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HPU president Dr. Bill Ellis retires, will become chancellor

Dr. Bill Ellis at deskBROWNWOOD – May 10, 2018 – Dr. Bill Ellis has announced his retirement as president of Howard Payne University. The move will become effective on May 31, at which time he will become the institution’s chancellor. The announcement was made the week after the close of HPU’s spring 2018 semester.

“I am honored to have served as president of this treasured institution,” said Dr. Ellis. “I look forward to seeing what great things God has in store for HPU in the years ahead.”

Dr. Ellis, the 19th president in HPU’s 129-year history, joined the university’s administration in 2009. During his years as president, HPU welcomed its largest new-student class in more than three decades, made a variety of facility upgrades including an extensive renovation of the Mabee University Center, and expanded operations to create an extension center in New Braunfels.

“Dr. Bill Ellis is a distinguished proponent of Christian higher education and has a great love for Howard Payne University,” said Rev. Ray Still, chair of HPU’s Board of Trustees. “I am grateful for his service to HPU as president and I appreciate his continued involvement as chancellor.”

Primary duties for Dr. Ellis as chancellor will be to work with major donors and to develop HPU’s extension centers in El Paso and New Braunfels.

“The work our university is doing at all three locations is vital,” said Dr. Ellis. “I am excited to be able to focus all of my attention on growing the financial resources to support these efforts.”

Prior to his role as HPU president, Dr. Ellis served as provost and chief academic officer at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. His experience in higher education also includes administrative and/or faculty positions at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas; Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi; Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana; and Clarke College in Newton, Mississippi.

HPU’s Board of Trustees named Dr. Paul W. Armes as interim president. Dr. Armes, who will take office on June 1, has a multifaceted, respected career in education and church life, having served as president of Wayland Baptist University and San Marcos Baptist Academy as well as having held numerous faculty roles, pastorates and leadership positions in denominational service. More information about Dr. Armes and details on the search process for the university’s 20th president will be shared in the weeks ahead.

For more information about HPU, please visit


Photo cutline: Dr. Bill Ellis will retire as president of Howard Payne University and become the institution’s chancellor.

HPU faculty and staff members honored for service to the university

Martha Fothergill - award 2018 2

Corey Ash - award 2018BROWNWOOD – May 4, 2018 – Members of Howard Payne University’s faculty and staff were recently honored at an annual personnel recognition luncheon held on the HPU campus. Corey Ash, associate professor of music and director of bands, was named the Outstanding Faculty Member for the 2017-2018 academic year, and Martha Fothergill, coordinator of records and reports, was presented the Outstanding Staff Member award.

The outstanding faculty and staff member awards are made possible by Underwood’s Cafeteria and Porter Insurance Agency, respectively.

Certificates recognizing excellence in teaching were presented to Mike Dillard, assistant professor of business administration; Dan Humeniuk, assistant professor of social work and chair of HPU’s Department of Social Work and Sociology; and Dr. Kristen Hutchins, associate professor of biology.

Certificates recognizing excellence in service were presented to staff members Jeremy Hogue, database administrator; and Katrina Lynn, business and human resources coordinator.

A special plaque commemorating retirement after 38 years of service to the university was presented to Mary Dunham, collection organization and management librarian and assistant professor of library science.

Also receiving awards were:

Five years of service – Wes Contreras, assistant director of admissions; Roger Dewell, maintenance supervisor; Ethan Fisher, financial accountant; Dr. Graham Hatcher, professor of kinesiology; Dr. Kevin Kelley, department chair and associate professor of psychology; Lori Kelley, assistant professor of government; Dr. Melody Maxwell, assistant professor of Christian studies; Dr. Dan Pryor, associate professor of business; Dale Ross, general maintenance – plumber; Josh Snow, director of student activities; Joey Withers, grounds lawn maintenance foreman; Randy Yeakley, vice president for development; and Dr. Craig Younce, department chair and associate professor of biology.

Ten years of service – Tammy Arreola, career services coordinator; Gretchen Campbell, executive assistant for student life and cheerleading coordinator; Toni Damron, assistant professor of social work; James Darby, adjunct in kinesiology; Dr. Kristen Hutchins, associate professor of biology; Alexa Maddox, academic services coordinator and instructor of developmental studies; and Larry Meadows, adjunct in business administration.

Fifteen years of service – Martha Fothergill, coordinator of records and reports.

Twenty years of service – Kathy Hagood, associate professor of English; Scott Owen, assistant professor of kinesiology; Diann Prickett, gift processing and prospect research associate; and Dr. Julie Welker, department chair and professor of communication.

