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Department of Music to present ASU Concert Choir and Miracles Choir of Baddour Center

Feb. 25, 2009 -- The Arkansas State University Department of Music and Office of Disability Services will present the ASU Concert Choir in a joint performance with the Miracles Choir of Baddour Center. The concert will take place on Tuesday, March 10, at 11 a.m. in Riceland Hall, Fowler Center. The concert is free and open to the public. The Miracles choir consists of a group of 24 musically gifted adults who live at the Baddour Center, a residential community in Senatobia, Mississippi. The center is for adults with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities.  

Since the program’s inception in 1979, the Miracles have traveled across the country performing in churches and other venues. The choir logs approximately 15,000 miles every year, performing more than 80 concerts a year, in more than 40 different venues, sharing the love of God and the mission and ministry of the Baddour Center. As a traveling group, the Miracles have a threefold purpose: to give praise and honor to the love, power, and glory of God through testimonials and songs; to bridge attitudinal barriers that may exist toward persons with intellectual disabilities; and to share the ministry and mission of the Baddour Center.

For the residents of The Baddour Center, the group offers individuals the chance not only to be a part of a musical performing group, but also to be treated as professional musicians.  Additionally, group members can use their status to educate the public by sharing their personal stories of adversity and triumph. Many members are proud to show that “we can do it,” refuting a stigma that has followed many of them throughout their lives. They are wonderful examples of how people with disabilities can meet challenges and learn new crafts that might not have been previously considered. The main gratification of being a Miracle is the knowledge that each member will educate people about the potential of persons with disabilities.

More information about booking the Miracles or about the Baddour Center may be obtained by calling (662) 562-0100, ext. 1-265.

The Miracles are under the direction of Ryan Hays. Mr. Hays received his Bachelor of Piano Performance and his Bachelor of Music Education from William Carey College in Hattiesburg, Miss. He has taught music for 9 years, 7 of them being with the Miracles choir. He is a native of Jasper, Ala., and currently lives in Hernando, Miss.

The ASU Concert Choir will begin the program by singing two spirituals by Moses Hogan, “Music Down in My Soul” and “Climbin’ Up the Mountain,” which will be directed by Dr. Dale Miller, director of choral activities, and a spiritual by John Leavitt,  “River in Judea,” which will be conducted by Janet Tullos, graduate conducting assistant. The Miracles will present “We are His Miracles,” words and music by Dick and Mel Tunney, “Untitled Hymn,” words and music by Chris Rice, arranged by Robert Sterling, “I Can Only Imagine,” words and music by Bart Millar, arranged by David T. Clydesdale, featuring soloist Ashton S., and “Testify To Love,” words and music by Paul Field, Henk Pool, Ralph Van Manen, and Robert Riekerk, arranged by Teena Chinn.

The program will conclude with a group of selections performed jointly by the ASU Choir and the Miracles. These selections will be “Colors of the Wind,” arranged by Mac Huff, “What a Wonderful World,” arranged by Russ Robinson, and “He Is the Everlasting God” by Joseph Martin. The combined group will be conducted by Dr. Miller and accompanied by Mr. Hays.

Personnel for the Miracles are
Holly B. of Kingsport, Tenn., Janet B. of Dayton, Ohio, Martha B. of Aberdeen, Miss., Karen C. of Memphis, Tenn., Liz M. of Oxford, Miss., Ashton S. of Mobile, Ala., and Martha Ann S. of Birmingham, Ala., sopranos; Jan A. of Stuart, Fla., Polly H. of Senatobia, Miss., Gay M. of Dallas, Texas, Anna S. of Bolton, Miss., Anne Marie S. of Columbus, Ga., and Mary S. of Senatobia, Miss., altos; Brian H. of Naples, Fla., David H. of Fountain Valley, Ca., John R. of Jacksonville, Fla., Mark S. of Birmingham, Ala., and Bill W. of Clarksdale, Miss., tenors; and Frank G. of Jackson, Miss., Erik N. of Memphis, Tenn., Lynn N. of Senatobia, Miss., Kyle O. of Parker, Colo., Tom S. of Freedom, Pa., and Gene W. of Hattiesburg, Miss., basses.

Personnel for the ASU Concert Choir include Crystal Haralson of Paragould, Angela Jackson of Naylor, Mo., Becky Morrison and Kari Rickman of Jonesboro, Janet Tullos of Cabot, and Roberta Tupper of Bartlesville, Okla., first sopranos.  Morgan Cox of Paragould, Sara Bedingfield and Hannah McQuay of Jonesboro, Dena Bell of Forrest City, Mollie Black of Benton, Katie Fischer of Jacksonville, Melissa Jackson of Pine Bluff, Renee Porter Smith of Kingwood, Texas, and Katie Willeford of El Dorado, second sopranos.  Lauren Bridges of Marmaduke, Rebecca Craft of Jonesboro, Madison Kuebler of Searcy, Katherine Richards of Osceola, and Michelle Shotwell of Manila, first altos. Susan Hulett of Mountain Home, Elizabeth Rountree of Hot Springs, Lorie Shavers of Pine Bluff, and Sloane Simmons of Jonesboro, second altos.  Kyle Berry of Austin, Josh Dennis of Springfield, Mo., Wesley Hooper of Harrisburg, Craig McAlister of Jonesboro, and Justin Stewart of Nashville, Tenn., first tenors. Jeremy Carter of Paragould, Sam Lee, Chris Orr, Willie Sullivan, and Matt Vardell of Jonesboro, and Nick Robbins of Manila, second tenors.  Romero Harper of Wynne, Matt Morgan and Taylor Woodruff of Jonesboro, Mark Parsley of Malvern, and John Sherwood of Searcy, baritones.  Jarvis Brodie and Brandon Stroud of Jonesboro, Gabrien Brown of Newport, Patrick Manes of Bryant, Blake Markum and Jonathan Trail of Paragould, Drew McCann of West Memphis, and Drew Warren of Manila, basses.

For more information, contact the Department of Music at (870) 972-2094.



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