News Archives: School of Music and Fine Arts

HPU to present Music Theatre Workshop on Thursday

Howard Payne University’s Music Theatre Workshop class will present a music theatre scenes program titled “Relationships: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” on Thursday, April 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Mims Auditorium. The informal program is free of charge and all scenes are family-friendly. The public is encouraged to attend.

While the Music Theatre Workshop class often supports the major HPU music theatre productions, the class this semester is focused on building stage skills for singers in a workshop setting. These scenes are offered in a less formal way and with minimal set pieces, props and costuming. Thursday’s performance will feature students practicing their skills in selected scenes from various Broadway favorites as well as operatic selections.

Students who will perform include freshman Caleb Bostick of Brownwood, junior Camila Cotter of Garden Ridge, freshman Taylor Davis of Alvin, freshman Josiah Hughes of Katy, sophomore Ryan Miles of Goldthwaite, freshman Sadie Perez of Brownwood, junior Brendyn Porter of Red Oak, freshman Andreahnna Rosenquist of Brownwood and junior Natalie Stephens of Alvarado.

Dr. Celeste Church, dean of institutional research and effectiveness and associate professor of music, directs the Music Theatre Workshop class. Joseph Dunlap, instructor of music, will accompany the class on the piano during the program.

“This is a talented group of young singers who are developing a new awareness of ways to communicate on stage,” said Dr. Church. “It will be an entertaining show and I know these students will enjoy sharing their work.”

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

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HPU’s Walling to present senior recital

Aaron WallingBROWNWOOD – March 27, 2017 – Howard Payne University senior Aaron Walling of Georgetown will present a recital on Thursday, March 30, at 7:30 p.m. The recital will take place in the university’s Grace Chapel and is free to the public. All are encouraged to attend.

Walling will graduate this May with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a minor in music. After graduation, Walling plans to begin work toward his doctoral degree specializing in physical therapy at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene.

Walling is a student of Corey Ash, associate professor of music and director of bands. The recital includes a wide repertoire representative of different musical periods and styles. Walling will perform on trumpet, flugel horn and cornet. During the finale of the recital, a brass choir will join him.

“Although Aaron is not a music major, he has been a major component of what we have done in the instrumental music department for the past four years,” said Ash. “I am excited by his love for music and I hope that everyone will come out to support him as he finishes up his time at HPU.”

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

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Cutline: HPU senior Aaron Walling will present a recital on Thursday, March 30.

HPU’s TaShana Hooker to present senior recital this Thursday

TaShana Hooker March 2017BROWNWOOD – March 22, 2017 – Howard Payne University senior TaShana Hooker from Carrollton will present a recital on Thursday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m. The recital will take place at Grace Chapel in the university’s Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center. The recital is free to the public and all are encouraged to attend.

Hooker is a music education major with a focus on the clarinet. She is from the studio of Stephen Goacher, professor of music, and will graduate in December 2017. Hooker was a recipient of the HPU Woman’s Club Yellow Rose Scholarship in the spring of 2015 and the Servant Leadership Award in the spring of 2016.

“I have enjoyed TaShana’s work in my clarinet studio for the past four years,” said Goacher. “A gifted musician, her playing displays depth and clarity. We look forward to presenting her in a senior recital.”

Hooker’s repertoire includes a clarinet sonata by Paul Hindemith and Victor Babin’s eight “Hillandale Waltzes.” Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, chair of the Department of Music and professor of music, will accompany Hooker on the piano.

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

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Cutline: HPU senior TaShana Hooker will present a senior recital on Thursday, March 23.

HPU Jazz Ensemble to present spring concert this Thursday

jazz ensemble for webBROWNWOOD – March 7, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s Jazz Ensemble will present its spring concert Thursday, March 9, at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Mims Auditorium. The concert is open to the public and free of charge.

A featured selection will be Artie Shaw’s arrangement of “Indian Love Song” with sophomore Katelyn Zimmer and senior Alex Atkinson. Zimmer, on clarinet, is a music education major from Shepherd, and Atkinson, vocalist, is a music education major from Haslet. Other selections include “Jitterbug Waltz” by Fats Waller, “Ah-That’s Freedom” by the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band, “J&B” by Oliver Nelson and “Tickletoe” by Lester Young.

The HPU Jazz Ensemble has illustrious accomplishments including Outstanding Collegiate Band awards for seven years at the Temple Jazz Festival and performances at the North Texas Jazz Festival.

“We are pleased to present our students to the community in a celebration of the great American music, jazz,” said Stephen Goacher, professor of music and director of the ensemble.