Twenty-five years of service – Dr. Donnie Auvenshine, professor of Christian studies and dean of the School of Christian Studies; and Eydie Henderson, administrative assistant for the School of Christian Studies.

Cutlines: Corey Ash (third from left), recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Member Award, is pictured with Jill Underwood (left), Paul Underwood (second from left) and Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president (right). The Outstanding Faculty Member Award is made possible by Underwood’s Cafeteria.

Martha Fothergill (center) recipient of the Outstanding Staff Member Award is pictured with Robert Porter (left) and Dr. Bill Ellis, HPU president. The Outstanding Staff Member Award is made possible by Porter Insurance Agency.

God transforms HPU senior Jordan Pitman’s passion into calling

Jordan Pitman - HPU 2018BROWNWOOD – May 3, 2018 – As Jordan Pitman, Howard Payne University senior from Bangs, would attest, God cares deeply about the individual interests and desires of His children. In fact, Pitman, who will be among the graduates crossing the Commencement stage this Saturday, has already witnessed God planting passions in her heart and beginning to cultivate them for His purpose.

“Ever since I was little, I wanted to chase storms,” she said. “My favorite movie is ‘Twister’ and I watch it all the time. I knew that I wanted to study meteorology to help people understand weather patterns and to help keep them safe.”

God further clarified Pitman’s future career path through a mission opportunity in high school. While a student in the youth group at First Baptist Church of Gonzales, Pitman had her first experience with the Baptist General Convention of Texas (Texas Baptists) BOUNCE Student Disaster Recovery program. BOUNCE offers high school students the opportunity to assist communities in recovery efforts following natural disasters.

Pitman and others from her youth group traveled to Moore, Oklahoma, one year after a massive tornado ripped through the community, killing 24 people and leaving utter destruction in its wake.

“I was shocked to see how much help the community needed even after a year,” she said. “I was grateful for the opportunity to be able to come in and help after a real disaster like that.”

Though her plan from a young age had been to study weather patterns to forewarn individuals of impending storms, God used BOUNCE to show Pitman a new calling in life. Rather than chasing storms, she would be arriving in communities after disasters to serve people and help them rebuild their lives.

“It’s great that I don’t have to stray too far from a career that is related to meteorology,” she said. “It’s a blessing from God that He still uses my desires to fulfill His Kingdom work.”

Pitman, who had previously been applying to universities to study meteorology, changed her focus to ministry. Through prayer and research, God led her to HPU. She’s found HPU’s faculty and staff to be supportive spiritually as well as academically.

“I am able to tell my professors when my week has been rough and ask them for extra prayer,” she said. “I’ve also found the faculty and staff to be great resources as I continue my ministry work.”

In the summer of 2017, Pitman returned to BOUNCE as a member of the collegiate staff. She served as the communications/missions specialist as the team traveled to five relief locations in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. At each location, the collegiate staff of four individuals worked with a different group of high school students – around 600 in all – to provide relief and support to those in need.

“My job was to reach out to local media contacts to hopefully get them to cover the relief work we were doing in their communities,” she said. “I also promoted different future mission opportunities to the students at each location. I encourage other people to get involved, even if it’s not with BOUNCE. Through service to others, I was able to experience God in a new way by seeing how He is moving in people’s lives.”

At HPU, Pitman has continued to serve God by serving her classmates and her community. She is an active member of HPU’s Baptist Student Ministry, serving as a ministry co-leader as well as on the BSM State Lead Team. She is president of the Ministerial Alliance, which seeks to prepare men and women preparing for ministry; is a member of the Pi Theta Chi sorority; a member of HPU’s Gamma Beta Phi scholastic honor and educational-service organization; and a member of Psi Chi, the international honor society for psychology students. She is also a member of Appointed, an organization that strives to encourage ministry-driven women. In addition to her work through BOUNCE, she has participated in mission opportunities through the BSM and Texas Baptists’ Go Now Missions.

HPU designated Pitman as a 2017 Currie-Strickland Scholar in Christian Ethics and Theology and Hardin-Simmons University’s Logsdon Seminary named her one of the 2018 Young Maston Scholars, an honor given each year to two students from each partnering Texas Baptist university. Additionally, Pitman was named a 2018 recipient of HPU’s Nat Tracy Servant Leader Award, given to selected HPU students in acknowledgement of their character and commitment to service honoring Jesus Christ. She was also recognized as an Outstanding Christian Studies Student during HPU’s spring Academic Awards Convocation.

