KUAF Arts Beat: UA Gospel Choir Inspires 40 Years of Diversity

Oct 16, 2017

The UA's Inspirational Chorale, led by Jeffrey Murdock, performs inside the Firmin-Garner Performance Studio
Credit Inspirational Chorale

Last week the Firmin-Garner Performance Studio captured the spirit when approximately 30 singers from the University of Arkansas's Inspirational Chorale performed in our bedroom-sized studio ahead of a very special 40th anniversary celebration.

The full gospel gospel choir--accompanied by bass, electric guitar, keyboard, drum kit and one member on our Steinway piano--filled what little space was left with their powerful, haunting harmonies.

What began in 1977 as an extra-curricular student initiative at the UA , is now an academic course in the music department led by Jeffrey Murdock.

"It's been a place of solace for so many African American students," attests alumnus Reginald James. "It was a home away from home, literally." 

"In every sense of the word, being a part of this group is electric," describes Kristen Smith, an undergraduate and current Inspire member.

To mark the momentous anniversary, Inspire welcomes back several alumni to join current students for an anniversary concert at the Walton Arts Center Monday, Oct. 20, featuring a stalwart guest appearance from Grammy-winning Richard Smallwood. 

Stream the entirety of the soulful in-studio performance in the streaming link up top. For more information about the anniversary concert visit the Walton Arts Center website.