Few times, if ever, are late night snack runs as enriching and spiritually affirming as the one I happened to make with some friends about a week ago. While placing orders we met two people who are connected through PC’s campus very passionately through song. Run by Ms. Carla Jones and Mr. Orlando Clyburn, Presbyterian College has a little known gem that meets in the chapel connected to Belk every Monday evening at 7:30.
This little known gem, the Student Fellowship Choir, has been a part of the PC campus since 1986. Though originally created and organized by the then-titled Minority Student Union, the Multicultural Student Union today is no longer as affiliated with the Student Fellowship choir as it once was.
Carla Jones was and is the driving force behind not only the existence of this group, but its continuing presence here on campus. Started by Jones in September of 1986 as a student, she has seen the group grow and develop. Jones states, “The purpose is to lift up the name of Jesus through song, and to just dissect the meaning of what each song is, and apply it to our personal lives so that it will be a help for us daily.”
When asked about her own personal involvement with music in a more broad sense, Jones answered with, “I’ve been playing piano since I was four. Music is my life. This is my therapy.” It is clearly evident to all who talk with Jones and Clyburn that this is truly a labor of love. They have great passion for music and ministry so it is only natural that the Student Fellowship Choir primarily focuses on these two aspects of faith.
It is their goal to create an outlet on campus where people from all different backgrounds can meet and reaffirm their religious beliefs by way of song. Clyburn makes it a point to emphasize that being a choir on PC’s campus is “like a family within a family.” Jones and Clyburn stress the importance of this choir being a fellowship among students who wish to sing and be a part of something that not only affects the individual but the community as well. This choir exists to breathe life into and to give a voice to a diverse body of people who long to join in fellowship to express their beliefs.
The Student Fellowship Choir meets every Monday evening in the Belk Chapel at 7:30 p.m. and meets for no more than an hour and a half. For those of you out there who are concerned about an auditioning process, there is no need to fret as members for this group are not chosen, but rather, welcomed. When you get right down to it, this choir’s core is the welcoming of people, a celebration of faith, and an exploration of the heart. As Clyburn puts it, “This is family.”