News Archives: School of Music and Fine Arts

HPU Jazz Band to present fall concert featuring Dr. Tarik Hassan of New Orleans

BROWNWOOD – October 13, 2016 – The Howard Payne University Jazz Band’s fall concert will feature jazz bassist Dr. Tarik Hassan and will be held on Thursday, October 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Mims Auditorium. The concert is free of charge and open to the public.

Dr. Hassan is a distinguished scholar, performer and composer from New Orleans who has performed at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Les Cultures du Monde in France, and Snug Harbor and House of Blues jazz clubs in New Orleans.

This year, the band’s program will present classic jazz styles such as Cool, Bebop and Latin Jazz. A new jazz arrangement of George Gershwin’s 1932 orchestral work “Cuban Overture” will be presented as well as a big-band adaptation of the Modern Jazz Quartet’s 1953 tribute to gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt.

“We are pleased to present our students and Dr. Hassan to our campus and community,” said Stephen Goacher, director of the ensemble and professor of music. “This concert will be a celebration of this great American music – jazz.”

The HPU Jazz Band has garnered numerous accolades in its rich history. More recently, it won consecutive Outstanding Collegiate Band awards at the Temple Jazz Festival from 2006 to 2009 and gave other performances and awards at the festival in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Additionally, the band performed at the North Texas Jazz Festival in 2010.

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


Cutline: New Orleans jazz bassist Dr. Tarik Hassan will perform during the HPU Jazz Band’s fall concert on Thursday, October 20.

Scholarships awarded to three HPU pre-college music students

BROWNWOOD – October 11, 2016 – Three students from Howard Payne University’s Pre-College Music and Art Program were recently awarded scholarships at the 18th Annual Music Scholarship Awards in Eastland during the town’s Rip Festival. The scholarship awards were presented by the Nancy Seaberry Frost Arts Endowment.

The Mary Frances Bishop Memorial Scholarship was awarded to 13-year-old Sarah Ann Reeves, a piano and voice student from Goldthwaite. The Wilda Dragoo Music Scholarship was awarded to piano students Christopher Ivy, age 6, and Kyle Ivy, age 12, both of Brownwood. The three scholarship recipients are students of Diane Owens, director of HPU’s Pre-College Music Program.

Each student must present letters of recommendation to the scholarship committee and write a personal letter explaining why he or she is deserving of this monetary award. Academic accomplishments and community service are also factors in becoming a recipient of one of the scholarships.

“I am very proud of these three students,” said Owens. “They all work hard to do their best, are always well-prepared for their lessons and have a love of music. It is a great pleasure to work with them and see them develop into fine musicians.”

NSF Arts has awarded hundreds of music scholarships and sponsored more than 100 concerts across Texas since 1999. NSF Arts is a proud sponsor of many youth music programs in the state that provide concert tickets and music education experiences for Texas school children.

For more information about HPU’s Pre-College Music and Art Program, call 325-649-8500.


HPU’s Yellow Jacket Band given new drum major stand

BROWNWOOD – October 11, 2016 –  Howard Payne University’s Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma groups recently purchased a new drum major stand for the HPU Yellow Jacket Band. Pictured are HPU’s Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma group members along with Corey Ash, director of bands and associate professor of music (second row, far right), and Dr. Robert Mangrum, group sponsor, university historian and professor of history and government (third row, far right).



HPU to host UIL speech and debate workshop for area schools

BROWNWOOD – October 7, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau, the university’s award-winning speech and debate team, will host a University Interscholastic League speech and debate workshop for area high schools. The workshop will take place on Thursday, December 1, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Bullion Suites of HPU’s Mabee University Center. The cost is $25 per student and coaches are admitted at no charge.

Workshops will be held for both novice and experienced competitors. Events will include prose, poetry, informative and persuasive extemporaneous speaking and Lincoln-Douglas and Cross-Examination debate. Experienced competitors are encouraged to bring competition pieces and cases. Students will receive experiential learning and coaching help from college competitors with innovative ideas, creative instruction and results-driven performance.

“We are pleased to be offering this annual speech and debate workshop for area schools,” said Dr. Julie Welker, chair of the Department of Communication and professor of communication.
“We have an exceptional team of 14 forensic competitors on our HPU team this year and they have both the experience and expertise to help coach high school students.”

For registration and other details, please contact Dr. Julie Welker at

More information about Howard Payne University is available online at


HPU students advance at Rice University Speech and Debate Tournament

dsc_0418BROWNWOOD – October 7, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team recently competed at the Rice University Classic Speech and Debate Tournament at Rice University, in Houston. Two of HPU’s debate teams advanced to the partial-octofinal round at the tournament.

HPU students who advanced in competition include Braxton Clark, senior social science global studies major from Southlake; and Christopher Freeland, sophomore biochemistry and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Bangs; Reagan Grisham, junior communication major from Arlington; and Andrea Balderas, junior biology major from Lytle.

Students must have had a winning record in preliminary rounds to advance. Thirty-two teams from 21 participating schools competed at the tournament.

Dr. Julie Welker, professor of communication and chair of the Department of Communication, directs the team.

