News Archives: School of Music and Fine Arts

HPU plans “bon voyage” performances and fundraisers for campus groups

BROWNWOOD – July 25, 2012 – After a whirlwind spring and summer filled with practices, performances and fundraisers, two Howard Payne University groups will leave for international appearances at the beginning of August. HPU’s Winds of Triumph musical ensemble will perform in conjunction with the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8. A group from HPU’s Department of Theatre will perform at the International Collegiate Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, on August 6, 8, 9 and 11.

Local audiences will have a chance to support the groups before they leave. Grimaldi: King of the Clowns, the play the theatre group will perform in Scotland, will be presented at the HPU Theatre on Sunday, July 29, at 2:30 p.m., and Monday, July 30, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 each and available at the door. To reserve tickets in advance, call the School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500. Donations will also be accepted.

A “bon voyage” concert featuring Winds of Triumph will be held on Tuesday, July 31, at 7 p.m., in HPU’s Mims Auditorium. There is no charge for admission, but donations will be accepted.

A send-off is planned for both groups on August 1 at HPU’s Davidson Music Complex parking lot off Center and Whaley streets. The public is invited to attend the gathering at 8 a.m. before the buses depart at 8:15 a.m.

Winds of Triumph

Winds of Triumph is one of only five university musical groups from the U.S. invited to perform in conjunction with the Olympics. The musicians will play in many locations around London, including Exhibition Road, Potters Fields Park, Olympic Park and more. They will also perform at the Arêne de Montmartre in Paris.

“As the time for departure draws near, we are more and more excited about taking our Good News in music and representing our Lord, HPU, Brown County and Texas in this world event,” said Stephen Goacher, professor of music and director of Winds of Triumph. “Learning that we will be performing at sites licensed for 30,000 people a day elevates this experience to an awesome opportunity and an awesome responsibility.”

Headed to London are Allen Andrus, a senior from Anson; Elizabeth Bates, a 2011 graduate from Austin; Christopher Burnett, a sophomore from Early; Mercedes Cardenas, a junior from Brownwood; Kimberly Collins, a senior from Bay City; Talitha Cook, a May graduate from Howe; Taylor Cook, a junior from Howe; Tyler Cooper, a senior from Brownwood; Megan Irwin, a sophomore from Brownwood; Tyler Matthews, a senior from Weatherford; Grant Newman, a senior from Springtown; Ethan Yeats, a sophomore from Big Spring; and Kyle Ziegler, a senior from Brownwood.


HPU is one of only 18 colleges and universities from the U.S. to perform at the International Collegiate Theatre Festival. ICTF is part of the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, which is the largest theatrical event in the world, hosting more than 500,000 people.

“To be invited to perform at the Fringe Festival is a huge honor,” said Dr. Nancy Jo Humfeld, head of the Department of Theatre. “This opportunity will allow our students to attend many different performances and make contacts from all over the world, as well as the incredible chance to perform on an international stage. We have already been contacted by an actor who is doing a performance that is of the same genre and it will be fun to compare our historical notes. We appreciate all the support we have had and look forward to this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Students going on the Scotland trip are Katelyn Bare, a sophomore from Quito, Ecuador; Colbie Crow, a freshman from Brownwood; Katherine Dobson, a junior from Rowlett; Audrey Harris, a junior from Early; Joshua Helms, a senior from Lindale; Tucker Hull, a junior from Brownwood; Jared Russell, a sophomore from Hillsboro; Rivers Shotwell, a senior from Grand Saline; Phoenix Solis, a junior from Brownwood; Alexandra Taliaferro, a sophomore from Springtown; Doris Walton, a freshman from Lolita; Meredith Underwood, a freshman from Brownwood, and Jarrod White, a junior from Ben Wheeler.

“We’re excited and pleased our students have these opportunities,” said Dr. Robert Tucker, dean of the School of Music and Fine Arts and extended education. “HPU will be well represented in Scotland and England.”


HPU sophomore to compete in world championship horse show

By Megan Haverlah, HPU senior

BROWNWOOD – July 24, 2012 – Howard Payne University offers many extracurricular activities such as athletics, cheerleading and student organizations, but Hope D’Alessio, a sophomore from Brownwood, doesn’t stop there. Hope has a passion for horses and is pursuing a horse show career at the national level.

hope_dalessio_for_webHope has been riding horses since she was a child, but she is the only person in her family who rides or competes in horse shows.

“I started riding when I was seven,” she said. “I went to a friend’s birthday party and we got pony rides and I’ve been hooked ever since. I remember thinking, ‘I have to do this. This is my calling in life.’”

