More than 100 people gathered Friday, Feb. 10 in Columbia Studio A to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Belmont Reasons singers. The night was filled with food, fellowship, stories and song, as well as memories of those who have passed away. It was also a night to celebrate the successes of Belmont’s Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business and its faculty and alumni.
“Belmont has a remarkable way of becoming a part of us – not only in how it equips us for our future professions, but also in the enduring friendships it fosters,” said Chip Hayner, Director of Alumni & Family Engagement. “This reunion was a perfect illustration of both of these, with dozens of alumni having achieved great success, reuniting with old friends and resuming where they left off four or more decades ago.”
The group, active from 1971-1988, was a public relations ensemble for the University under the direction of Robert E. Mulloy, founder of Belmont’s music business program and longtime associate dean. During the 1970s and ’80s over 200 students participated in this ensemble, touring and performing for schools, churches and civic groups across the Southeast.
Many of the group’s alumni shaped the music industry and contributed to the success of Belmont, said Jeff Gwaltney, the reunion committee chairman and alumnus of the group (1976-1980). “I hope this reunion puts a spotlight on Bob Mulloy (in light of the 50th anniversary of the music business program) and the impact [the group] has had on Belmont, on Nashville, and around the world.”
Reasons alumni include industry producers, songwriters and artists like producer Don Koch, country artist Ty Herndon, Steven Curtis Chapman, the most awarded artist in Christian music history, and Gordon Kennedy, known for co-writing the Grammy award winning song recorded by Eric Clapton, “Change the World.”
Nearly half of the members were represented at the reunion that featured a collection of memorabilia and vinyl records the group recorded—which have recently been digitized—along with a time of in memoriam of nine members who have passed away.
Steve Horrell, the group’s student founder was in attendance as well as Pat Mulloy, Bob’s widow, whom Gwaltney described as “the closest thing at the reunion we had to Bob himself in person.”