News Archives

HPU’s Symphonic Band and Concert Choir to present Christmas celebration concert

BROWNWOOD – November 23, 2015 –Howard Payne University’s Symphonic Band and Concert Choir will present a Christmas celebration concert at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 3, in the university’s Mims Auditorium. The concert is free to the public and the community is encouraged to attend as HPU celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.

Among the program’s selections are Carol of the Bells; A Christmas Festival; Stille, Stille, Stille; and many more. There will also be an audience Christmas carol sing-along.

The Symphonic Band is under the direction of Corey Ash, associate professor of music, and the Concert Choir is under the direction of Dr. Monte Garrett, professor of music.

“The musical selections are sure to get the Christmas spirit in full swing as the students perform many Christmastime favorites,” said Ash.

Those attending are encouraged to bring a canned good or boxed dry good as a donation for admission. All of the goods collected will go to Good Samaritan Ministries of Brown County to aid those who need a helping hand during this winter holiday season.

A reception will follow the concert in the band rehearsal hall of the Davidson Music Complex.

“We hope to see you there but, if not, may your holiday season be filled with the joy of family and friends,” said Ash. “Most especially, may you know the joy of the greatest holiday gift of all time, Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior.”


Photo cutline: HPU’s Symphonic Band and Concert Choir will present a Christmas celebration concert Thursday, December 3, in the university’s Mims Auditorium.

HPU historian publishes encyclopedia of university’s 125-year history

Mangrum and book for webBROWNWOOD – November 23, 2015 – Dr. Robert Mangrum, university historian and professor of history and government at Howard Payne University, has published an account of HPU’s history titled For Howard Payne My All: 125 Years of Christian Higher Education and Service, 1889-2015, An Encyclopedia.

The book, which took 17 years to write, celebrates the university’s history since its founding in 1889. It is available for $30 on DVD or USB Flash Drive from Willie’s T’s in Brownwood. It may also be purchased online at the HPU Stinger Store at All proceeds from the book’s sales will be used to establish an academic scholarship at HPU.

“I am proud to give back to the university in this way,” said Dr. Mangrum. “HPU has played a very meaningful role in my life and my prayer is that the scholarship created from the proceeds helps many students make their own HPU memories.”

During his tenure with the university, Dr. Mangrum has served in numerous capacities on campus, including 30 years as a sponsor of Kappa Kappa Psi National Band Fraternity, four years as faculty sponsor of Student Government, 13 years as director of HPU’s Guy D. Newman Honors Academy (then the Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom) and as associate dean of the School of Humanities. He has served on numerous university committees including three self-study committees for reaccreditation.

He has published numerous book reviews in professional journals and served as contributor to The Vietnam War: An Encyclopedia and as a referee for the Journal of Military History. He is currently in his sixth term as mayor of the City of Early.


Photo cutline: HPU’s Dr. Robert Mangrum is pictured with a copy of his book in DVD format.

HPU’s University Singers to present Christmas concert

BROWNWOOD – November 20, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s University Singers will present their annual Christmas concert Monday, November 30, at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Grace Chapel.

The University Singers is a non-auditioned choir that is comprised of both HPU students and community members. The ensemble is under the direction of Dr. Gregory Church, associate professor of music.

“It is always a pleasure to have both groups in University Singers,” said Dr. Church. “The music-making process is a meaningful way for these two groups of people to come together and interact in working toward a common goal.”

Included in the concert will be music ranging from twelfth-century plainchant to traditional Christmas carols.

“One of the more enchanting pieces in the concert is a setting of William Blake’s poem The Lamb, an original composition by the contemporary composer John Tavener,” said Dr. Church. “The University Singers ensemble has worked diligently to prepare some very challenging music to share as we help kick off the Christmas season.”

The concert is free to the public. For more information, contact the HPU School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500.


HPU’s Huebner and Strebeck to present senior recital

BROWNWOOD – November 17, 2015 –Howard Payne University students Micah Huebner and Hannah Strebeck will present a senior recital on Thursday, November 19, at 7:00 p.m. in the university’s Grace Chapel.

Huebner, a music education major from Brazoria, will perform on the bassoon. Strebeck, a music education major from Highlands, will perform on the flute. Strebeck has been the Clara Freshour-Nelson Scholarship recipient since 2013. Both Huebner and Strebeck are students from the studio of Stephen Goacher, professor of music at HPU.

“The School of Music is proud to present these accomplished students,” Goacher said. “Their four years of intensive study at HPU will be apparent in the program they will present.”

The recital is open to the public and there is no charge for admission. For more information, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500.

Hannah Strebeck for web###

Photo cutline: HPU’s Huebner and Strebeck will present a senior recital November 19 in the university’s Grace Chapel.

