First Presbyterian Church

A unique, “Groundbreaking” Concert coming to Conway October 21

Conway Institute of Music

Eight special needs musicians from Jonesboro will present a “one of a kind” Concert Saturday, October 21, 4:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church of Conway.

These gifted singers and one Native American Flute player are no strangers to the stage. They got their start performing in public during a ten-year series of concerts founded 2010 in Jonesboro: “The Role of Music in the Lives of Special Needs Children & Adults”

2019 was the 10th and last concert, with COVID shutting down the next two annual concerts. Pat Qualls, the founder and director of the concerts, resigned and moved to Conway.

Julia Lansford continued to teach six of these singers, giving several concerts every year. Lansford, a 44 year retired Professor of Voice at Arkansas State University, will be bringing her studio of six singers. Also, joining the concert will be another singer and a Native American Flute player.

It has been Quall’s vision, since moving to Conway almost two years ago, to bring these very special musicians to Conway to showcase their talents and love of performing.

Qualls said these concerts had a positive impact on the community of special needs musicians and artists whose sense of belonging and self-confidence has transformed them. Their social and verbal skills increased to high levels never before achieved. It was Qualls’ wish to tell the world that persons with disabilities count and they impact our lives in positive ways.

The musicians include: Darren Lane, Beau Doty, Jonathan Lansford, Chris Pierce, Hunter Rogers, Sara Silas, from the Julia Lansford Special Needs Vocal Studio. Joining them will be Singer Joey Havdala and Mitchell Griggs, Native American Flute Player

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