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story.lead_photo.caption Photo submitted The Singing Men of Arkansas will be taking requests at Riordan Hall at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 5. The unique format is an early Mother's Day gift, according to member Mike Malony.

When the Singing Men of Arkansas take the stage at Riordan Hall on Sunday, May 5, it will be a different kind of concert. The group of about 50 men will be taking requests.

They started by compiling all the songs they've learned in recent years and came up with a list of about 30, member Mike Malony said. Since the Singing Men never use sheet music in a performance, that means all 50 members have already memorized those 30 songs, he explained.

Singing Men of Arkansas

present

Our Best and Mom’s Requests

Riordan Hall

3 p.m.

Sunday, May 5

For more information or to request songs

SingingMenofArkansas.org

The songs are listed on the group's website, singingmenofarkansas.org, and voting has already begun. The top songs will be arranged into the first part of the May 5 show.

On the day of the show, the audience will choose the songs that will make up the second part of the show.

"It's an early Mother's Day gift," Malony said. "We wanted to make it fun and special."

The list includes some religious songs, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God"; some patriotic songs, "God Bless the USA"; and some old favorites, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

Malony said the men sing without sheet music because it creates a more compelling performance. The performers are free to make eye contact with the audience, and that adds excitement.

For the performers, it can be a challenge to memorize so many different songs, but that also makes it fun.

"We want to challenge ourselves to be the best professionally, not just another choir."

The group, a 501(c)3, was started about 12 years ago. Some members work in music as music teachers and church choir directors. They range in age from high school students to retirees, but the average age is probably in the low 50s. Many of them, Malony said, sang in high school or college and, as they got older, realized that they missed singing. They rehearse once a week in Springdale.

They have toured in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas and have worked with well-known gospel artists.

About once a year, Malony said, they perform sacred music in a prison. Both the performers and the audience enjoy that experience, he said.

They also sing the national anthem at Razorback games on occasion.

"We can do a pretty powerful national anthem," Malony said.

General News on 04/10/2019

Print Headline: Local choir plans special show

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