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

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Cutline: HPU’s Jazz Ensemble will present a spring concert on Thursday, March 9. Pictured are two of the concert’s soloists, junior Alex Atkinson (left) and sophomore Katelyn Zimmer (center), and the ensemble’s director, Stephen Goacher, professor of music (far right).

HPU Student Speaker Bureau wins TIFA debate championship

SSB TIFA Spring 2017BROWNWOOD – March 3, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team recently won the debate championship at the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association spring championship tournament, held at Blinn College in Bryan. Braxton Clark, senior social science global studies major from Southlake, and Isaac Sommers, senior social science jurisprudence and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Boerne, were the top parliamentary debate team at the tournament.

The HPU SSB team won second place overall in debate sweepstakes and second place overall sweepstakes, competing against 24 schools from Texas and Louisiana.

Clark was also named third place top speaker; Christopher Freeland, sophomore biochemistry and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Bangs, was fourth place top speaker; and Sommers was seventh place top speaker.

The debate team of Freeland and Tyler Olin, social science jurisprudence and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Howe, were also quarterfinalists in parliamentary debate.

“These debaters have been working extremely hard in preparation for this tournament,” said Dr. Julie Welker, head of HPU’s Department of Communication and SSB coach. “TIFA is especially difficult, as we are the only private university competing in debate against much larger state schools. I’m always impressed with our outstanding students when they win so many awards against some of the best teams in the state.”

HPU beat teams from the University of North Texas, Texas A&M University, Texas State University and others to clench the championship.

The team also began competing in International Public Debate Association style debate last year. IPDA is a one-on-one debate style that provides an opportunity for individuals to develop advocacy skills in a forum that promotes appropriate and effective communication.

Both Clark and Sommers advance to IPDA quarterfinals, and Clark was named sixth place IPDA speaker.

Also competing at the tournament in debate were Morgan Ashmore, senior communication major from Weatherford; Reagan Grisham, junior communication major from Arlington; Gabrielle McWhirter, senior theatre major from Crosbyton; Madison Neal, freshman communication major from Chandler; Isabelle Stahrfisher, freshman communication major from Fort Worth; and Haylee Williams, sophomore communication major from Bellville. Competing in individual speaking events were Grisham, McWhirter and Neal, as well as Brooklyn Britton, freshman theatre major from Brownwood; Erin Haley, sophomore communication major from Mason; and Aimee Orozco, junior communication major from Shepherd.

Sidni Kirby, instructor of communication, is the assistant coach of the team.

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Cutline: HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau recently won the debate championship at the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association spring championship tournament. Left to right: Sidni Kirby, Braxton Clark, Reagan Grisham, Isabelle Stahrfisher, Gabrielle McWhirter, Morgan Ashmore, Isaac Sommers, Madison Neal, Christopher Freeland, Haylee Williams, Tyler Olin, Brooklyn Britton, Erin Haley, Aimee Orozco and Dr. Julie Welker.

HPU hosting juried student art exhibition through March 20

student juried art exhibitionBROWNWOOD – March 3, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s Department of Art is hosting “Best of 2016-2017: A Juried Student Exhibition” through March 20 in the Dorothy and Wendell Mayes Art Gallery inside HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center. The exhibition features more than 50 works of art by 18 students.

Curating the exhibition were HPU art faculty members Julie Mize, adjunct instructor of photography; Susan Harmon, adjunct instructor of art; and David Harmon, professor of art and chair of the Department of Art. Featured artworks include mixed media, felt weavings, collages, ink on paper, screen prints, charcoals, ceramics and more.

Students who won awards for their art are Travis Adams, junior from Brownwood; Christy Ash, senior from Brownwood; Colby Compton, senior from Early; Lydia Conrad, junior from Brownwood; Kaeli Goodgion, junior from Comanche; Ally Henry, freshman from Canyon Lake; Cecily McIlwain, sophomore from Dayton; Drew McNeill, senior from Brownwood; and Corey Ross, freshman from Navasota.

Additional student artists featured in the show are Ryan Adams, junior from Brownwood; Keith Baker, freshman from Houston; Joy Hall, freshman from Fort Stockton; Caelob Hardman, sophomore from San Saba; Sheena Nalley, freshman from Rochelle; Amy Pitman, communications assistant/web editor and student from Zephyr; Tiffani San Miguel, senior from Burleson; Doris Walton, senior from Weesatche; and Trey Weidner, freshman from Cedar Park.

