News Archives: School of Music and Fine Arts

Rasbury and Salmon to present senior recitals

Cathryn Rasbury for webBROWNWOOD – April 2, 2015 – Howard Payne University students Cathryn Rasbury of Cisco and Christine Salmon of Early will present their senior recitals on Friday, April 10, at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively, in the university’s Grace Chapel.

Rasbury will play the flute and Salmon will deliver a voice performance.

“Cathryn and Christine are very talented performers,” said Dr. Richard Fiese, dean of the School of Music and Fine Arts. “They’ve put in many hours of practice and we look forward to hearing the results of their efforts.”

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

Christine Salmon for web###

Photo cutlines:

HPU’s Cathryn Rasbury (top) will perform her senior flute recital on Friday, April 10, at 6 p.m.

Christine Salmon of Early will present her senior voice recital at HPU on Friday, April 10, at 7:30 p.m.

HPU to present special evening of music in New Braunfels

A Joyful Heart poster for webBROWNWOOD – March 25, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s Department of Music will present a concert on Monday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m. at the Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre in New Braunfels.

Titled “A Joyful Heart,” the concert will showcase the talents of HPU students and faculty in a vibrant collage of sound. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students.

Among those performing will be the HPU Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Stephen Goacher, professor of music; the Symphonic Band under the direction of Corey Ash, associate professor of music and director of bands; and the Heritage Singers under the direction of Dr. Monte Garrett, professor of music and director of choral activities. Additional performers include Dr. Celeste Church, associate professor of music; Dr. Greg Church, associate professor of music; Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU’s first lady; Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, professor of music; and Hannah Strebeck, senior music education major and recipient of the prestigious Clara Freshour Nelson Scholarship.

“The music to be presented spans a wide variety of genres and diverse styles so that the program has something that will appeal to and touch everyone,” said Dr. Richard Fiese, dean of HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts.

The Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre is located at 290 W. San Antonio Street in New Braunfels. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

“We’re pleased to welcome faculty and students from HPU’s flagship campus for an evening of wonderful music here in New Braunfels,” said Dr. Dale Meinecke, HPU’s assistant vice president for external affairs. “This is a very talented group of individuals and we look forward to their performances.”

HPU’s New Braunfels Center is an extension of the university’s original campus in Brownwood. The New Braunfels Center offers a range of undergraduate degrees and dual-credit courses as well as the Master of Business Administration degree and the Master of Education in Instructional Leadership degree. For more information, visit or call (830) 629-2366.

Howard Payne University hosting national art exhibition

By Emily Peisker, HPU junior

BROWNWOOD – February 18, 2015 – Howard Payne University is hosting “Above and Below I-10: Cross Country 2015,” a national art exhibition that will run through March 27. The I-10 show is on display at the Dorothy and Wendell Mayes Art Gallery in the Doakie Day Art Center on campus.

i10 art show for webChristopher Shade, juror for the exhibition, selected 52 two-dimensional works by 31 artists from around the country to participate in the show. He collaborated with Professor David Harmon, chair of the HPU Department of Art, to install the exhibition at HPU.

Shade, a native of Austin, currently resides in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York, where he teaches drawing, painting and color theory at Montclair State University in New Jersey. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from the Yale University School of Art and his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting from The University of Texas at Austin. Shade has had solo exhibitions in galleries in Austin and Dallas and group exhibitions in New York, Philadelphia, Houston, San Francisco, Germany, Mexico, South Korea and New Zealand. He has taught plein air painting in Paris, France, and has curated numerous group shows.

The exhibition was open to all living U.S. contemporary artists residing above and below Interstate 10, the southernmost transcontinental highway starting in Los Angeles, California, and traveling through several states, including Texas, and ending in Jacksonville, Florida. The main purpose of the show was to represent the American theme of connectivity of land, road, transportation and travel.

The pieces from the gallery were sent by artists from California, Texas, Virginia, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Georgia and Tennessee with a variety of media represented. The exhibition was limited to two-dimensional works, resulting in watercolor, acrylic, drawing, collage, photography and mixed-media pieces.

Alec Dartley, an artist from New Jersey, took the first place award with an ink drawing titled “Exploding Tree.” Michael Lee, a New York artist, placed second with a mixed-media piece titled “In Between,” while Alyssa Fanning, an artist from New Jersey, received third place with an oil painting titled “Shift.”

“The work is extremely varied from abstraction to realism and everything in between,” said Harmon.

Visitors can view the exhibition through March 27, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The gallery is closed during HPU’s Spring Break, March 9-13.


Photo cutline: Chandler Condra, a senior from Fredericksburg, views the pieces at HPU’s “Above and Below I-10: Cross Country 2015” national art exhibition. Photo by Emily Peisker.

Howard Payne University to host Jazz Trumpet Day

By Emily Peisker, HPU junior

BROWNWOOD – January 22, 2015 – Howard Payne University will host a Jazz Trumpet Day on Saturday, January 31, presenting free clinics and concerts for teachers and students.