A cross-cultural studies major in HPU’s Christian studies accelerated degree program – through which students can earn a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in as few as five years – Pitman will return to the HPU campus in the fall to complete her Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry degree.

Dr. Gary Gramling, professor of Christian studies and director of HPU’s graduate programs in Christian studies, said, in his experience, it is unusual for a person so young to have such a defined sense of what God is calling her to be and do.

“Jordan’s love for missions, compassion for others, and thoughtful approach to service combine to make her a wonderful minister,” he said. “Since I have known her, Jordan has continually articulated a sense that God is calling her to help those in need, especially those who find themselves in need due to natural disasters or other emergency situations. Because of her gifts, experience, and genuine devotion to Christ, I believe God will use Jordan greatly in the days ahead.”

HPU’s Commencement will begin at 10:00 a.m. Saturday at the Brownwood Coliseum. For more information and a livestream of the event, visit

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University ( HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at


Cutline: Howard Payne University senior Jordan Pitman pursues her passion through God’s calling on her life.

HPU’s Spirit Store to be operated by Willie’s T’s of Brownwood

Spirit Store entranceBROWNWOOD – May 3, 2018 – Howard Payne University is pleased to announce that operation of its Spirit Store will soon be handled by Willie’s T’s, a successful screenprint and embroidery company based in Brownwood. Willie’s T’s will assume control of the store, located in HPU’s Mabee University Center, on July 2 with a soft opening to follow soon afterward.

Willie’s T’s has longstanding ties to HPU. The company is owned and operated by HPU alumni Will and Tracey Carrier, who founded Willie’s T’s in 1990 with two other business partners at the time, Joe Baucom and Brad Wardlow, who are also HPU graduates. Willie’s T’s has served as a vendor of official HPU apparel, banners, vehicle wraps and various other items and has operated HPU’s online store. MaryClaire Swallow, another HPU graduate and Willie’s T’s employee, will manage the Spirit Store. Additionally, Willie’s T’s has announced that a percentage of every dollar spent at the new store will be donated back to HPU.

“Willie’s T’s has been a valued partner of HPU’s through the years,” said Mike Rodgers, HPU’s chief financial officer and vice president for finance and administration. “We look forward to the expanded role the company will have on our campus and are excited to see the new line of products.”

With Willie’s T’s 15,000-square-foot facility situated just a few blocks from campus, the company is well positioned to regularly produce a wide array of merchandise to meet customer demand. Will Carrier expressed his company’s eagerness for the new arrangement.

“We are excited to be on campus,” said Carrier. “We look forward to working with campus groups and departments as well as others who love HPU to make sure we carry what they need and want in the Spirit Store.”

The store’s new hours of operation, specific merchandise, promotional specials and more will be announced as the details are finalized.

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University ( HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at


Cutline: The Spirit Store, located in HPU’s Mabee University Center, will be operated by Willie’s T’s beginning on July 2.

HPU Yellow Rose Award presented to Sharon Guthrie of Stephenville

Yellow Rose Award 2018 HPUBROWNWOOD – May 3, 2018 – The Howard Payne University Woman’s Club presented the prestigious Yellow Rose Award to Sharon Mitchell Guthrie of Stephenville during the club’s annual Yellow Rose Scholarship Luncheon held recently on campus.

Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU first lady and Woman’s Club president, surprised Guthrie with a commemorative plaque and bouquet of yellow roses. The award is given annually to a woman who has exhibited exemplary leadership within her sphere of influence, who has exhibited fiscal, emotional or physical support to the ongoing of the university and who represents Christian values and beliefs foundational to HPU.

Guthrie and her husband, Neal, are both HPU graduates. They have two adult children — Glen and Tysha – and four grandchildren — Daradyn, Steel, Cade and Case. The couple works at Neal Guthrie Companies, Inc., established in 1975 in Stephenville.

Guthrie has taught high school English and business courses in central Texas and Baytown. She enjoys sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with children through her involvement in writing and directing choreography for children’s choirs and helping raise the next generation of godly men and women in her church, First Baptist Church of Stephenville. She is loved and respected by her handbell choir, valued by her family and appreciated by countless friends.

Caring about the destiny of others, Guthrie and her husband continue to impact the lives of current HPU students through gifts to the Annual Fund and the A Call To Send campaign. Guthrie also serves HPU as a member of its Board of Trustees and spends many hours promoting the university.

