News Archives: School of Music and Fine Arts

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.

HPU to host community band concert

BROWNWOOD – April 19, 2013 – Howard Payne University will host a concert of the Central Texas Community Band on Thursday, April 25, at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Mims Auditorium. There is no charge for admission, and the public is encouraged to attend.

The band is comprised of HPU students, area high school band students and directors and other community members. They will play a wide variety of selections including “Highlights from ‘West Side Story,’” “Semper Fidelis” (the Marine Corps march), “Hymnsong of Lowell Mason,” selections from “The Music Man” and many more.

Corey Ash, associate professor of music and director of bands at HPU, serves as the community band director. Many area directors will also conduct pieces during the band’s performance.

“We hope those in Brownwood and the surrounding communities make plans to attend this fun event for all ages,” Ash said.

HPU Jazz Ensemble to present Spring Concert: “When Swing Was King”

jazz_ensemble_for_webBROWNWOOD – April 18, 2013 – The Howard Payne University Jazz Ensemble will present a concert exclusively devoted to the music of the Swing Era on Monday, April 22, 2013, at 8:00 p.m. The concert will be held in Mims Auditorium on the HPU campus.

The Swing Era, which flourished from approximately 1935 until 1945, was the period of time when jazz was the most popular music in America. The Jazz Ensemble will present the original arrangements of Benny Goodman’s 1935 Down South Camp Meeting, Artie Shaw’s 1939 Begin the Beguine, Glenn Miller’s 1939 In the Mood and Moonlight Serenade, and Duke Ellington’s 1940 hits Cottontail and Rumpus in Richmond.

The Swing Era is so closely identified with the music to be presented at Monday’s concert that it is also referred to as “The Big Band Era.” The value of this music to Depression-era America and World War II America, as well as the irony of this music, will be presented live at Monday evening’s concert.

The HPU Jazz Ensemble is an 18-piece big band which received honors as Outstanding Collegiate Jazz Ensemble and several Outstanding Musician Awards at the Temple College Jazz Festival in 2007 and 2008. Four students in the band received Outstanding Musician Awards at the North Texas Jazz Festival in 2009. The Jazz Ensemble also performed for the opening ceremonies of the 2003 Texas Music Educators Association in San Antonio.

The Jazz Ensemble is directed by Stephen Goacher, professor of music, who performed during summer 2012 with the Temple Jazz Orchestra at the Montreux (Switzerland) Jazz Festival; Jazz a Vienne (France) Jazz Festival; America Appreciation Day at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; and at the Riegen Jazz Club in Vienna, Austria. On April 5 and 6, Goacher played in concert with jazz great Eric Marienthal, considered to be one of the world’s top three jazz alto saxophonists. In his previous professional career, Goacher played big band music with the orchestras of Henry Mancini, Tommy Dorsey, Bob Hope, Rosemary Clooney, Lena Horne, Julie Andrews, Johnny Mathis and Andy Williams.

The concert Monday evening is free of charge and the public is cordially invited.

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Photo cutline: The Howard Payne University Jazz Ensemble will present its spring concert, “When Swing Was King,” on Monday, April 22, at 8 p.m.

HPU to present evening of music and drama for the entire family

BROWNWOOD – April 10, 2013 – This Friday, April 12, the familiar children’s fairy tales of “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Pinocchio” will be told through music and drama by students of the Howard Payne University School of Music and Fine Arts. The evening of “OperaTales” will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Mims Auditorium. There is no charge for admittance and the doors will open at 7 p.m.

“Both of these shows were conceived by John Davies, professional opera singer and director, who thought of his own children when he decided to take the music of well-known operas and pair it with children’s fairy tales,” said Dr. Celeste Church, associate professor of music.

There will be two performances with a brief intermission between tales.

“Of course, everything is in English and the stories are told in a way that will be enjoyable to children and adults,” Dr. Church said. “There is no charge for the performances in hopes that this will be an affordable, family-friendly event for the community.”

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

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Howard Payne University to feature art of Susan Harmon

tangled_up_in_blue_for_webBy Jes Miera, Howard Payne University junior

BROWNWOOD – March 28, 2013 –Artist Susan Harmon will exhibit her Sight/Insight Collection at Howard Payne University until May 1. Susan is the spouse of David Harmon, chair of art at HPU. The collection is housed at the Doakie Day Art Center in the Dorothy and Wendell Mayes Art Gallery.

Susan Harmon holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Georgia Southern University and is currently working on her PhD 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 collection took Harmon seven years to complete.

Each piece is a physical manifestation of Harmon’s emotional responses to stories of suffering. Harmon finds these stories in literature, calling them “the catalyst for the creation of this body of art.”

In an artist statement she wrote, “Stories inspire me to paint. As I scratch, tear and smear paint with my fingers, I try to be honest in my process for expressing my deepest personal feelings toward these passages.”

The Sight/Insight Collection is open to the public for viewing. The gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. or by appointment. For further information, contact David E. Harmon, chair and professor of art at HPU at (325) 649-8088 or via e-mail at dharmon@hputx.edu.

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Photo cutline: Susan Harmon’s “Tangled Up in Blue” is one of the pieces currently on display at HPU.

HPU to present concert of original music by student, alumni and faculty composers

BROWNWOOD – March 25, 2013 – Howard Payne University will present a concert of all-new music by student, alumni and faculty composers March 26 at 6 p.m. in the university’s Grace Chapel. There is no cost for admission, and the public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Guitarist Kevin Baker, a senior from Brownwood, will perform two of his own compositions. Various pieces for piano and saxophone composed by Christopher Gonsalves, a senior from Sutherland Springs, will be performed by Dr. Allen Reed, professor of music; Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, professor of music; and Allen Andrus, a senior from Anson. Julia Hironaga, a 2012 graduate, will contribute a piece for flute and piano.

In addition, Dr. Celeste Church and Dr. Greg Church, associate professors of music, will perform vocal works by Dr. Elisabeth Greene, adjunct instructor of music, and Dr. Robert Tucker, dean of music, fine arts and extended education. The opera scenes by Dr. Greene were first performed at Tapestry New Opera’s “Opera Briefs” in Toronto, Canada.

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