David Hill, assistant professor of art at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, served as juror for the exhibition. He called jurying an art exhibition a rewarding yet challenging task.

“How does one select any individual artwork over another, especially given the often subjective qualities and intensely personal act of making art?” he asked. “It can take courage for an artist to submit work to be judged in a competition, so I want to acknowledge that fact and congratulate all the students who have work included in the exhibit.”

In examining each artwork, Hill looked for evidence of technical skill and craftsmanship with the chosen media as well as an understanding of composition and the formal elements and principles of making art.

“Having narrowed down my selection, I then looked for artwork that resonated with me, whether it be with content, creativity or an exceptional use of materials,” he said. “I want to congratulate all the winners and encourage all of the students to continue to pursue their art.”

The gallery is open weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be closed for the university’s Spring Break, March 13-17. The Doakie Day Art Center is located on the HPU campus, on Center Avenue, near Lipscomb Street in Brownwood. All inquiries may be directed to Harmon at 325-649-8088 or dharmon@hputx.edu.

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Cutline: HPU’s Department of Art is hosting “Best of 2016-2017: A Juried Student Exhibition” through March 20.

HPU theatre to premier play by alumnus and staff member Matthew Rutkowski

Salted With Fire poster for webBROWNWOOD – February 24, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s Department of Theatre will open performances next week of “Salted With Fire,” a play by Matthew Rutkowski, alumnus and admission counselor for HPU’s El Paso Center. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 2, through Saturday, March 4, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 5. The HPU Theatre is located at 202 Whaley Street in Brownwood.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and free for all HPU faculty, staff and students with university ID. For tickets or more information, call the university box office at 325-649-8516. Additional performances will be held at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview on Tuesday, March 6, at 8:00 p.m. as part of the Christian University Theatre Festival.

Dr. Nancy Jo Humfeld, chair of the Department of Theatre and professor of theatre, directs the play and Nicholas Ewen, assistant professor of theatre, is the scenic and lighting designer. Both are excited about bringing the play to life on the HPU stage.

“It is a first-rate drama filled with great humor and genuine human tragedy,” said Dr. Humfeld. “Most importantly, it is a spellbinding exploration of the Christian soul in the light of personal sin, redemption and community interaction and interdependence.”

“Salted With Fire” is inspired by the book of the same name by George MacDonald, associate of authors such as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. The play poses the question, “Why does God let bad things happen?”

“My hope is the audience leaves with the perspective of a good and loving God who walks with us through the difficult times,” Rutkowski said.

Ewen said the opportunity to present an excellent Christian drama by an HPU alumnus is a unique experience. Rutkowski was a student in Ewen’s 2010 online playwriting course.

“Matt is a very talented playwright and just reading the script touched my heart,” Ewen said. “I told Matt that I thought his play would be perfect for the HPU Theatre, but that it would help if there were a few more roles for our student actors.”

Rutkowski was thrilled with the prospect of expanding the cast and, after a few edits, both Ewen and Dr. Humfeld agreed the play was ready for production at HPU and as the university’s entry in the Christian University Theatre Festival (CUTF).

“Touring this show for CUTF is exactly the kind of work that we have been longing to do,” Ewen said. “This proves that there are great Christian plays out there and that HPU is committed to bringing performances that not only have quality and depth but also are a beautiful reflection of our faith and values.”

Dr. Adrial Gil, director of HPU’s El Paso Center and associate professor of business, said the faculty, staff and students of the El Paso Center are extremely proud of Rutkowski.

“He is a creative and passionate young man that is sharing his God-given talents with others,” Dr. Gil said. “We are grateful he is a part of our team!”

Matt Rutkowski for webRutkowski, who is involved in theatre in El Paso, shared insight into his experiences in writing “Salted With Fire.”

“Prayer has always been at the heart of every play I’ve written,” he said. “‘Salted With Fire’ began late one night as I asked the Lord if He wanted our El Paso theatre troupe to continue. We had just finished one production as I stumbled upon the works of George MacDonald. I instantly connected with his stories of faithfulness through the storms of life.”

Rutkowski began drafting the material for the play and praying for the Lord’s direction when he felt God leading him in framing the play differently than the book.

“Thus, the final script became less ‘based on’ and more ‘inspired by’ the original source,” he said.

Rutkowski additionally found guidance from his mentors at HPU.

“Professor Ewen and Dr. Humfeld have been such amazing people to work with and I so appreciate their vision,” he said. “They have directions I never would have considered. They see the staging in such a neat way. This is why I love theatre. It is alive and moving and constantly changing with the interpretation of others.”