Hope’s first horse was given to her by her grandfather. She now has eight horses. Chester is the main show horse Hope uses and Parker is her barrel horse.

She competes in two major shows and approximately 10-12 smaller shows annually. Hope enjoys participating in horsemanship, trail and showmanship. Showmanship is a pattern performed while leading a horse and horsemanship is a pattern performed while riding. According to Hope, trail is almost like an obstacle course.

Hope began by competing in the equivalent to 4-H and then, with the help of trainers, advanced to the state level.

“That started going really well and the next thing you know we were traveling all over the states,” said Hope. “It just started expanding and then I went to another trainer who has been known to produce world champion horses.”

Hope excelled at the Quarter Horse Congress, where she won the Amateur Equitation and Youth Horsemanship awards.

Winning the World Show is Hope’s next goal. To be eligible to participate, the American Quarter Horse Association will keep track of points earned throughout the year at different shows. When a competitor reaches a certain amount of points, he or she qualifies and a letter of invitation is sent to attend and compete in the World Show among the other qualifying horse riders.

Hope has already qualified for the world competition this year, which will be held in November in Oklahoma City at the state fair grounds.

“The Amateur World Show is a little more nerve-racking because it includes not just the top three to five riders in the state like the Youth World Show does,” said Hope. “It includes everyone who qualifies, but I’m excited!”

In addition to all of the training she has to do, and the out-of-state competitions in which she competes, Hope is pursuing a degree in communication.

“HPU has been really good at working with me,” said Hope. “Dr. Julie Welker (professor of communication) loves horses. I’ve gone to her house and ridden with her. She is definitely understanding of the fact that it’s not easy to have an extracurricular activity that the school doesn’t provide. You have to make your own schedule because you don’t have a team that helps out.”


Photo cutline: HPU sophomore Hope D’Alessio won the Amateur Equitation and Youth Horsemanship awards at the Quarter Horse Congress.

HPU professor featured as U.S. Mission Geneva’s Photo of the Week

BROWNWOOD – July 23, 2012 – Stephen Goacher, professor of music at Howard Payne University, was recently the subject of the U.S. Mission Geneva Photo of the Week. Goacher and other members of the Temple Jazz Orchestra represented the United States in concert at the Great Hall of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, at the U.N. “America Appreciation Day” celebration on July 5.

goacher_photo_of_the_week_for_webGoacher is shown playing an improvised solo on his American-made saxophone during a composition by Duke Ellington.

“In many ways the picture is a symbol of America,” he says. “Any man is free to express his own ideas in his own voice. Also, the improvisation points to the American necessity for invention. America is the land of invention, so I was inventing a new set of ideas to sustain the overall idea by Duke Ellington.”

Other recent subjects for the Photo of the Week have included Rev. Jesse Jackson and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

For more photos from the event, visit the U.S. Mission Geneva Flickr page at


Photo cutline: HPU’s Stephen Goacher was the subject of U.S. Mission Geneva’s Photo of the Week while performing at the U.N. “America Appreciation Day” celebration. Photo by Eric Bridiers.

HPU’s Goacher to perform internationally throughout summer

BROWNWOOD – July 3, 2012 – Stephen Goacher, professor of music and director of Howard Payne University’s Winds of Triumph and Jazz Ensemble, has a summer of international performances ahead of him.

Goacher will play the saxophone and clarinet with the Temple Jazz Orchestra at the Montreux International Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland, on July 4 and July 6.

stephen_goacher_with_sax_for_webOn July 5, the TJO will represent the United States in concert at the Great Hall of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, at the U.N. “America Appreciation Day” celebration. The next week, on July 14, they will perform in Vienna at the Reigen Jazz Club, sharing the evening’s program with legendary jazz guitarist Pat Metheny.

“I am particularly looking forward to representing the U.S.A. at the U.N. in Geneva,” Goacher said. “I have been blessed to live in the greatest country that ever existed. I will be honored to play jazz, the music that represented the American Century.”

Goacher will round out the summer as he directs Winds of Triumph in special performances throughout Paris and London in conjunction with the London 2012 Olympic Games. Winds of Triumph is one of only five American university musical groups invited to perform at the summer games.

Goacher has had a long career in both classical and jazz music. In jazz and pop music, he has performed in the orchestras of The Temptations, Henry Mancini, Bob Hope, Julie Andrews, Lena Horne, Rosemary Clooney, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis and Tommy Dorsey. In classical music, he was in the touring Broadway Orchestra for “The King and I” with Yul Brynner. He also recorded a CD as an adjunct member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and performed in Carnegie Hall with the Cincinnati Symphony.


Photo cutline: Stephen Goacher, professor of music at HPU, has a full summer of international performances planned.