Texas A&M University Century Singers
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The Texas A&M University Century Singers are Texas A&M University's 80 to 90 member mixed choral group. The current director is Dr. Jess Wade III.
The group was formed in 1970, soon after the previously all male university began accepting undergraduate female students. Bob Jarvis, a freshman engineering student at the time, proposed the group to Bob (Robert L.) Boone, then director of the famed all male Singing Cadets, the university's only other choral group at the time. Bob Boone agreed to direct a mixed choir if Bob Jarvis would pull it together. With the help of another entering freshman, Lee Edmundson, Bob Jarvis blanketed the campus with ads for the first meeting of a new choral group dubbed "The New Tradition Singers." That first meeting, held 19 February 1970, in the Singing Cadet room (119 of G. Rollie White Colosseum) was attended by a fairly even mix of about 60 male and female students interested in singing choral music. Bob Boone was ready with music, and the singing commenced immediately. Bob Jarvis was soon elected to be the new organization's first president, and Bob Boone became its first director. The organization was taken under the Memorial Student Center official student organization umbrella the following school year with approximately 60 members and the "New Tradition Singer" name. Its first public appearance was for the Thanksgiving service in All Faiths Chapel on campus on 23 November 1970, singing a Wallace Hornibrook arrangement for combined choirs of "We Gather Together."
In the late 1970s Bob Boone, affectionately known throughout the growing A&M vocal music program as "Coach," turned over direction of the group to Patricia Fleitas, and the group changed its name in 1976 to "The Century Singers" in commemoration of Texas A&M University's Centennial. In the mid-1980s its direction was taken over by Jess Wade III.
"The Battalion," Vol. 66, No. 31, 22 October 1971. (Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, student newspaper.)
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