Diana and Jinny YRL 2018“I cannot say enough about what Mrs. Guthrie has done and continues to do on behalf of HPU,” said Dr. Diana Ellis. “Her faithful spirit and commitment to serving in God’s work here is a beautiful blessing to us all.”

The guest speaker for this year’s luncheon was Jinny Henson. This highly sought-after speaker and author is a native Houstonian and a graduate of Baylor University in Waco and Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth.

For more information about the HPU Woman’s Club, visit, e-mail or call 325-649-8305.


Cutlines: 1. (Top) The Howard Payne University Woman’s Club recently presented the prestigious Yellow Rose Award to Sharon Mitchell Guthrie (left) of Stephenville. She is pictured with Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU first lady and Woman’s Club president.

2. (Bottom) Jinny Henson (right), a native Houstonian and highly sought-after speaker and author, was the guest speaker at this year’s Yellow Rose Scholarship Luncheon at HPU. She is pictured with Dr. Diana Ellis, HPU first lady and Woman’s Club president.

HPU to hold Commencement ceremony this Saturday

DSC_0879.2BROWNWOOD – May 1, 2018 – Howard Payne University will hold its spring Commencement ceremony this Saturday, May 5, beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the Brownwood Coliseum. The coliseum is located at 500 E. Baker Street in Brownwood.

Dr. Bill Ellis, university president, and other university representatives will confer the undergraduate and graduate degrees. Delivering the charge to the graduates is Dr. Ray Martinez III, president of Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas, Inc.

Commencement will be preceded on Friday, May 4, by the Chime Out ceremony, an HPU tradition in which graduating seniors pass a chain of ivy to underclassmen, symbolizing the passing of authority, responsibility and privileges to those students who remain on campus to carry on the traditions of the university. Chime Out begins at 6:00 p.m. at the university’s Mims Auditorium.

For more information, visit the HPU website at


Cutline: HPU’s Commencement ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, May 5, at the Brownwood Coliseum.

Commitment to service: Following God’s will is foremost for graduating HPU senior Josh Dykes

JD photo (cropped)By Seth Rainey, HPU Junior

BROWNWOOD – May 1, 2018 – As Howard Payne University senior Josh Dykes of Mount Pleasant  prepares to graduate in several days, it is clear that there has been a single overriding influence on his life. Obedience to God’s will is the reason why he is at HPU committed to ministry as a vocation and is the guiding factor in his everyday life.

A double-major in youth ministry and the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy with a minor in Spanish, Dykes said he has been called to ministry from an early age. As a sophomore in high school, he felt that he wanted to go into youth ministry. He said God affirmed this interest after time spent in prayer and receiving advice from mentors.

“While looking at colleges, I contacted one of my favorite speakers from summer camp and asked him where I should attend college to study ministry,” Dykes said. “He told me, ‘Go to HPU. They have a great youth ministry program.’”

God’s leading, coupled with the speaker’s recommendation, gave Dykes confidence as he prepared to visit and choose colleges.

“On my first visit here I knew HPU was it,” he said.

He maintained a firm commitment to attending HPU. Because of finances, he remained home in Mount Pleasant for a year and studied at a local community college before transferring to HPU.
The care displayed for him by those at HPU has positively shaped his view of the university.

“Dr. Gary Gramling, a professor in the Christian Studies department, met me during my first visit to HPU,” he said. “The next year when I came to HPU, he still remembered my name and where I was from.”

Dr. Gramling noted the ways that Dykes displays care for others in his everyday interactions.

“He is always desiring to learn more and has a servant’s heart,” Dr. Gramling said. “He listens to others, genuinely cares about their needs, and does his best to meet those needs.”

Other faculty also notice how Dykes shares the love of Christ with his fellow students.

“He’s someone students are drawn to because they know he cares,” said Dr. Wheelington, professor of Christian studies. “When he asks ‘How are you doing?’ and ‘How can he pray for you?’ he really means it.”

At HPU, the university’s personnel and students foster an atmosphere conducive to fellowship, friendship and learning. To Dykes, this is an example of why HPU is a great university.

“It’s about the people,” he said. “The people make this university what it is. That’s what HPU is about.”

He added that the faculty, combined with small classes, have provided him with an atypical, positive college experience while at HPU.

“I’ve had classes go get coffee together,” he said. “Everything’s just very personable. Various faculty members, like Dr. Wheelington and Jennings Hall resident director Wes Curton, have really helped me on my walk in ministry.”

In addition to mentoring Dykes in the classroom, Dr. Wheelington serves with Dykes and another HPU student, Julie Jo Yarbro, at Southside church in Brownwood.

