Voices of Courage: Dr. Jeffrey Allen Murdock

Voices of Courage

Making a joyful noise…

Dr. Jeffrey Allen Murdock is an Associate Professor of Music at the University of Arkansas and Conductor of the Inspirational Chorale. Dr. Murdock’s passion for music began at an early age. The Mississippi native has been tickling the ivories on the piano since he was five years old.

 “I took piano lessons and i was playing and singing in church regularly and I knew it would always be apart of my life, ” said Dr. Murdock.

It’s through music and the influence of educators that Dr. Murdock discovered teaching. In 2015 he was hired at the University of Arkansas as successor of the Inspirational Chorale after the passing of long time Conductor Dr. Eddie Jones.  Reggie James, a former member of the chorale, said that Dr. Jones and Dr. Murdock share a common trait.

“They have black excellence across the line when it comes to fine arts and music,” James said.

Anthony Ball, also a former chorale member, said Dr. Jones made a lasting impact on his life.  “He was amazing. I learned so much about music…about being a man.”

Founded in 1977, the Inspirational Chorale is the longest running diversity iniative at the university with a mission to keep black sacred music traditions alive.  The chorale is also deeply rooted in the community. “You would see them at Empty Bowls or volunteering at 7Hills and places like that because it’s important that we give back, ” Dr. Murdock said.

Dr. Murdock is blazing his own legacy.  Out of thousands of submissions and nominations, he is one of ten semi-finalists for the Grammy Music Educator of the Year Award…it’s a recognition, he doesn’t take lightly.

 “I hope that I make my fellow teachers proud and we’ll see what happens next,” said Dr. Murdock.

Remembering those who have opened doors and opportunities throughout his career is near and dear to dr. Murdock. “It was my music teachers who took me  for the first time out of state for festivals and competitions… it was my music teachers who taught me life lessons.”

It’s those experiences and lessons that he wants to pass down.

“I want to be able to impact students lives the way those teachers impacted my life.”

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