News Archives: School of Music and Fine Arts

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.

HPU celebrates restoration of Steinway piano

Steinway dedication 2015 for webBROWNWOOD – November 3, 2015 – Amid the flurried activity during Howard Payne University’s Homecoming 2015 festivities, a group of people assembled in the choral hall of HPU’s Davidson Music Complex to celebrate friendship, music and a very special piano.

The university hosted a rededication of one of its Steinway pianos in conjunction with the Department of Music’s Homecoming reunion. The Steinway & Sons Model D, also known as the “Concert Grand” piano, was originally donated to the university in 1968 by the late Dr. Joseph and Mrs. Eddie Trussell, 1929 Howard Payne graduates. The 9-foot long, 990-pound piano was used for decades before falling into disrepair.

“Fortunately, Steinway pianos have wonderfully long lifespans,” said Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU’s first lady. “We knew the piano was crafted in such a way that it could be restored rather than replaced.”

Dr. Ellis, along with award-winning Christian artist and HPU alumna Dr. Cynthia Clawson Courtney, co-chairs HPU’s campaign to become a prestigious “All-Steinway School.”

“Steinway & Sons flawless reputation, quality and long lifespan of its instruments will provide outstanding service and performance for our students and faculty for many decades to come,” said Dr. Ellis.

Pattersons for webDr. Burton and Mrs. Virginia Patterson, who have given faithfully to HPU for a number of years, learned of the restoration needs for the grand piano. Dallas Steinway artisan and technician Mr. Steve Claunch fully restored the instrument to its original grandeur. The Pattersons and their family foundation, the Foundation for the Advancement of Christianity, graciously funded this restoration in memory and honor of Frank and Pauline Patterson, missionaries to Latin America (1938-1972). Dr. and Mrs. Patterson additionally have an HPU endowed scholarship in their name and donated the organs located in the university’s Mims Auditorium and Grace Chapel.

“The Pattersons have hearts for restoring musical instruments and for Baptist causes,” said Randy Yeakley, HPU’s vice president for development. “We’re very grateful for their love of music, their dedication to HPU and their continued generosity.”

The Trussells’ daughter, the late Lucile McDaniel, graduated from Howard Payne in 1944. Her husband, the late Bill McDaniel, was also a 1944 graduate. Their three children attended HPU and were present at the rededication: Sophia (McDaniel) Faulkner ’70, B.J. McDaniel ’77 and Ruth (McDaniel) Thames ’68. Also present were Steve Faulkner (Sophia’s husband and 1972 HPU graduate), Kristen Ivy (Sophia’s daughter and 2001 HPU graduate), Craig Ivy (Kristen’s son), Julie Ivy (Kristen’s daughter) and Roxanne McDaniel (B.J.’s wife).

“Looking at the piano now, you would not believe it was donated to Howard Payne almost 50 years ago,” said Dr. Ellis. “That’s what makes Steinway pianos the very best. We’re so thankful for the Trussells’ generosity and their gift that still benefits our students today.”

For more information about HPU’s All-Steinway School campaign, visit or call HPU’s Office of Institutional Advancement at (325) 649-8006.


Photo cutlines: Members of the family that donated a Steinway piano to HPU in 1968, as well as HPU faculty and staff members, gather around the piano. Left to right: B.J. McDaniel; Roxanne McDaniel; Ruth Thames; Steve Faulkner; Sophia Faulkner; Julie Ivy; Kristen Ivy; Craig Ivy; Randy Yeakley, vice president for development; Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU first lady; Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president; and Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, professor of music and chair of the Department of Music.

Dr. Burton and Mrs. Virginia Patterson and their family foundation, the Foundation for the Advancement of Christianity, funded the restoration of the piano.

HPU’s Farquharson and Johnson to perform senior recital

Josh Farquharson

BROWNWOOD – November 2, 2015 –Howard Payne University students Josh Farquharson and Ruby Johnson will present a senior recital on Thursday, November 5, at 7 p.m. The recital will be in the university’s Grace Chapel. Farquharson, a music major from Wichita Falls, will perform on the alto saxophone. Johnson, a music education major from Alvarado, will perform on the clarinet. Both Farquharson and Johnson are students from the studio of Stephen Goacher, professor of music at HPU.

“These seniors close four years’ intensive study with the time-honored tradition of a Debut Recital – an ending and a beginning,” said Goacher. “We are proud to present these students in concert.”

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.


Photo cutline: HPU’s Josh Farquharson and Ruby Johnson will perform a senior recital on November 5 at 7:00 p.m.

Ruby Johnson

HPU to present “Godspell” musical during Homecoming 2015

By Christy Ash, HPU junior

BROWNWOOD – October 13, 2015 – Howard Payne University will present the musical Godspell, by Stephen Schwartz, in conjunction with the university’s Homecoming 2015 festivities. The showings will be October 15, 16 and 17, beginning at 8:00 p.m. each evening. Tickets may be purchased at the door and are $8 for adults and $5 for HPU students and children under 13.

Godspell portrays Jesus’ followers as they experience His parables through a variety of games, storytelling and comedy. The show uses musical styles that range from pop to vaudeville.

