When the Furman Singers alumni celebrate their 20th biennial reunion Aug. 4-6, they will present a concert Sunday, Aug. 6 at 10:30 a.m. during the worship service at First Baptist Greenville. The public is invited to attend.
For the highly anticipated gathering, over 160 members of the Furman Singers are currently registered.
The Furman Singers was founded in 1946 by the late DuPre Rhame who retired from the Furman faculty in 1970. The reunion began in 1979 with Rhame and then Furman music professor Bingham (Bing) Vick, who jointly led the Singers.
After 40 years as conductor of the Singers, Vick retired from the Furman faculty in 2010. Furman alumnus (1984) Hugh Ferguson Floyd took up the baton to direct the Singers as the Bingham L. Vick, Jr. and Judith S. Vick Professor of Music at Furman. Both Vick, now director emeritus, and Floyd will lead the Singers in the Aug. 6 concert.
Accompanying the Singers are several celebrated alumni. Tim Effler (Class of 1986) is organist and musical assistant at Dallas First Methodist Church (Texas). Nancy Lyons Smith (Class of 1971) is organist at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Greenville, and a former faculty member at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities.
Says Vick, longtime conductor and artistic director for the Greenville Chorale, “It’s not unusual for college choirs to hold occasional reunions. With the strong bonds formed through rehearsals and performances throughout the college years, life-long friendships and sometimes marriages are forged. What makes Furman Singers reunions so special is that they occur every other year, and routinely attract around 125-150 alumni from around the world and from all vocations and musical experiences.”
The Furman Singers Alumni Association, which represents more than 1,600 members, is led by president Fred DeFoor (Class of 1977), minister of music at St. Andrews Baptist Church in Columbia, S.C.
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