Singing Men of Arkansas
About SMA
Home News Performances About SMA Sponsorship Membership Store Contact SMA

Singing Men of Arkansas
Our first public performance

Singing Men of Arkansas Mission Statement:
"Singing Men of Arkansas is an auditioned men's choir pursuing professional excellence in choral sound. Utilizing a broad variety of repertoire, SMA endeavors to inspire and entertain audiences through dynamic choral performance."

The idea for Singing Men of Arkansas (SMA) began on October 9, 2007, at a local restaurant with a conversation between two men experienced in vocal participation, presentation and leadership. On October 31, 2007, the idea had expanded to a Governing Council of seven men and an outstanding choral leader and director with national and international experience, Mike Bedford. By the end of that day the name Singing Men of Arkansas was selected. SMA was on its way!

The first audition was held in November, 2007. Demand and interest from men required two additional auditions - December 2007 and January 2008. Therefore, this organization began with 41 quality voices at its first rehearsal on January 15, 2008. All auditions were held at the Jones Center for Families in Springdale, Arkansas. Weekly rehearsals are now held at Ecclesia College in Elm Springs, Arkansas from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Tuesday evenings in the fall and spring semesters.

Singing Men of Arkansas performed in public for the first time on February 3, 2008, at the First United Methodist Church in Springdale, Arkansas.

Enrollment takes place during the months of January for the Spring semester and August for the Fall semester each year. The summer months have fewer rehearsals so that vacations may be taken. We have recorded four musical CDs. You can order the CDs on the Store page.

Click Here to read the Singing Men of Arkansas Articles of Association


Mike Bedford

Musical Director

Jerry Newman

Jerry Newman surrendered to God’s call in the Music Ministry in 1969 at First Baptist Church, Denver City, Texas. He began leading the music in revivals at the age of 16. Along with his involvement in Music Ministry, Jerry performed in numerous musical productions and competitions. He also toured with choirs both nationally and internationally. He studied music and drama at Baylor University in Waco, Texas as well as music and Christian education at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. He received his BBS degree in Church Music and Religious Education from Hardin-Simmons University. For 17 years, he served as Minister of Music at various churches in Texas and Indiana. He also participated in Singing Men of Texas under the direction of Buryl Red and in the Singing Men of West Texas under the direction of Ty Morris.

Jerry Newman now resides in Northwest Arkansas and has been an active member in choirs at both University Baptist Church and First Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He has been a member at First Baptist Church since 1991 and served as Interim Music Director in 1992. He and his wife, Cozelle, own a local catering business in Fayetteville.

Mike Bedford

Associate Musical Director

Bill Burrows

Bill Burrows is a graduate of the University of Arkansas where he attained the degrees of BSE and MSE in music. After graduation, he taught high school choral music for eight years at White Hall High School before taking the position of Director of Choral Activities at Fayetteville High School where he taught for twenty years. During that time, his groups won many awards and contests, toured nationally and internationally, and performed in such venues as Comisky Park in Chicago, Disney World, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the Spanish Steps in Rome, and the Assisi Cathedral in Italy.

He is a past president of the Arkansas Choral Directors Association and is a recipient of the Distinguished Conductor award from that organization. Bill has served as guest clinician, is a past conductor of the Arts Center of the Ozarks Chorale, has been published twice, and is active as a choral adjudicator. He has also served as music director and worship leader in three churches and is currently a Realtor in Northwest Arkansas. Bill serves on the board of the Fayetteville Rotary Club and is a Paul Harris Fellow. He and his wife, Brenda, have two grown children and four grandchildren.


Christopher M. Brown

Unrelated to the well-known rap star (but related to the late Charlie Brown), Christopher M. Brown is a musician known for flexibility. Partially because his mother is a piano teacher, he began studying piano at the age of five, and also has several years of formal training in violin. He also enjoys learning and playing various other instruments including guitar, organ, and penny whistle. Presently the accompanist for the Singing Men of Arkansas, he has been an associate pianist and organist at First Baptist Church in Fayetteville for several years, and is a Controls Engineer at Word Machinery, where he spends most days writing computer programs. Past musical experience includes singing in various church choirs, the Cathedral Choir of John Brown University, and most recently the SoNA Singers; volunteering as the lead keyboardist at First Baptist Church; and substituting for church accompanists. With a background centered in classical and gospel music, he has been influenced by other styles including jazz, rock, modern worship, and traditional celtic folk. His particular desire is to express the majesty, beauty, and character of God through music, and to lead others in worship -- to 'do all to the glory of God'.

Director Emeritus

Mike Bedford

Mike Bedford

Mike Bedford studied music education and Christian education at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas where he received his BS degree. He did additional studies at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, and Incarnate Word University in San Antonio, Texas. He participated in Singing Men of Texas under the direction of Buryl Red and in the Singing Men of West Texas under the direction of Bill Green.

Mike Bedford has extensive experience in choral work. He has conducted large choirs and orchestras in Texas, Florida, Missouri and Arkansas but now permanently resides in Northwest Arkansas. He has produced concerts nationally with such artists as Amy Grant, Sandi Patty, BJ Thomas and Bill Gaither. He formerly served as Vice President on the Gospel Music Association Board of Directors which produces the nationally televised Dove Awards. He has toured choirs and produced concerts both nationally and internationally. Mike Bedford formerly served as Minister of Music at University Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and produced the Fayetteville Christmas Pageant at Walton Arts Center.


Governing Council Members

Jerry Newman
Musical Director
Scott Gage
Membership Manager
Larry Lloyd
Planning & Logistics

Jim Paul
Business Manager
Mike Bedford
Director Emeritus
Bill Burrows
First Tenor Section Leader
Steve Gray
Public Relations/Publicity
Doug Walt
Baritone Section Leader
Tim Reddin
John Harrell
Second Tenor Section Leader
Danny Proffitt
Skip Hernandez
Bass Section Leader
Mike Malony
Social Media


Click Here to read our Privacy Notice. Click Here to read our Refund Policy.
Click Here to read our Shipping Policy. Click Here to read our Terms and conditions for website usage.
Copyright © 2016 Singing Men of Arkansas
Click Here to read our privacy notice. Send comments to our webmaster, Jim Paul