Singing Men of Arkansas
SMA Membership
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Men interested in auditioning for Singing Men of Arkansas should contact our Membership Coordinator, Scott Gage ( Each January and August, SMA recruits new members. Auditions are required and conducted by our director, Jerry Newman. Our next round of auditions will be held in August, 2017. Each prospective member of SMA needs to complete and sign the SMA Membership Application as well as the SMA Standards of Membership form (see the links below), which all members of SMA commit to each year. Email these back to or bring them to the audition.

Click Here for an SMA Membership Application (PDF Format)

Click Here for the SMA Standards of Membership (PDF Format)

Singing Men of Arkansas (SMA) is composed of men from all walks of life who are volunteering their time, effort and skills to a distinctive community musical venture. Some have music degrees or extensive choral experience (even on Broadway!). Some members had no experience beyond singing in a school or church choir. Our director is looking for men who can carry a tune, read music (or learn how to quickly), sing a variety of musical styles, blend their voices with a group of men, and give their energy to a fun and fantastic experience. Our members come primarily from Washington and Benton counties in Northwest Arkansas.

Click Here to see the names of our Current SMA Membership

Click Here to see the names of our Charter Members

Our musical leadership selects what will be sung from both sacred and secular music reflecting a wide variety of musical styles. Specialized quartets made up of SMA members will be formed as it gains its maturity. Ensembles and small groups may be formed to perform at lower-attendance community organizations from time to time as our membership enlarges.

Rehearsals will take place during the Spring semester and the Fall semester each year. The summer months usually have fewer rehearsals.

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SMA Section Leaders

Second Tenor

John Harrell


Doug Walt


First Tenor

Bill Burrows


Skip Hernandez


Member Testimonials about their SMA experiences

Mike Bedford, Director
"When I was in the 8th grade, I was invited to sing in the Cooper High School A Cappella Choir in Abilene, Texas. I was the youngest member by a year or two, but I took my place on the risers and experienced the incomparable beauty of a fine choir for the first time in my life! I've never gotten over that moment! Since that day I have been passionate about helping others experience that same joy that I experienced as a 13 year old.

"There's something about men singing together that makes people stop in their tracks and listen; especially when those men have worked hard to get it right. Our Singing Men of Arkansas have a work ethic and determination that is seldom found outside the field of sports! When you hear a really good choir, it's like sitting at the table for a gourmet meal. You may not be a connoisseur, but you know when it taste good! Our guys work hard on diction, phrasing, unification of vowels, tuning, dynamics, and blending. It shows in the performance.

"Our men are multi-dimensional. It offends me when some people equate singing in a choir with being a sissy! Some of our guys ride their motorcycles to rehearsal. Others have distinguished themselves in various sports and as leaders and officers in the military. Many have extensive backgrounds in music as professional performers and conductors. Some of our men have never experienced being in a highly trained, disciplined chorus before. I've never been associated with a more diverse and exciting group of men than Singing Men of Arkansas.

"At one time or another, most men have had someone say, "you can't sing!" Don't believe them. We evaluate every voice in private before admission to our choir. Generally, if you can hear, you can sing or at least "learn to sing."

Steve Gray, Baritone
"My name is Steve Gray, and I have loved singing as long as I can remember. Most of my background as been with church choirs, weddings, and funerals. I have sung in a few quartets and performed roughly 20 solos.

"What I find the most impressive about our group is that we have a member who as sung on Broadway and off Broadway before. He is quite good and offers us a professional perspective.


Jerry Newman, Bass
"It is my honor to be on the Governing Council of the Singing Men of Arkansas. In the months of work leading up to the first rehearsal, I expected us to have a pretty good sound. But to my surprise, the balance of the sections, and the number of really good voices was amazing. Under the leadership of Mike Bedford, our talented Director, the Singing Men of Akansas is becoming a great choir. SMA does not settle for mediocrity, but strives for excellence. We work hard, and enjoy great fellowship. Being a member of the Singing Men of Arkansas is an awesome experience."

Jim Paul, Second Tenor
"I have enjoyed singing in SMA and making many new friends as we practice and sing together. The challenge of learning to sing a wide variety of different styles of music has been fun and is stretching and improving my musical skills. "

Johnny Tittle, Second Tenor
"In October of 2007, I was asked if I would like to become part of the foundation of men to form a men's chorus in Northwest Arkansas. With my love for music and thirty-five years of choral work, I jumped at the opportunity. We set some parameters and formed a core group to promote and organize the choir. From this came Singing Men Of Arkansas. The progress has been phenomenal and the quality has been outstanding. Our director, Mike Bedford, has challenged each member to the max. I have not been involved in the level of music we perform since college days. I have never experienced the level of fulfillment and fellowship which I have experienced with the Singing Men Of Arkansas. I am excited about starting our next semester after Labor Day."

John David True, Bass
"Being a member of the Singing Men of Arkansas has been a great joy to me. It has reminded me that there is no greater vocal sound in this world than that of an all men's choir. The relationships I have both developed and renewed has been wonderful but most important, my wife says it has improved my singing. Since this is an organization that can get a positive comment out a wife, you should join immediately."

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