HPU to host lectures on global religious freedom

BROWNWOOD – November 16, 2015 – Howard Payne University will host lectures by Dr. Elijah Brown, executive vice president of the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, this Tuesday and Wednesday. The events are free and open to the public.

The 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative is a Christian organization that champions global religious freedom. The group’s mission, according to its website, is to “empower a global movement to advance religious freedom as a universal right through advocacy, capacity building and technology.”

Dr. Brown’s first discussion, “Africa and the New Testament Church,” will be held Tuesday, November 17, at 7 p.m. in the Richard and Wanda Jackson Conference Room of HPU’s Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center. He will lead a discussion on the many fascinating African connections to the New Testament and the early church.

The next morning, Dr. Brown will serve as the guest speaker for the university’s Chapel service, delivering his second lecture, “Global Religious Freedom.” He will discuss the current state of religious freedom and religious persecution around the world. Chapel begins at 10 a.m. in the university’s Mims Auditorium.

“We look forward to learning more about Dr. Brown’s global perspectives on religious freedom,” said Dr. Melody Maxwell, assistant professor of Christian studies. “You will not want to miss these opportunities to learn from and interact with him.”

HPU’s Concert Choir to present fall concert

Concert choir 2015 for webBROWNWOOD – November 13, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s Concert Choir will present its fall concert Tuesday, November 17, at 7:30 p.m. The concert will be held in the university’s Grace Chapel and is free to the public.

A variety of musical selections will be presented including four that feature HPU student soloists or instrumentalists. Psalm 23 (from Songs of Faith) and Sing to the Lord, both by Paul Basler, will feature sophomore Carissa Cromer on horn. Moon River, arranged by Harry Simeone, will feature sophomore Garrett Ratliff on guitar. The Storm is Passing Over, arranged by Larry Nickel, will feature graduate student soloist Joshua Woods ’15.

“The choir has worked hard this semester and is excited to share our program with the campus and our community,” said Dr. Monte Garrett, professor of music and director of choral activities. “We are always grateful for the support we receive.”

For more information, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500.


Photo cutline: HPU’s concert choir will present its fall concert, Tuesday, November 17, at 7:30 p.m.

HPU hosting “iPhonography” art exhibition

iphonography for webHoward Payne University’s Department of Art is hosting the art exhibition iPhonography through December 4. The exhibition, housed in the Dorothy and Wendell Mayes Gallery of HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center, features the photography and digital imagery of Scott Strickland.

Strickland graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a Master of Fine Arts degree in cinematography in 2013. Upon completing his first feature-length film, Thirty-Six, and relocating to Austin, Strickland revamped his interest in photography and began taking photos using only an iPhone.

Masterfully presented by professional framer Daniel Lemus, Strickland’s photographic works capture experiences and events from Austin to West Texas and from Mexico to New Orleans, chronicling his travels from 2012-2014.

“Mr. Strickland’s photography proves that the artist, rather than the medium, creates the art,” said David Harmon, professor of art and chair of the Department of Art. “His photography captures the beauty in the world around us.”

Regular gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., or by appointment. For more information about the show, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500. The Doakie Day Art Center is located on the HPU campus, on Center Avenue, near Lipscomb Street in Brownwood.


Photo cutline: The photography of Scott Strickland will be on exhibition at HPU through December 4.

HPU’s Zeta Beta Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi to present Month of Musicianship concert

BROWNWOOD – November 11, 2015 –Howard Payne University’s Zeta Beta chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi will present its Month of Musicianship recital Friday, November 13, at the university’s Grace Chapel. The concert starts at 6:00 p.m. and is free to the public.

“The month of November is National Month of Musicianship for Kappa Kappa Psi, which is a national honorary band fraternity,” said Joshua Farquharson, Zeta Beta chapter president. “We will perform many pieces from an assortment of artists and composers in varied genres.”

Kappa Kappa Psi’s Month of Musicianship was created to reflect the organization’s goal of celebrating college music. Zeta Beta sponsors include Corey Ash, associate professor of music; Dr. Robert Mangrum, professor of history and political science; and Stephen Sullivan, director of development and alumni relations.

Students to perform include Ryan Contreras, Joshua Farquharson, Angel Hernandez, Micah Huebner, Drew Lambert, Bobby Martinez, Skyler Schoolfield, Hannah Strebeck and Aaron Walling.

Selections to include Duet To It; Tableaux de Provence IV: Dis alyscamps l’amo souspire; Frogs; Grand Russian Fantasia; Trio for Flute, Bassoon, and Piano in F Major; 4 Rotation for Marimba: Rotation IV; Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano Opus 29: I. Andante Maestoso; Groovin’ High and ’Round Midnight. The recital will conclude with all singing the hymn Sweet, Sweet Spirit.

“We hope you come to hear us perform and, if you do, we hope you enjoy our music making,” said Farquharson.

