More than 60 students gather four times a week as members of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Vesper Choir to practice their impressive vocals in preparation for performance. Directed by Michael Bates, interim chair for the department of music, the ensemble continues its schedule with appearances in Arkansas and abroad.
Organized in 1945 by Ariel M. Lovelace, the Vesper Choir is a service organization that has performed for significant campus and community events, schools, churches and community organizations around the state of Arkansas and internationally. With a mission that is cultural, artistic and educational, the group has produced a long line of distinguished singers, performers and professionals in other work fields and academic including H. Beecher Hicks, prominent theologian, pastor and author; Smokie Norful, Grammy award-winning contemporary gospel artist and pastor; and James McKissic, internationally renowned concert pianist.
Having already performed for Watkin Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, Camden-Fairview Middle School and East Arkansas Community in January and early February, the remainder of the schedule is as follows:
• Saturday — Whispering Knolls Assisted Living Center, 11 a.m. (Pine Bluff, AR)
• Sunday — Brown Missionary Baptist Church at Southaven, Miss., 8, 10, and 11:30a.m.
• Tuesday — Chancellor’s Convocation, 10:30 a.m. (HPER Complex)
• Feb. 24 — St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church at Dermott, 3 p.m.
• Feb. 26 — Youth Motivational Task Force (YMTF), 11 a.m., J.M. Ross Auditorium
• March 1 — Hamilton High School at Memphis
• March 3 — Indiana St. Baptist Church, 4 p.m.
• March 15-25 — Spring Tour
• March 31 — St. Mark Baptist Church at Little Rock, 6 a.m.
• April 6 — Upward Bound Concert at Arkadelphia, 6 p.m.
• April 25 — Founders’ Convocation, 10:30 a.m.
• May 3 — Spring Concert, 6 p.m.
• May 11 — Spring Commencement, Pine Bluff Convention Center
For more information, call the department of music at 870-575-7001.