Smith Named New Choral Director for Area Symphony

Siloam Springs, Ark (September 15, 2000) — John Brown University is pleased to announce that Paul Smith, associate professor of music, has been named choral director of the North Arkansas Symphony Chorus. "The North Arkansas Symphony Chorus has had a tradition of excellent choral directors which have included professor Jack Groth, Paul Summerlin and most recently Dr. David Saladino," said NASO director Jeannine Wagar in making the announcement. "I am excited about the new direction and enthusiasm which Smith will bring to the North Arkansas Symphony Chorus for this season."

An undergraduate of Tabor College (Kan.), Smith completed graduate work in both choral and vocal arts at California State University at Los Angeles and holds a master's degree in vocal performance from Wichita State University. "Paul is known throughout the United States as a choral and vocal clinician. Many of our patrons will remember his baritone role in the recent symphony and choral performance of Oriff's 'Carmina Burana' last season," said Wagar. "He brings a wealth of experience in the art of choral music to the position. His choirs have long been known for their rich musical and tonal texture, and high performance technique. Because he holds degrees in vocal performance, Paul seeks to blend into his chorus a high degree of vocal vitality and health."

Smith anticipates the opportunity of bringing together the quality and talent of both the North Arkansas Symphony Chorus and John Brown University's Cathedral Choir. The JBU choir has performed several times in the past decade with the orchestra, but has not recently been featured with them. Smith is entering his 14th year as a member of the JBU music department and will direct JBU's 76th Christmas Candlelight service.

"I passionately believe in the ability of choral music to enhance people's lives," said Smith. "Little attention is given to the soul in our techno-centered society. I hope to encourage greater participation form the Northwest Arkansas region, and see the ensemble grow into a first rate symphony chorus."

John Brown University is a private university with an enrollment of over 1,500 students from 46 states and 30 countries. JBU is a member of the Arkansas Independent Colleges and Universities as well as the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.