UAPB ALUMNI TO HOST UNIVERSITY CHOIR
The Southern California Chapter of UAPB/AM&N Alumni Association is making final preparations to host the renowned Vesper Choir of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). The Choir traditionally goes on tour during the Spring Break in classes at the University.
Alumni Chapter President, Mr. Robert E. Whitfield, Jr., himself a former Choir member who met his wife in the Choir, indicated the excitement he is feeling and stated in a recent interview, that the overall membership excitement and enthusiasm is palpable as planning sessions take place.
The select ensemble, known as the Vesper Choir for its performances at evening worship services on the campus, was founded in the late 1940s and has built a great tradition of what many have referred to as “gloriously clear and crisp” singing in “stirring” and “inspiring” performances which are always “excellent”. The group is headed by Director Dr. Michael J. Bates, who is also Interim Music Department Chairperson. Dr. Bates is ably assisted by Dr. Heidi C. Gordon, Voice Instructor and Assistant Choir Director; in extracting the optimum performances from his youthful scholarship recipients.
The 2012 Spring Tour of the Vesper Choir has been coordinated so that the group will arrive in Los Angeles on Friday, March 23 and perform at three churches and two High Schools, before heading back to Pine Bluff and their slate of academic classes. Before reaching Los Angeles on this tour, the ensemble will have performed in Kansas City, Missouri and Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Southern California Alumni Chapter is taking on the hosting responsibility by providing hotel accommodations for 60 student choir members over three nights. There will also be three meals per day provided while the group is in town. Upon arrival from Las Vegas, anticipated to be around 10 a.m.; the ensemble will entertain an assembly of students at Compton High School. Following their Compton appearance the Vesper Choir will travel across town to Inglewood High School for an afternoon performance.
On Sunday, the three churches receiving the benefits of the Vesper Choir’s exhilarating singing are Bethel A.M.E. at 7900 S. Western Avenue (8:00 a.m. Morning Worship Service); Bryant Temple A.M.E., 2525 W. Vernon Avenue (11:00 a.m. Morning Worship Service); and Grant A.M.E. 10435 S. Central Avenue;, where a 4 p.m. Choir Concert is scheduled. The public is cordially invited to attend any and all, the Vesper Choir performances.
The Reverend Dr. Clyde W. Oden, Jr., Senior Minister at Bryant Temple A.M.E., has accepted the lead role in promoting and organizing the UAPB Vesper Choir appearance in Los Angeles.