Longest running choir member inspires others in UCO

Desmond Clark, music composition graduate student, said he has has grown both musically and spiritually through his seven years in the California Baptist University choir.

He overcame trials in his life, both personal and financial, to continue his academic career at CBU over the 10 years he has spent on and off campus.

Clark was playing football for the University of Idaho, when in 2006 he said a friend of his father, who worked for the California Southern Baptist Convention, introduced him to CBU. With a week left before choir camp, Clark auditioned and was accepted to the Shelby and Ferne Collinsworth School of Music.

While it was difficult to adjust to a different atmosphere and environment as a transfer student, Clark said he was soon welcomed into the choir family and made instant friends. Although choir is a big time commitment, Clark said if you love it, it is worth it.

“I do not think you could survive if you did not love being there and being with your family,” Clark said.

Clark is currently working as a music composer as he works toward finishing his master’s degree in December. He writes film scores, creates music for various business’ videos and produces music for Connor Smith, music composition graduate student.

“We have collaborated on many projects, including our musical, ‘Unwritten,’ that was performed at CBU in April 2014, my EP ‘Between the Lines’ and countless original songs and arrangements for the groups at CBU,” Smith said. “Desmond’s heart for serving other people is amazing and definitely Christ-like, and I’m so thankful for both his personal friendship and musical collaboration.”

Clark has served as a vocal coach and taught theory, composition and conducting to Daniel Fox, senior software engineer major.

“He pushes me to do my best,” Fox said. “He is never OK with letting his friends settle for mediocrity and is willing to assist and push them to do better.”

In 2008, Clark’s father’s cancer was worsening before the choir tour that was scheduled that year. Clark said he debated if he should go on tour or stay with his father in his last days. He said his father did not want him to stay behind and encouraged him to go.

“I went for two weeks and it was the most grueling two weeks,” Clark said. “You do not know what is going to happen, if you are going to have to
fly home.”

Clark said those two weeks were the first time he had felt a full connection with God. His father passed away three days after the choir tour concluded.

“It was not about the music, it was not about the traveling and it was not about hanging out with my friends on the tour bus,” Clark said. “God has a plan for all of us. Even if someone is dying, it is the end of their time and we still have to continue to worship Him.”

About Lauren Shelburne

Web Admin

Leave a Reply