Keith Fiala for web_newsThe general public is invited to attend the entire event, but the featured program will be the jazz concert scheduled for 3:30 p.m. in Mims Auditorium. This final event of the day will include performances by Keith Fiala and Gannon Phillips and will showcase the talent of the HPU Jazz Ensemble. Prior to the concert, both Fiala and Phillips will host clinics on big band and jazz techniques in the Davidson Music Complex.

Fiala, author, recording artist and lead trumpet player for Maynard Ferguson Big Band, is known for his versatile and innovative style. He currently works as a dedicated educator and clinician for Temple College and recently released an album called “Messages from the Other Side,” a collection of his own compositions and classic works.

phillips thumbPhillips is an accomplished professional trombonist, educator and clinician living in Abilene. He is an HPU graduate and became the low brass instructor at the university in 2014.

Stephen Goacher, professor of music, directs the HPU Jazz Ensemble. Dr. Richard Fiese, dean of HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts, said the concert will be a special experience for audiences.

“There is a high-voltage energy that results when accomplished professional musicians join with our enthusiastic students in creative performance,” he said. “This is a rare opportunity open to everyone in the greater Brownwood community to join us and share in a great musical event.”

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


Photo cutlines: HPU will host Keith Fiala as he presents free clinics and concerts for area teachers and students.

Gannon Phillips, HPU trombone instructor, will also host clinics on big band and jazz techniques during HPU’s Jazz Trumpet Day.

HPU’s Pre-College Music and Art Program announces courses for spring 2015

By Chandler Condra, HPU senior

BROWNWOOD – January 12, 2015 – Howard Payne University’s Pre-College Music and Art Program will offer courses in music and art during the 2015 spring semester. Courses include Kindermusik, art and private music lessons.

Kindermusik will include foundational music learning for children ages 1-and-a-half to 3 years in the Our Time Class and ages 3 to 6 in the Imagine That! Class. Marie Clarkson will instruct the Our Time course each Tuesday from 4:00-4:45 p.m. and Imagine That! from 5:00-6:00. A parent or caregiver must be present during the class.

Art classes are offered to children ages 6 through 12. Students aged 6 through 8 will be grouped into the Primary Class and students aged 9 through 12 will be enrolled in the Elementary Class. Julie Mize, adjunct photography instructor, will instruct the Primary and Elementary classes each Tuesday from 4:00-5:00 p.m. and 5:00-6:00 p.m., respectively.

Private music lessons are offered to students of all ages. Lessons available include piano, guitar, percussion, band instruments and voice. The time, days and instructor will be determined based on scheduling. Diane Owens, director of the program and adjunct music instructor, will coordinate enrollment.

The deadline for enrollment in Kindermusik or private music lessons is Monday, January 19. Enrollment for art class is available until Monday, January 26. Music classes will be held in HPU’s Davidson Music Complex and art classes will be held in HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center.

For more information about Kindermusik, contact Marie Clarkson at or (325) 646-0682. For art classes, contact Julie Mize at For private music lessons, contact Diane Owens at or (325) 649-8501.

HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau competes nationally, abroad

ssb oxford for webBROWNWOOD – December 3, 2014 – HPU’s competitive speech and debate team, Student Speaker Bureau, competed recently at the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association fall championship tournament held at Texas Christian University and at the Oxford Inter-Varsity Debating Competition held in Oxford, England.

Freshman Braxton Clark, communication and political science major from Southlake, won fifth place top speaker at the TCU tournament.

“For a freshman to step in and win fifth best speaker at this tournament is quite an accomplishment,” said Dr. Julie Welker, head of the Department of Communication and SSB coach. “Most of the top 10 speakers are seasoned juniors and seniors. Braxton is an outstanding debater and I’m excited to see what he will do in the future.”

Following the tournament at TCU, the team traveled to Oxford to compete in the Oxford Inter-Varsity Debating Competition, one of the largest and most prestigious debating competitions on the UK University circuit and globally.

In Oxford, the team competed in a different debate format, British Parliamentary Debate. In this format, four teams of two debaters each compete in a round. Students have eight years of eligibility in this debate format so HPU teams debated graduate students, including doctoral candidates and law students.

“What makes this type of debate so challenging is that each debate round is a new topic,” said Welker. “These students have to be versed in many world topics, not just one issue. In this tournament alone, they debated about Hungarian politics, the parliament voting system, human rights issues, freelance journalism in war zones and ethnic-based political parties.”

HPU competed against teams from University of Cambridge, Stanford University, Colgate University and many other universities around the world. There were almost 300 competitors at this tournament.

“Only 16 students advance to finals at this tournament so, strategically, it is very hard to advance,” said Welker. “However, our HPU teams beat many other good schools, including one of the teams in the finals. That is a huge accomplishment, and I’m very proud of our team.”

Students who competed in both tournaments included Clark; Marcos Corley, senior criminal justice major from Corpus Christi; Meg Eakin, sophomore communication major from Plano; Adam Jones, junior youth ministry and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Irving; Luis Rodriguez Ortiz, freshman English and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Brownsville; Jared Russell, senior theatre major from Hillsboro; Kaleigh Tankersley, senior communication major from Iraan; and Dorie Walton, senior communication major from Lolita.