“For our first tournament of the year, this is a great accomplishment,” Dr. Welker said. “The tournament at Rice University always draws very competitive teams, so for HPU to advance two teams is quite an accomplishment.”

Students also competed in eight other speech events, including impromptu speaking, extemporaneous speaking, poetry, prose, programmed oral interpretation, informative speaking, persuasive speaking, and dramatic interpretation.

Freshman Erin Haley, communication major from Mason, said that her first collegiate speech tournament was a good learning experience.

“It was unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of, and I’m excited to continue competing and developing my pieces,” said Haley.

Also competing at the tournament were Morgan Ashmore, senior communication major from Weatherford; Brooklyn Britton, freshman theatre major from Brownwood; Gabrielle McWhirter, senior theatre major from Brownwood; Madison Neal, freshman social science jurisprudence major from Chandler; Tyler Olin, sophomore social science jurisprudence and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Howe; Aimee Orozco, junior communication major from Shepherd; Isabelle Stahrfisher, freshman communication major from Fort Worth; and Haylee Williams, freshman communication major from Bellville.

Sidni Kirby, instructor of communication, assisted by travelling with and coaching the team as well.


Photo cutline: Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau competed at Rice University recently with two teams advancing in competition. Pictured from left are: Dr. Julie Welker, Morgan Ashmore, Braxton Clark, Aimee Orozco, Isabella Stahrfisher, Madison Neal, Christopher Freeland, Gabi McWhirter, Erin Haley, Brooklyn Britton, Isaac Sommers, Andrea Balderas, Haylee Williams, Reagan Grisham, Tyler Olin and Ms. Sidni Kirby.

HPU to host world premiere of choral work by alumnus

Alumni_Choir_LogoBRdr-william-batesOWNWOOD – September 23, 2016 – The Howard Payne University Alumni Choir will present a concert featuring the world premiere of HPU alumnus Dr. William Bates’ setting of “O Sing to the Lord a New Song” on Saturday, October 29, at 1:30 p.m. The Alumni Choir will perform during the university’s Concert Choir performance in HPU’s Grace Chapel. All HPU choir alumni are invited to join the choir and be a part of this exciting world premiere during Homecoming.

The new piece was composed by Dr. Bates to honor the HPU music faculty of the class of 1966.

Dr. Bates earned his Bachelor of Music degree in organ and church music as well as a Bachelor of Arts in music theory from HPU in 1966. He went on to earn both his Master of Music and Doctorate of Music degrees from Indiana University. Dr. Bates has presented recitals and workshops for churches and American Guild of Organist chapters throughout much of the United States. He has also presented recitals in Europe, including those at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, and King’s College in Cambridge, England.

Dr. Bates’ teaching career spans a total of 46 years. He served at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina, as professor of organ and music history, associate dean and director of graduate studies for the university’s School of Music. In 2012, Dr. Bates was named a recipient of the Oswald Gleason Ragatz Distinguished Organist Alumnus Award at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.

The Alumni Choir will make its first appearance at Homecoming with hopes of growing the ensemble to explore more performance opportunities. The choir will gather from 8:30-9:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 29, to rehearse and will be showcased at 1:30 p.m. during the Concert Choir concert. The Alumni Choir will present the world premiere of Dr. William Bates’ new piece and join the HPU Concert Choir on Fettke’s “The Majesty and Glory of Your Name.”

The Alumni Choir and the Concert Choir are under the direction of Dr. Christopher Rosborough ’08, director of choral activities.

“The HPU choral program spans nearly 70 years and we are excited to be able to celebrate generations of great music-making on this momentous occasion,” said Dr. Rosborough. “Being an HPU alumnus, I am honored to share in this experience. We are grateful to Dr. Bates for his contribution and encourage the public to come be a part of this ‘new song’ in the HPU School of Music and Fine Arts.”

To join the Alumni Choir, visit

For more information, contact the HPU School of Music and Fine Arts at 325-649-8500 or visit


Photo cutline: HPU will present the world premiere of a choral work by alumnus, Dr. William Bates. All HPU choir alumni are encouraged to join the Alumni Choir and celebrate this honor.

HPU’s University Singers choral group welcoming new members

BROWNWOOD – August 25, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s community and collegiate choral group, the University Singers, is welcoming new musical enthusiasts into its membership.
Membership is open to residents of Brownwood and the surrounding areas as well as HPU students.

The goal of this group is to cultivate an ensemble of singers within the community and the university who strive to offer a high level of artistry while advocating for great choral music in Brownwood and the surrounding communities. This unique choir at HPU presents two concerts per year, one at Christmastime and another in the spring.

The choir is under the direction of Dr. Christopher Rosborough, the newly appointed director of choral activities at the university.

“Through participation, choristers can expect to glean a balance of exposure to great choral literature, thorough vocal instruction and, ultimately, a knowledge and execution of musical excellence,” said Dr. Rosborough.

Rehearsals will be held each Monday night from 6:30 p.m. – 7:50 p.m., beginning on August 29, in Room 503 of the university’s Davidson Music Complex, located at 106 Whaley St.

If you are interested in joining, please contact Dr. Rosborough before the first rehearsal at or 325-649-8503.

