HPU to host area professional singers in “The True Story of Cinderella” this Friday

BROWNWOOD – January 28, 2014 – This Friday evening, January 31, Howard Payne University will host 13 professional singers from Brownwood, Abilene and San Angelo as they gather to present Warren Martin’s tale, The True Story of Cinderella. The concert will be presented in the university’s Grace Chapel at 7:30 p.m. and is free to the public.

Martin composed Cinderella in 1955 and the premiere at Westminster Choir College was performed by 13 graduate students with the composer at the piano. Cinderella is not a staged work, but is sung in “oratorio style,” with the singers in a row across the front of the platform, facing forward. This performance maintains Martin’s directions for presentation, but there is plenty of interplay between characters to bring out the story and relationships.

The cast includes HPU faculty members Dr. Celeste Church, associate professor of music, and Dr. Gregory Church, associate professor of music, as well as Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU’s first lady. Other performers include Lynette Chambers, Karen Hogue, Christopher Hollingsworth, Jaynne Middleton, Elisabeth Moss, Paul Piersall, Rick Piersall, Melody Rich and Michael Scarbrough of Abilene and Scott Raines of San Angelo. Cheryl Lemmons of Abilene will accompany the performance on piano.

“It is a rare treat for Brownwood to have so many beautiful voices in one place, but what makes this concert unique is that they come together to tell a story that is loved by both children and adults,” said Dr. Celeste Church. “In the space of an hour, you will hear the story of Cinderella and her dysfunctional family told through music in a humorous and unique way.”

The production is a project of the Great Plains Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. The Great Plains Chapter, formed in 1970, serves the region of West Texas from Midland/Odessa to Brownwood, and from Abilene to San Angelo. In addition to HPU, the schools currently represented by chapter membership are Abilene Christian University, Angelo State University, Hardin-Simmons University and McMurry University. Membership is not limited to these schools, however.

Grace Chapel is located in HPU’s Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center, next to Mims Auditorium. For more information, contact the School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500.