After the tournament in Oxford, the team traveled to London where they visited the Tower of London, the Houses of Parliament and many other attractions.


Photo cutline: HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau recently competed in Oxford, England. Pictured at the famed Oxford Union are, from left, Dr. Julie Welker, Braxton Clark, Adam Jones, Kaleigh Tankersley, Marcos Corley, Meg Eakin, Jared Russell, Dorie Walton and Luis Rodriguez.

HPU to celebrate birth of Christ through readings and music

BROWNWOOD – December 2, 2014 – Howard Payne University’s School of Music and Fine Arts will present its annual Service of Lessons and Carols this Sunday at 8 p.m. at St. John’s Church in Brownwood. The service includes Scripture readings about the prophecies and coming of Christ and music that reflects on the passages being read.

HPU faculty members will read the Scriptures and the university’s Heritage Singers will perform the musical selections with Dr. Allen Reed, professor of music, accompanying.

The event is based on the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King’s College, Cambridge, first held on Christmas Eve 1918. The service was first broadcast in 1928 and, with the exception of 1930, has broadcast annually. In the United States, the service airs on approximately 300 radio stations.

The university’s Heritage Singers are under the direction of Dr. Monte Garrett, professor of music and director of choral activities.

“The Service of Lessons and Carols is a great way to usher in the Christmas season,” said Dr. Garrett. “We invite the community to join us as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ through Scripture readings and music.”

St. John’s Church is located at 700 Main Street in Brownwood. For more information about the event, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500.

HPU’s Pre-College Music and Art program to host “Christmas at Heartland Mall”

BROWNWOOD – December 2, 2014 – Howard Payne University’s Pre-College Music and Art program will host its 20th annual “Christmas at Heartland Mall” celebration on Sunday, December 7, from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The event will take place at the cinema entrance in the mall, located at 300 Early Blvd.

Students in the program will perform Christmas songs for mall shoppers and other guests. Additionally, there will be an Art Walk during which visitors will have an opportunity to view art created by the students.

“This will be a fun afternoon of Christmas music and art to delight the mall visitors,” said Diane Owens, director of the program and adjunct music instructor. “Please make plans to join us and enjoy the talents of all of our students.”

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 Owens at (325) 649-8501 or

HPU art faculty recognized for professional accomplishments

BROWNWOOD – November 25, 2014 – Two members of Howard Payne University’s art faculty recently earned recognition for professional accomplishments.

Seascape #4 by David Harmon for webDavid E. Harmon, professor of art and chair of the Department of Art, shared his panel paper at the 28th Annual National Conference on Liberal Arts and the Education of Artists in New York City. The topic was “The Art Canon: The Vital Role of Visual Art in the University.”

In addition, one of Harmon’s painted works was accepted into the Second Annual National Plein Air Competition. The competition was held at the San Diego Artist Guild in San Diego, Calif. Three of his works were also accepted into the 4th International Small Works Show at the Lessandra Gallery in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Paintings by Harmon and his wife, Susan, were recently the focus of a joint exhibition at the Frost Center for the Visual Arts at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene.

Julie Mize, adjunct instructor of photography at HPU, had a photograph accepted into an exhibit at Texas Tech University.

“High and Dry: A Photographic Exhibition of Peoples and Places of the World’s Dry Lands” is sponsored by the International Cultural Center of Texas Tech’s Office of International Affairs. This is the third consecutive year Mize has had a photograph accepted into this exhibit. The exhibit will be open from November 21, 2014 until January 16, 2015.

Rialto Theater by Julie Mize for webMize’s image, “Rialto Theater,” is a black-and-white photograph of the marquee on an abandoned movie theater in Brownfield. Mize used film and darkroom processes to take the photograph and develop the print.

Mize has been the photography course instructor at HPU since 2008. She also teaches art at Brownwood Middle School.


Photo cutlines: “Seascape #4,” a painting by David Harmon, was accepted into the Second Annual National Plein Air Competition in San Diego.

“Rialto Theatre,” a photograph by Julie Mize, was accepted into an exhibit at Texas Tech University.

HPU’s band and choir to present Christmas celebration concert

BROWNWOOD – November 25, 2014 – Howard Payne University’s Symphonic Band and Concert Choir will present a Christmas celebration concert at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 4, in the university’s Mims Auditorium. The concert is free and the community is encouraged to attend as HPU celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.

“The musical selections are sure to get the Christmas spirit in full swing as the students perform many Christmastime favorites,” said Corey Ash, director of bands.

Among the program’s selections are Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson, Symphonic Prelude on Adeste Fidelis by Claude T. Smith, A Fantasy of Carols arranged by Jay Bocook and many more. There will also be an audience Christmas carol sing-along.

Those attending the concert are encouraged to bring a canned good or boxed dry good as a donation for admission. All of the goods collected will go to Good Samaritan Ministries of Brown County to aid those who need a helping hand during this winter and holiday season.

A reception will follow the concert in the band rehearsal hall of the Davidson Music Complex.

“We hope to see you there but, if not, may your holiday season be filled with the joy of family and friends,” said Ash. “Most especially, may you know the joy of the greatest holiday gift of all time, Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior.”