Tradition

Today I wandered down to the basement to paint and listen to old records. As I was sifting through our record box, I happened upon a 1989 record of the one and only Samford A Cappella Choir.

My heart swelled as I put the needle onto the record, the room filling with gospel music. I found the record down in the basement about a year ago, but never really took the time to listen to it.

I was wow-ed at the change of sound in our choir in the past 20-30 years. Since Dr. Gene Black conducted the choir, there have been three conductors: Dr. Milburn Price, Dr. Tim Banks and the current Dr. Philip Copeland. Each one has left a distinctive legacy, of which I am so thankful to share in and glean from.

Kathleen Martinson and Dr. George Koski came before the four I just mentioned. They were the building blocks of the choir. Last year, we were honoured to sing at the 100th birthday celebration of Golda Koski, Dr. George’s wife.

Dr. Black, the choir conductor at the time of the record, is a legend. One of the sweetest men you will meet, Dr. Black brought meaning and passion to the choir, serving from 1966 to 1999. He is very involved in the Samford A Cappella Choir Alumni Association, which gathers annually to sing.

Dr. Milburn Price is the conductor I know the least about. However, he served as the national ACDA president from 1999-2001 and also as the Dean of the School of the Arts from 1993-2006.

I also have a lot of respect for Dr. Banks. He is still an avid supporter of the choir, frequently attending concerts and always encouraging us. He was actually at the National Collegiate Choral Organization Conference that we sang at in October! It was great to have a familiar face in the audience.

Finally and most recently, Dr. Copeland is a master conductor. He is a genius in interpretation and dynamics, and I love being under his conducting and leadership. It is such a privilege to sing and learn under the direction of such an esteemed choral conductor.

It being my third year in the choir, I have a lot of memories! My favourite thing about the legacy of Samford A Cappella Choir is that each year, the choir always sings “Beautiful Savior” at end-of-semester concerts. We invite alumni to the stage to sing with us, and we hold pinkies in order to stagger breathe efficiently but also to carry on tradition. It has been an honour to sing with and for singers who founded the choir in 1939.

Please enjoy these photos and reminisce with me about your favourite record. Do you have one?

Here’s a link to buy the record on ebay if you so wish! IMG_4905

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