Above all, Rutkowski said, he feels humbled to know there are people investing their hearts and valuable time in the production.

“The directors are devising the best means of transferring the words to the stage,” he said. “The crew is working out how to technically support the story. The actors are finding personal meaning and voice in the words.”

Dr. Humfeld said the play has sparked positive discussions in class and in rehearsal.

“Our students are really internalizing the play and analyzing in depth the meaning of every scene,” she said. “It is gratifying to see that level of interest and commitment to the production. They are doing an excellent job and I am so proud of them. I truly believe the audience members will be entertained and inspired by this production.”

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Cutline: HPU’s Department of Theatre will open performances next week of “Salted With Fire,” a play by Matthew Rutkowski, alumnus and admission counselor for HPU’s El Paso Center.

HPU’s Symphonic Band to present spring concert

BROWNWOOD – February 22, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s Symphonic Band will present its first concert of the spring semester on Tuesday, February 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Mims Auditorium.

“The band will present an exciting program titled ‘Around the World in 60 Minutes,’” said Corey Ash, associate professor of music and director of bands. “This concert will celebrate worldwide musical styles, and the band will exhibit different cultural flavors and experiences from western European countries, the Americas and beyond.”

Selections include “Four Scottish Dances” by Malcolm Arnold, “Irish Tune from County Derry” by Percy Grainger, “Wedding Dance” by Jacques Press, “Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral” by Richard Wagner, “La Fiesta Mexicana” by H. Owen Reed and many more.

There is no admission charge for this concert and the public is encouraged to attend.

“Bring a friend and come enjoy an evening of exciting music compliments of HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts and the Symphonic Band,” said Ash. “You won’t want to miss it.”

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

HPU extends call for entries for “I-10 Two” contemporary juried-art exhibition

I-10 Two logoBROWNWOOD – February 22, 2017 – Howard Payne University’s Department of Art has extended a call for entries for its upcoming juried-art exhibition, “I-10 Two: A National Exhibition of Contemporary Two-Dimensional Art.” Artists may enter up to three pieces of art and entries will be accepted through March 20.

This exhibition is open to all living U.S. contemporary artists residing above and below Interstate 10, the southernmost transcontinental highway ranging from San Diego, California, through several states including Texas and onward to the east in Jacksonville, Florida. Submissions of all 2-d art forms in abstract, non-representational/non-objective and realist imagery will be considered.

The exhibition’s organizer, David Harmon, chair and professor of art, shared his thoughts on the event.

“HPU’s Department of Art is excited to provide this exhibition for a second time – this time in the spring semester,” Harmon said. “We hope to have a large variety of contemporary 2-d artwork entries from all over the area and around the country. This is a great opportunity for the university, those entering artwork and patrons who will visit the exhibit. Art is a wonderful thing.”

The exhibition will be held March 29 through May 5 at the Doakie Day Art Center, located on the HPU campus on Center Avenue, near Lipscomb Street in Brownwood. The gallery is open weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Please visit www.hputx.edu/i10artexhibit for further information including entry guidelines. Direct all inquiries to David Harmon at 325-649-8088 or dharmon@hputx.edu.

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HPU to exhibit work of senior art student Colby Compton

Colby ComptonBROWNWOOD – January 20, 2017 – Howard Payne University will exhibit the artwork of Colby Compton, senior studio art major from Early. The exhibition is scheduled January 23 through February 17 in the Dorothy and Wendell Mayes Art Gallery inside HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center.

Compton’s senior project has centered upon the completion of a body of consistent acrylic landscape paintings, evoking his interests in both fantasy and science fiction. He has studied the paintings of 19th-century artists such as Frederic Church and George Inness as well as several 20th century surrealist artists including Rene Magritte.

“A sense of mood, place and space are all revealed,” said David Harmon, professor of art and chair of HPU’s Department of Art. “Visual interest is achieved and maintained as a result of his use of a limited palette of colors, evident in his mysterious landscape paintings.”

Harmon said Compton is devoted to the formation of artistic concepts, craftsmanship, imagination and skills.

“This has resulted in consistent, original creative solutions in his overall HPU studio coursework,” he said.

The gallery is open weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Doakie Day Art Center is located on the HPU campus, on Center Avenue, near Lipscomb Street in Brownwood. All inquiries may be directed to Harmon at (325) 649-8088 or dharmon@hputx.edu.

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Cutline: HPU senior Colby Compton is pictured with “Violet Eye,” one of the paintings from his upcoming exhibition.