For more information about HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts, please call 325-649-8500 or visit


Registration open for HPU’s Pre-College Music and Art Program

BROWNWOOD – August 18, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s Pre-College Music and Art Program is now enrolling students for the 2016-2017 academic year. The program, presented by HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts, serves Brownwood and the surrounding communities by offering music and art lessons to children and adults. Enrollment will continue through August 29.

Music lessons, which will be 45 minutes in length each week for 14 weeks, include instruction in piano, voice, strings, guitar and band instruments. The program also offers Kindermusik for pre-school children. Art lessons, which will be one hour in length each week for 12 weeks, will feature beginning and intermediate drawing and painting. Instructors in the program include the HPU music and art faculty, experienced area teachers and student teachers.

“We welcome the opportunity to work with you and hope your experience with our program will be a fulfilling and rewarding one,” said Diane Owens, director of the program. “We’re proud to make these opportunities available to the public.”

Enrollment forms are available in the music office of the Davidson Music Complex located at 106 Whaley on the HPU campus.

For more information, contact Owens at or (325) 649-8501 or Jill Holamon at or (325) 649-8500.


HPU pre-college students earn top honors at state music festival

Drew ReynoldsBROWNWOOD – June 3, 2016 – Sixteen students from Howard Payne University’s Pre-College Music and Art Program recently participated in the Texas Federated Music Clubs State Competition at Texas State University in San Marcos. Many of the students who competed took home high honors.

Three students received the All-State award, the highest award at the competition. Kamry Keese received the All-State award for Musical Theatre while Addison Miller and Drew Reynolds both received the All-State award for Art Song.

Students who received the superior rating in Musical Theatre were Angie Calfa, Addison Miller and Sydney Neel. Those who received the superior rating in Piano Solo were Kyle Ivy, Kamry Keese and Hannah Parson.

The outstanding rating in Musical Theatre was given to Hannah Bessent, Sarah Reeves, Jordan Roberts and Ava Sparks-Hansen. The outstanding rating in Art Song went to Angie Calf and the outstanding rating in Piano Solo went to James Bautista, Addison MillerVic Cooper, Leila Gautier, Jaycie Hubbard, Addison Miller, Sarah Reeves, Jordan Roberts, Cate Smith and Ava Sparks-Hansen.

“We are very proud of these students and their accomplishments,” said Diane Owens, director of the program and adjunct instructor in HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts. “A big ‘shout-out’ also goes to the teachers and parents who encourage and support these young musicians.”

The Pre-College Music and Art Program serves the Brownwood community by offering music and art lessons to children and adults. For more information, contact Diane Owens at (325) 649-8501 or


Cutlines (Top to bottom): All-state award winner Drew Reynolds is pictured with Deanna Erxleben, HPU then-instructor of music, at the all-state festival in San Marcos.

Kamry KeeseAll-state award winner Addison Miller is pictured with Deanna Erxleben, HPU then-instructor of music, at the all-state festival in San Marcos.

All-state award winner Kamry Keese is pictured at the all-state festival in San Marcos.

HPU’s Zeta Beta named most outstanding chapter in Southwest District

KKP 2016BROWNWOOD – May 18, 2016 – Zeta Beta, Howard Payne University’s chapter of the Kappa Kappa Psi national band fraternity, recently received the D.O. Wiley Award as the most outstanding chapter in the Southwest District. The HPU fraternity competed against chapters from New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma to receive the award.

According to the organization’s website, the award is given to the chapter that best exemplifies the ideals of the national fraternity. Zeta Beta also won the award in 2011.

“This is a huge accomplishment and I’m proud of the men and women in the group,” said Stephen Sullivan, Zeta Beta adviser and alumnus who serves as director of development and alumni relations for the university.

Active Zeta Beta members for the 2015-2016 academic year included Alex Atkinson, senior from Haslet; Kayla Chadwick, junior from Tulia; Ryan Contreras, senior from Early; Jarod Dowling, freshman from Grandview; Joshua Farquharson, May 2016 graduate from Iowa Park; Evan Fleming, senior from Goliad; Melanie Hammond, senior from Springtown; Brady Hardin, junior from Fort Worth; Angel Hernandez, senior from Brownwood; Hayden Jacobs, junior from Lytle; Nathan Lacy, junior from Early; David Lambert, senior from Brownwood; Holly Leatherman, junior from Tolar; Alex Lemus, sophomore from Ballinger; Robert Martinez, senior from Copperas Cove; Travis Moraga, junior from Little Elm; Jakob Morgan, junior from Blanket; Crystal Ochoa, sophomore from Early; Ray Palousek, sophomore from Holland; Grant Saltar, sophomore from Plano; Sky Schoolfield, junior from Aledo; Gavin Paul Stewart, senior from Flower Mound; and Aaron Walling, senior from Georgetown.


Cutline: HPU’s Zeta Beta chapter of the Kappa Kappa Psi national band fraternity recently received the D.O. Wiley Award as the most outstanding chapter in the Southwest District. Zeta Beta members are pictured with the award and Tippy, the group’s penguin mascot.