PSC Collegiate Choir Performs at Clinton's Inauguration

Since its inception in the late 1890's, the Philander Smith College Choir has traveled across the country to perform in concert for numerous congregations and celebrities, they have competed in and won national coral competitions and in 1990, then governor Bill Clinton proclaimed October 1-6 "Philander Smith College Collegiate Choir Week" in Arkansas (Philander Smith College, 1990).

1990-1991 Collegiate Choir

Just two years later, after he won the 1992 presidential election, Bill Clinton invited the PSC Collegiate Choir to perform at his ingautrion on January 20, 1993. 

The choir made history that day, not just for the state of Arkansas but for HBCU's. The February 1993 issue of the Panther newsletter notes that "This was the first time in a U.S. Presidential Inauguration that a choir from a historically black college performed in the actual inaugural ceremony under the direction of a black conductor, performing an original work written by a black composer while performing with the president's own, the U.S. Marine Band" (Panther, 1993).

The Philanderian also reported from Washinton D. C. that day and in the Winter 1993 issue, editor Mark W. Riley reprinted an article from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that featured another Philanderian First: Dr. Joycelyn Elders was appointed by President Clinton to serve as the U. S. Surgeon General. 

References 

Ford, Wendell, H. (1992, Dec. 8). Letter to Mr. Stephen Hayes, Choir Director, Philander Smith College. PSC Collegiate Choir Collection. D. W. Reynolds Library Archives and Special Collections, Philander Smith College.  

Philander Smith College. (1993, Feb.). Choir scores historic first at 52nd Presidential InaugurationThe Panther, 4(4). PSC Publications Collection. D. W. Reynolds Library Archives and Special Collections, Philander Smith College.  

Philander Smith College. (1993). Dr. Elders named by Clinton as Surgeon General Designate (Reprinted from Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 1990). The Philanderian, 17(2). PSC Publications Collection. D. W. Reynolds Library Archives and Special Collections, Philander Smith College.  

Philander Smith College. (1990). History of Philander Smith College Collegiate Choir [brochure]. PSC Collegiate Choir Collection. D. W. Reynolds Library Archives and Special Collections, Philander Smith College.  

State of Arkansas. (1990). Philander Smith College Collegiate Choir Week declaration. PSC Charter and Proclamations Collection. D. W. Reynolds Library Archives and Special Collections, Philander Smith College.  

 

PSC Collegiate Choir Performs at Clinton's Inauguration