A Tribute to George Sparks


We are deeply saddened by the passing of George Sparks, a true friend and supporter of the Furious Flower Poetry Center. During his nine years as dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, he welcomed the internationally acclaimed Morgan State University Choir to perform with the JMU University Chorale at the 2014 Furious Flower Conference. He encouraged our production of "Throw Your Head Back and Sing: A Memorial Tribute to Maya Angelou," and he spearheaded the appearance of the Grammy Award winning-band Ranky Tanky at the 25th Anniversary of the Furious Flower in Washington, DC.

In so many ways he and his wife Sheryl Gifford showed their appreciation for the work that we do at the center. Dr. Gifford served on the Furious Flower Advisory Board for three years. They were a beautiful and loving couple who treasured all of their time together. 

We will miss George, a man who loved humanity as much as he loved music. These lines are dedicated to his memory:

The spark has not gone out.
It has simply been rekindled
In another sphere
Where music ignites the fireflies
And crickets fill the air
With staccato riffs.
Joanne Gabbin

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Published: Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Last Updated: Thursday, September 17, 2020

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