News Archives: School of Music and Fine Arts

HPU to host Mannheim Steamroller founding member in concert

Jackson and Almeda BerkeyBROWNWOOD – November 11, 2013 – Guest artists Almeda and Jackson Berkey will perform with members of Howard Payne University’s Concert Choir on Tuesday, November 19, at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Mims Auditorium. Jackson Berkey, a composer and pianist, was a founding member of the multiplatinum-selling group Mannheim Steamroller and spent 39 years as the group’s featured keyboardist. The concert is free and the public is welcome.

“We are fortunate and excited to have two guests the caliber of Almeda and Jackson Berkey on our campus,” said Dr. Monte Garrett, professor of music and director of choral activities. “Their years of touring with the Norman Luboff Choir and Mannheim Steamroller bring a wealth of musical talent and experience which they will share with our students. This will be a real treat for all of us.”

The concert will feature works by Jackson Berkey for solo piano, instrumental ensemble, and chorus and instruments. Both artists will perform original works.

Jackson Berkey’s published catalog includes more than 400 titles encompassing choral, solo vocal and instrumental, chamber ensemble, band and orchestral works, as well as concerti and works for chorus and orchestra. In addition to his work with Mannheim Steamroller, he has had five choir/orchestra premieres at Carnegie Hall in New York. In the classical world, his recordings for American Gramaphone and SDG Records continue to elicit rave reviews. He was named to the International Roster of Steinway Artists in 2009.

Almeda Berkey, a conductor, lyric soprano and lyricist, co-founded Nebraska’s Professional Chorale Soli Deo Gloria Cantorum in 1988 and continues to direct its artistic endeavors. She has 46 years of conducting credits including seven Cantorum recordings. After singing many American-Canadian tours with the Norman Luboff Choir, she was director of choral activities at the University of Nebraska at Omaha for four years. Playing keyboard with Mannheim Steamroller in concert since 1973 has taken her across America, Canada and Europe.

“We hope everyone takes advantage of hearing our students perform with these distinguished guests,” said Dr. Garrett. “The concert is free and everyone is welcome to attend.”

Funding for this event was provided by the Arts Council of Brownwood. For more information, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500.

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Photo cutline: Jackson and Almeda Berkey will perform with members of HPU’s Concert Choir on Tuesday, November 19, at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Mims Auditorium.

HPU to exhibit works of Brownwood artists

BROWNWOOD – October 22, 2013 – Beginning next week, the Howard Payne University art department will present a group exhibition of works by local artists who are members of the Brownwood Art Association (BAA). The exhibition, titled “Self-Curated,” will be housed in the Dorothy and Wendell Mayes Art Gallery inside the university’s Doakie Day Art Center from October 28 through December 6.

“The works have been self-curated by the artists, thus the name of the exhibition,” said David Harmon, chair of HPU’s art department and professor of art. “The artists have chosen only their very best pieces for this show.”

Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or by appointment. For more information about the show, contact Professor Harmon at (325) 649-8088. The Doakie Day Art Center is located on the HPU campus, on Center Avenue, near Lipscomb Street in Brownwood.

HPU Homecoming art show to feature work of Susan Harmon

Susan Harmon artworkBROWNWOOD – October 2, 2013 – The artwork of Susan Harmon will be on display during the 2013 Homecoming Weekend, October 4-6, at Howard Payne University. Harmon’s Sight/Insight Collection is housed in Dorothy and Wendell Mayes Art Gallery inside of HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center.

Susan is the wife of David E. Harmon, chair and professor of art at HPU. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Georgia Southern University and is currently working on her Ph.D. from Monash University of Melbourne, Australia. Her research is titled “Inside Madness: Painted Stories of People who Suffer from Mental Illness.” The Sight/Insight Collection, which features 15 mixed-media pieces, follows this theme.

The gallery will be open Saturday and Sunday, October 5 and 6, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Regular gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or by appointment. For more information, contact David Harmon at (325) 649-8088 or via e-mail at dharmon@hputx.edu.

A complete list of Homecoming 2013 activities is available online at homecoming.hputx.edu.

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Photo cutline: The artwork of Susan Harmon will be on display during HPU’s Homecoming 2013.

HPU to present Homecoming musical “Into the Woods”

BROWNWOOD – October 2, 2013 – Howard Payne University’s Department of Music will present Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Into the Woods” this week as part of the Homecoming 2013 festivities. Show times are Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. at the university’s Mims Auditorium.

The show is a new spin on classic fairytales including Cinderella, Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood.