Dr. Celeste Church, dean of institutional research and effectiveness and associate professor of music, serves as director of the musical.

“I’m sure the fun and games in this show are not exactly the dynamic between Jesus and His disciples, but there must have been more of that than we realize between these dear friends who traveled together during Jesus’ ministry on earth,” she said. “Jesus invested His life in teaching the disciples what it means to love and care for others. He did it in ways they could understand – parables.”

Cast members include Dr. Gregory Church, associate professor of music; Brett Ellis, senior from Brownwood; Timothy Emery, junior from Brownwood; Marissa Godbey, sophomore from Austin; Josiah Horton, senior from Lockhart; Isaac Howell, junior from Georgetown; Victoria Malone, junior from Fort Worth; Brittany Martin, senior from Goldthwaite; Danielle Strickland, sophomore from Boerne; and Elizabeth Wallace, senior from Snyder. Nick Ewen, assistant professor of theatre, serves as technical director and Bryce McWhirter, sophomore from Pflugerville, serves as stage manager.

Band members are Joseph Dunlap, adjunct instructor of music; Jonathan Grady, 2014 HPU graduate; Angel Hernandez, junior from Brownwood; Micah Huebner, senior from Brazoria; Drew Lambert, senior from Brownwood; Dillon Phillips, music consultant; and Garrett Ratliff, sophomore from Cherokee.


Photo cutline: HPU will present the musical Godspell during Homecoming 2015. Dress rehearsal photo by Christy Ash, HPU junior.

HPU Concert Choir to preview fall concert at Homecoming

hc choir 2014 for webBy Amy Pitman, HPU communications assistant

BROWNWOOD – October 8, 2015 – The Howard Payne University Concert Choir will perform a brief preview of the group’s fall concert as part of HPU’s Homecoming festivities on Saturday, October 17, 11:00-11:30 a.m. The concert will be held in Grace Chapel in the Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center on the HPU campus. The HPU Concert Choir is under the direction of Dr. Monte Garrett, professor of music and director of choral activities.

Selections to be performed include “Sing a Mighty Song,” by Daniel Gawthrop; “Esto Les Digo,” by Kinley Lange, a former HPU student; “Psalm 23” by Paul Basler, featuring sophomore Carissa Cromer, playing French horn; “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, arranged by Harry Simeone; and “The Storm is Passing Over,” arranged by Larry Nickel. Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, professor of music and chair of the Department of Music, is the accompanist for the choir.

The HPU Heritage Singers, also under Dr. Garrett’s direction, will also perform one piece, “Seasons of Love,” from the musical Rent. The accompanist for the Heritage Singers is Joseph Dunlap, adjunct instructor of music. As is HPU custom, the concert will end with alumni and former choir members joining the current choir to sing “Send Me, O Lord, Send Me.”

“The choir’s Homecoming concert is a great opportunity for us to give a preview of our fall concert,” says Dr. Garrett. “We are always grateful for the support we receive from the HPU family.”

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


Photo cutline: The HPU Concert Choir is pictured during Homecoming 2014 at Grace Chapel.

Student Speaker Bureau reps HPU at Colorado tournament

SSB Fall 2015 for webBROWNWOOD – October 8, 2015 – Howard Payne’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team recently competed at Colorado State University-Pueblo in Parliamentary debate and British Parliamentary debate, as well as in individual events. The competition was cohosted by the United States Air Force Academy and Colorado College. Twenty-three schools from 14 states competed.

Christopher Freeland of Brownwood, Reagan Grisham of Arlington, Nashota Isbell of Brownwood and Aimee Orozco of Shepherd engaged in Parliamentary debate.

“This was the first time for these four students to compete in Parliamentary debate,” said Dr. Julie Welker, SSB coach and chair of the Department of Communication. “It’s always overwhelming competing in six debate rounds in one day – and these students improved significantly during the tournament.”

Braxton Clark of Southlake, Ashley Moon of Waxahachie, Luis Ortiz of Early and Morgan Ashmore of Weatherford competed in British Parliamentary debate.

“British Parliamentary debate focuses on international issues and policies,” explained Dr. Welker. “These students debated topics ranging from the EU refugee crisis to gender issues to university accreditation issues.”

In November, these four students will travel to Oxford University to participate in the Oxford IV, the world’s third-largest debate tournament.

Receiving awards were Christopher Freeland, 5th place in Novice Extemporaneous Speaking and 1st place in Novice Prose; Reagan Grisham and Christopher Freeland, 5th in Dramatic Duo; and Aimee Orozco, 6th place in Novice Extemporaneous Speaking.

Students also enjoyed sightseeing at Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

The HPU speech and debate team will next compete at the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Tournament Fall Championships in Corpus Christi, Nov. 6-7.


Photo cutline: The Student Speaker Bureau, HPU’s speech and debate team, recently competed at Colorado State University-Pueblo. They are pictured on the HPU campus. Left to right: Christopher Freeland, Morgan Ashmore, Braxton Clark, Reagan Grisham, Luis Ortiz, Ashley Moon, Dr. Julie Welker, Aimee Orozco and Nashota Isbell.