Since 1998, men from all walks of life and with a wide range of musical talent have come together for the joy of singing and with a desire to give back to the Central Arkansas community. The Conway Men's Chorus presents two free concerts per year, performing to live audiences of all ages.
Since the Fall of 1998, the Chorus has presented at least two full concerts each year. Each Spring the Chorus has offered a Pops concert with a wide range of music genres from classical to contemporary, country to folk, doo-wop to patriotic, and pop-rock to barbershop. Each Fall the Chorus has presented a Christmas Holiday concert featuring a variety of traditional secular and sacred Christmas and seasonal favorites.
Through the years, Chorus members have been men from high school age into their 80s. They have had a full range of musical abilities and knowledge. They have been men from all walks of life and in various fields of employment including agriculture, arts, broadcasting, business, construction, education, finance, labor, law, medicine, music, sales, and retired.
During its history, more than 250 men from Conway and the surrounding central Arkansas area have sung with the Conway Men's Chorus at some time, with about 50 men participating each concert season. Nearly one-fourth of the founding members of the Chorus have been able to continue singing all through the years to the present.
Put simply, members of the Conway Men’s Chorus have been and continue to be men who love to sing and want to give the joy of music back to their community.
Rehearsals for our 2023 Holiday Concert will begin on Monday, September 11, 2023
All Rehearsals are Mondays at 6:00 PM in the choir room of Woodland Heights Baptist Church, 4215 Prince Street in Conway, Arkansas. Enter at the side door off the parking lot nearest the northeast corner of the building.
In the event of winter weather, Men's Chorus rehearsal will be cancelled IF classes at UCA are cancelled that morning.
join the chorus
Do you have to read music to be a singing member?
Singing members do not have to read music to join the Conway Men’s Chorus, though that is helpful. The Chorus does ask that all members have a commitment to the mission of the organization, the willingness to learn, and the desire to perform for our community.
Do I have to audition to join?
No. However, the Music Director and/or an Assistant Director will offer special sessions, if requested, to test your vocal ability and range, sight reading ability, and tonal memorization so as to help best place you in the proper section. These sessions are provided upon advanced request a half-hour prior to the start of a rehearsal during the first 2–3 rehearsal sessions.
When can I join the Chorus?
The Conway Men's Chorus presents two regular concerts each season. At the beginning of each concert period, the Chorus accepts new singing members.
It was early Fall in 1998 when then Arkansas State Representative Tom Courtway invited five of his friends – Jim Beal, Bill Johnson, Richard Hardin, Bill Ward and Arch Jones – to have lunch with him at his Conway law offices. All of these men had some musical affiliation and appreciation. Courtway declared, “I think we should start a men’s chorus. Conway needs it, and it would be a lot of fun.”
From that simple beginning, Richard Hardin, a choral director with the Conway Public Schools, began to direct rehearsals and shortly a group of nearly 60 men sang the National Anthem at a Conway High School football game, and later appeared at the Chamber of Commerce’s Second Monday Luncheon before presenting carols as part of the annual downtown Conway Christmas Parade as their first official concert.
Hardin directed the group for seven seasons before turning over the baton to then Arkansas State Senator and former university music professor Gilbert Baker, who directed it for two seasons. Next came Bill Ward, a church choir director, along with his wife, Suzy, as pianist, who directed the Chorus for five seasons. Other directors since then have been former church choir directors Darrell Spigner, Carlos Ichter, and Kelley Erstine. In January 2009, Sam Huskey, choral director with the Conway Public Schools, became the director of the Chorus and served in that capacity for 18 seasons until February 2018.
continuing the tradition
Since February 2018, Jordan Bennett, who had been serving as assistant director for several season prior, became the Chorus Music Director and currently continues in that position.
Paul Bradley has served as primary accompanist since the beginning of 2006 and currently continues in that capacity.
There have been four board chairmen since beginning in 1998: Tom Courtway, Jim Beal, Bill Ferguson, and current president Mike McCullars.
Our Mission is to give back to our community the gift of music through quality, entertaining, and enjoyable performances.
OUR MISSION & VALUES
To accomplish the mission of the Chorus, we:
Provide the Conway area with public concerts of the best in men's choral music expertly performed under skilled leadership and direction,
Help enrich lives in our community by demonstrating and fostering a love of music,
Cultivate and enhance the public's appreciation of choral music as a desired and appreciated art form through a wide range of musical styles and genres,
Provide an opportunity for male singers to participate in men's choral singing, and
Provide enjoyable fellowship experiences, music education and opportunities for musical self-expression for all chorus members.
Our Values that help shape and focus all Chorus endeavors are:
Friendship ~ to create collegiality and camaraderie among the members of the chorus
Respect ~ to always treat each other with integrity and to support each member at his own level of musical knowledge or singing ability
Quality ~ to work toward artistic excellence and professional appearance while retaining the passion and joy of the amateur
Responsibility ~ to be openly accountable with high integrity in all fiscal and artistic endeavors to our members, audience and community
SUPPORT THE CHORUS
LEVELS OF GIVING
Any gift under $25 with a name or any gift of any amount given anonymously.
$25 –$49: Eighth Note Patron
$50 –$99: Quarter Note Patron
$100 – $149:Half Note Patron
$150 – $249:Whole Note Patron
$250 – $499: Chorus Sponsor(listed with large name or company logo)
$500 – $999: Concert Sponsor(quarter page “ad” with name or logo)
$1,000+:Major Concert Sponsor(half page “ad” with name or logo)
The Conway Men's Chorus is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.
All contributions to the chorus are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
Make a donation ONLINE
To make a donation to support the Conway Men's Chorus, you please click here. We accept Mastercard and Visa donations through a partnership with PayPal for Nonprofits.