“The show will be great fun for the entire family, particularly the first act which depicts several fairytales that audiences will remember from childhood,” said Dr. Celeste Church, associate professor of music and director of the musical. “We have a strong cast and beautiful music from the stage, supported by a student orchestra.”

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students/children and may be purchased at the door or in advance by calling (325) 649-8500.

Homecoming Musical

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Photo cutline: HPU will present “Into the Woods” this week as part of Homecoming 2013. Photo by Rachel Ellington, HPU sophomore.

HPU’s Pre-Collegiate Music and Art program announces fall classes

BROWNWOOD – August 6, 2013 – The pre-collegiate program at Howard Payne University is announcing upcoming fall classes in music and art. Classes and lessons are available for both children and adults and will begin on Monday, September 2. The registration deadline for the fall semester is Friday, September 6.

Music classes offered this fall include piano, voice, strings, guitar, band instruments, Kindermusik and the Kids’ Musical Theatre Chorus, “Stinger Singers.” Art classes include beginning and intermediate drawing and painting.

“The Pre-Collegiate Music and Art program at HPU is designed to serve Brownwood and the surrounding communities by providing music and art lessons to children and adults,” said Diane Owens, program director. “Our program fosters the love of music and art inherent in all students and seeks to develop these abilities in each individual. We welcome the opportunity to work with each student and hope that everyone’s experience with the program is fulfilling and rewarding.”

For more information about the program, contact Owens at (325) 649-8501 or via e-mail at dowens@hputx.edu; or Jill Holamon, administrative assistant for the School of Music and Fine Arts, at 325-649-8500 or jholamon@hputx.edu.

Students from HPU’s Pre-College Music program earn honors at state music competition

BROWNWOOD – July 26, 2013 – Twenty-three students from Howard Payne University’s Pre-College Music program participated in the Texas Federation of Music Clubs State Competition, with many taking high honors. The competition was held earlier this summer at Texas State University in San Marcos.

Listed below are the participants in the state competition and their ratings:

Samuel BrownVocal Solo:
All State: Samuel Brown
Outstanding: Seth Adkins, Angie Calfa, Dallas Johnston, Mary McIver, Shayna Oliver and Sarah Reeves

Piano Solo:
All State: Jordan Roberts
Outstanding: Andrew Boren, Vic Cooper, Rayven Deray, Austin Johnston, Kamry Keese, Isaac Lock, Trevor Mickelson, Michael Morales, Sarah Reeves and Trina Wheeless
Superior: James Bautista, Abe Cooper, Christian Fijer and Kylee Medina

Guitar Solo:
Superior: Brennan Medina

Fifty students from the program participated in the District 4A Junior Festival, held on the HPU campus in March. Forty of those students earned a “Superior” rating, making them eligible to compete in the TMFC competition.

Jordan RobertsHPU’s Pre-College Music program, directed by Diane Owens, is a part of the School of Music and Fine Arts. The program offers Kindermusik classes to pre-school children and lessons in art, choir, musical instruments and voice to school-aged children and adults. This past year, 20 teachers, consisting of HPU music and art faculty, students and local teachers, taught more than 100 students who were enrolled in the Pre-College Music program.

Enrollment for the fall semester will begin August 12 and will continue until August 30. Classes begin on September 2. Each semester is 14 weeks in length.

For more information about the Pre-College Music program at HPU, contact either Owens at 325-649-850l, dowens@hputx.edu, or Jill Holamon at 325-649-8500, jholamon@hputx.edu.

The Texas Federation of Music Clubs operates in conjunction with the National Federation of Music Clubs. The NFMC is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to music education and the promotion of creative and performing arts in America. Since its founding in 1898, the NFMC has grown into one of the world’s largest music organizations with club and individual members of all ages. The NFMC is chartered by the Congress of The United States and is the only music organization member of the United Nations. Dedicated to finding and fostering young musical talent, the NFMC conducts annual Junior Festivals with more than 117,000 participants. The NFMC offers more than three quarters of a million dollars in awards through state and national competitions. Federation members work to create a dynamic musical and cultural environment in their communities through education and sponsorship of musical events.

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Photo cutline: Samuel Brown (left), vocals, and Jordan Roberts, piano, earned “All State” rankings at the Texas Federation of Music Clubs State Competition.

HPU music major receives scholarship

Hannah StrebeckBROWNWOOD – June 28, 2013 – Howard Payne University’s Hannah Strebeck, a sophomore music education major from Lavon, was named as one of the 2013-2014 recipients of the Clara Freshour Nelson Scholarship.