For more information, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500.

HPU Jazz Ensemble to perform fall concert with special guest “Yogi Berra”

BROWNWOOD – November 5, 2015 –The Howard Payne University Jazz Ensemble will present its fall concert this Monday evening, November 9, in HPU’s Mims Auditorium. The concert will begin at 8:00 p.m. and is free to the public.

The Jazz Ensemble will present “What Is Jazz?,” a fun twist on what makes jazz music unique. In the concert, John Nickols, assistant professor of history and political science at HPU, will portray baseball legend Yogi Berra. Throughout the concert, “Berra” explains jazz music in his legendary convoluted style.

Nickols, a baseball aficionado, is the author of “The Last Three Outs,” a baseball novel with Christian themes. Nickols serves as special assistant to the athletic director at HPU and spent many years as a high school and college basketball coach. His sports background and former career as an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation heavily influenced his writing. The book is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Concert selections include melodies by legendary jazz great Duke Ellington such as It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got That Swing; Stolen Moments and Emancipation Blues by Oliver Nelson; and jazz standard On the Sunny Side of the Street by McHugh and Fields.

HPU seniors Gabriella Glenn Guest of Midlothian and Abraham Cooper of Early will perform Stompin’ at the Savoy written by Edgar Sampson and made popular by Benny Goodman. Cooper and freshman Ray Palousek of Holland will be featured in an exciting piano duel during the concert as well.

Other members of the Jazz Ensemble include Alex Atkinson, junior from Haslet; James Buxkemper, freshman from Ballinger; Ryan Contreras, junior from Early; Jarod Dowling, freshman from Grandview; Daniel Eure, freshman from Early; Joshua Farquharson, senior from Wichita Falls; Evan Fleming, junior from Goliad; Abelardo Flores, freshman from Arlington; Brady Hardin, sophomore from Fort Worth; Christopher Harrell, sophomore from Eastland; Angel Hernandez, junior from Brownwood; Alexandra Lemus, freshman from Ballinger; Garrett Ratliff, sophomore from Cherokee; and Katelyn Zimmer, freshman from Shepherd.

The ensemble is under the direction of Stephen Goacher, professor of music.

“We hope this lighthearted look at jazz helps the concert-goer better understand how the jazz listening experience is unique,” said Goacher.

For more information, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500.


Photo cutline: John Nickols, assistant professor of history and political science, will portray Yogi Berra during the HPU Jazz Ensemble’s fall concert.

HPU’s Garrett Ratliff competes in national guitar championship

BROWNWOOD – November 5, 2015 – Musicians of many genres, including bluegrass/jazz crossover guitarist Garrett Ratliff, a sophomore from Cherokee, find success through Howard Payne University’s Department of Music. Ratliff recently competed in the National Flat Pick Guitar Championship in Winfield, Kan., after placing second at a statewide competition in June.

Though bluegrass isn’t taught in HPU’s classrooms and studios, Ratliff has found ways to incorporate the things he’s learned into the genre he loves.

“At Howard Payne, I’ve grown to appreciate jazz music,” he said. “It’s a very complex genre. I’m learning to use a lot of chords and chord progressions that you typically wouldn’t see in bluegrass or any style like it.”

When he was nine or 10 years old, Ratliff’s father taught him a few basic chords.

“He actually introduced me to rock music starting out,” Ratliff said. “So I played rock for a while before I was introduced to bluegrass.”

Ratliff was homeschooled and, after learning those few chords, taught himself to play scales, work with modes and, eventually, read music.

“My mother got me a book on guitar that taught me the proper technique,” he said. “I started playing competitively when I was 16.”

The rules of flat pick guitar competitions require musicians to perform on an acoustic instrument and prohibit the use of finger picking.

Ratliff said bluegrass is an intricate form of music and he plays several instruments in the style.

“I play the mandolin and banjo,” he said. “I’m also learning to play the piano and I have a set of harmonicas.”

At HPU, Ratliff plays guitar in HPU’s Jazz Ensemble. He’s also a member of the Concert Choir and has been involved with University Singers. He counts Dr. Gregory Church, associate professor of music, and Stephen Goacher, professor of music, among his most influential teachers.

In his free time, Ratliff performs at a host of area venues. He recently opened for Grand Ole Opry star Jeannie Seely in Llano.

Dr. Richard Fiese, dean of HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts, said Ratliff is a great student and a gifted musician.

“Garrett brings a very special musical sensitivity to all that he does that transcends style or genre,” said Dr. Fiese. “We are proud of his accomplishments.”

To learn more about earning a degree in music from HPU, contact the School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500.


Photo cutline: Garrett Ratliff, a sophomore at Howard Payne University, recently competed at the National Flat Pick Guitar Championship in Kansas. He is pictured on the HPU campus.