured Arkansas and Texas, performed in Spring Sing, sang for Condeleeza Rice, and had an amazing experience singing in a women’s prison.
The semester ends as the first one began: with a party at Dr. Neill’s house. In a way, this is best part of the year, because you come to realize that you’ve spent some wonderful time with the people surrounding you, and that you’ve shared your life with them as much as they have with you.
Concert Choir recordings are a tangible and lasting source of inspirational music for personal enrichment and ministry. Proceeds from recording sales defray the choir's expenses. We appreciate your support of our work.
Recordings may be ordered through AudioWorks, HU 10765, Searcy, AR 72149, or by calling 501-279-4439.
The Lord Bless You and Keep You
His Grace Reaches Me
Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah
Night with Ebon Pinion
We Shall Assemble on the Mountain
You are Holy
There’s a Stirring
En momentos así
Yo soy la luz del mundo
El Señor te bendiga
Amarte solo a ti, Señor
Walk Together Children
Give Me Jesus
Signs of the Judgment
Come, Ye That Love the Lord
Conversion of Saul (Stroope)
O Vos Omnes (Casals)
Cantate Domino (Monteverdi)
El Hambo (Mantijarvi)
Open Thou My Eyes (Rutter)
Alma Mater (Ritchie)
Aug. 23 Fri. - Welcome/Ice Cream Social, Dr. Neill’s house, 6:30 p.m.
Aug. 26 Mon. - Men’s Sectional/Uniform Night 8-10, Chorus Room
Aug. 27 Tues. - Women’s Sectional/Uniform Night 8-10, Chorus Room
Sept. 11 Sat. - Greer’s Ferry Concert/Retreat, all day
Sept. 20 Fri. - Presidental Inauguration 2 p.m. Benson
Sept. 30 Mon. - Lectureship concert, Benson, 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 9-10 Sat-Sun - Concert trip-Location TBA
Nov. 2 Sat. - sing for CACF, Benson
Dec. 4 Wed. - Caroling at Harding Place/River Oaks Village (during class)
Feb. 8-9 Choir Tour, Location TBA
Mar. 29-30 Choir Trip, Location TBA
April 22 Tues. - Searcy Choir Concert, 7:00 Searcy HS
April 26 Sat. - Cookout/Awards at Dr. Neill’s, 6:00
Erin Shadduck, Soprano
Lots of people hear that I give up my lunchtime slot on MWF for choir, and they say, “But you don’t have a break!” But I really do. I love walking into that room a three times a week and sharing something so special with ninety other people. It’s so much fun, and I can only imagine how happy it makes God to hear us offer our talents back to Him, and LOVE doing it. It’s infinitely better than a lunch break, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Jeanie Cavender, Soprano
Choir is happy! I love the carefree environment – everyone leaves their inhibitions at the door and has a good time. I always leave choir with a song in my head, and my spirits lifted. My dearest friends have come from choir, and I wouldn’t trade my experiences there for anything else.
For me choir was the beginning to a wonderful harmony-filled semester at Harding University. It added at least 100 different friends and people to my group of friends. Friends who I knew I would see on a regular basis and friends who are from some very different backgrounds. Choir has been a very enriching environment to me, teaching me discipline and fun throughout the years. Also, it’s always cool to have so many talented people around, knowing that they had to pass through the same audition you did at some point.