The Clara Freshour Nelson family provides scholarships for students studying music in Texas schools. The scholarship is renewable until the student graduates.

The scholarship endowment is administered by the Texas Association of Music Schools, an organization comprised of music executives from colleges and universities in the state of Texas.

Strebeck is a member of the HPU marching band, University Singers and Tau Beta Sigma.

“We are very proud of Hannah for receiving this outstanding award,” said Dr. Robert Tucker, dean of music, fine arts and extended education at HPU. “She represents the highest in musical achievement and academic excellence and is well-deserving of this special scholarship. We are also grateful to the Texas Association of Music Schools for their work with the Nelson family in providing this scholarship.”

Strebeck was honored to receive such a prestigious award and voiced her appreciation as well.

“I’m very thankful to my professors for guiding me in the preparation for this scholarship,” she said. “I have been selected among the top musicians in the state of Texas and it happened thanks to God’s grace.”

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Photo cutline: Hannah Strebeck, a sophomore at HPU, is one of the 2013-2014 recipients of the Clara Freshour Nelson Scholarship.

HPU theatre to present “Dancing at Lughnasa”

BROWNWOOD – April 24, 2013 – Howard Payne University’s Department of Theatre will present “Dancing at Lughnasa,” at the HPU Theatre Thursday, April 25, through Saturday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 28, at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for students and free for all HPU faculty, staff and students.

Written by Brian Friel and first performed in Dublin, Ireland, in 1990, the play received a 1991 Olivier Award for best play of the year in Great Britain and a 1992 Tony award for best play on Broadway.

“As if echoing the uncertainty of spring weather, especially in central Texas,” said Nicholas Ewen, assistant professor of theatre, “this play is a mixture of unexpected humor, romance, turmoil, grief, loss and, ultimately, the sublime appreciation of finding your moment, however elusive or transitory, to abandon all worries and all reason simply to dance.”

HPU cast members include Katie Dobson, a senior from Rowlett; Gabi Guest, a sophomore from Midlothian; Tucker Hull, a junior from Brownwood; Brittany Martin, a sophomore from Goldthwaite; Jared Russell, a junior from Hillsboro; Audrey Smith, a junior from Brownwood; Alex Taliaferro, a sophomore from Haslet; and Jarrod White, a junior from Ben Wheeler. Crewmembers include Ewen, Ben Palmer, a senior from Van; and Dorie Walton, a sophomore from Lolita.

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

HPU composer’s music performed in Washington, D.C.

elisabeth_greeneBROWNWOOD – April 24, 2013 – The works of Dr. Elisabeth Greene, adjunct faculty member in Howard Payne University’s School of Music and Fine Arts, were recently performed in the Washington, D.C., area.

Dr. Greene collaborated with D.C.-area professionals to perform scenes from her opera, “Reading Lolita in Tehran,” at the D.C. Public Library in conjunction with the feature of the book by Azar Nafisi in the D.C. Reads program. Dr. Greene also gave a public presentation about the work to her audience.

Dr. Greene’s new bilingual opera “Ce que raconte le conte/How the Story Goes” premiered in March at the Lycée Rochambeau, a French international school in the D.C. area. The work retells familiar fairy tales in French and English, ending with a surprise modern twist. The work was commissioned by the French school for their presentation of Opéra Comique. The bilingual nature of the text, written by the composer, mirrors the students’ linguistic experience at a French school in the United States.

Greene teaches composition, music history and arranging at HPU. She is currently developing a variety of works for both voice and stage.

HPU announces 18th annual “American Music Spectacular”

BROWNWOOD – April 24, 2013 – Howard Payne University’s School of Music and Fine Arts announces the upcoming performance of the university’s Symphonic Band in its 18th annual “American Music Spectacular,” The Struggle for Freedom. The event will be held Thursday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Mims Auditorium.

The concert will feature music by composers who have helped shape the American musical landscape. Composers to be highlighted include Claude T. Smith, Alfred Reed, Morton Gould and many more.

“This evening of Americana has become a true tradition within the Central Texas area,” said Corey Ash, director of bands at HPU. “It will be a great concert with a different touch as we approach the theme of our country’s struggle to become and remain free. We will celebrate the American spirit and those who have fought and struggled to help win our freedom and democracy.”

There is no charge for admission. A reception in the Davidson Music Complex, directly across from the auditorium, will follow the performance.

For more information, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 648-8500.