“As I look back over mine and Josh’s time together, I wonder if I have helped Josh or if he has helped me in my walk with the Lord. More likely the former than the latter,” said Dr. Wheelington. “And I’m glad for that.”

Dykes plays an active role in the student community of HPU. He is a resident assistant in Jennings Hall, is a member of the Model U.N. team, serves on the Student Appeals Committee and is a member of Delta Epsilon Omega. In past years at HPU, Dykes served on the leadership team of the Baptist Student Ministry, was a member of the Student Government Association and participated in Mock Trial.

Recently, he was presented with the Nat Tracy Servant Leader Award. This award is given to selected HPU students in acknowledgement of their character and commitment to service honoring Jesus Christ. He was also recognized as an Outstanding Christian Studies Student during HPU’s spring Academic Awards Convocation.

“The Lord brought me to HPU to be loved and love others,” Dykes said.

He said that the university where he has spent the past three years of life has been an important part of his walk in ministry and his personal growth as he prepares to graduate.

“If you are looking for a place to grow, especially in your faith,” he said, “you can find it at HPU.”

HPU’s Commencement will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Brownwood Coliseum. For more information and a livestream of the event, visit

Applications are being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University. HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at


Cutline: Howard Payne University senior Josh Dykes is committed to following God’s will for his life.

Finding community at HPU: Haylee Maddox uses her time to challenge herself and form relationships

By Seth Rainey, HPU junior

BROWNWOOD – April 27, 2018 – As she searched for colleges to continue her academic career, sophomore Haylee Maddox of Bellville sought out a place where she would be challenged to grow spiritually and academically.

“College is this beautiful time to be challenged in every way because you’re not going to get this time back,” Maddox said.

Haylee Maddox for webIn her college search, she found Howard Payne University to be an institution that would fulfill her academic and spiritual goals, while also giving her the possibility of playing softball at the collegiate level. However, due to injuries in her later years of high school, she was unable to pursue college athletics. Additionally, Maddox chose to participate in a year-long Christian Leadership program known as “Link Year,” paving a nontraditional path for the future HPU student.

She did not visit the campus until Day 1, an HPU-hosted event at which incoming students come to campus in the spring and early summer to register for their first classes at HPU. Upon arriving, she immediately recognized a sense of intentional interconnectedness between fellow students and determined to find her place within this community.

“Right off the bat, I found a solid friend group and got plugged in with the Baptist Student Ministry (BSM),” said Maddox.

These first experiences in university life, what she dubbed the “real world” away from family and familiar surroundings, gave her hope of finding belonging at college.

Maddox is challenging herself academically as a double major in practical theology and communication. She is also very involved in extracurricular activities, participating in numerous student organizations.

She recently became the president of HPU’s Christian women’s sorority Pi Theta Chi. Additionally, she is on the BSM’s leadership committee and serves as a sophomore senator in the Student Government Association. She also writes for “The Yellow Jacket” student newspaper and serves as the treasurer for Appointed, an organization for women going into ministry.

Maddox believes that student involvement in campus life enhances the university experience. She is active in a variety of capacities to help others benefit from personal participation.

“I truly want HPU to be for everyone else what it is for me,” said Maddox.

She appreciates the chances HPU has offered her to get to know a diverse group of people. The university’s size and structure allow students to serve in multiple ways. She said this accessibility to involvement is part of what makes HPU unique.

“There are so many influential people here, but they aren’t concentrated in one area,” said Maddox. “I really like the involvement that everyone has here on campus.”

Looking back, Maddox recalled that she thought she knew what to expect from college when she was in high school. However, the differences between her expectations and reality have been enriching to her.

“HPU has been exactly what I needed from my college experience,” she said, “and what I continue to need.”

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University ( HPU offers a variety of financial aid options for students. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at


Cutline: HPU student Haylee Maddox speaks during the weekly university chapel service.

Katie Cravey of Huntsville awarded HPU’s Yellow Rose Scholarship

Katie Cravey YR scholarship 2018BROWNWOOD – April 27, 2018 – The Howard Payne University Woman’s Club awarded the 2018-2019 Yellow Rose Scholarship to sophomore Kathleen (Katie) Cravey. The award was announced during the annual Yellow Rose Scholarship Luncheon held recently on campus.

This scholarship is awarded annually to a female student who will begin her junior year the upcoming fall semester and has maintained at least a 3.0 grade point average since beginning her freshman year at HPU. She is to have participated in campus extracurricular activities and exhibited leadership qualities representative of the Christian values and beliefs fundamental to HPU.

Cravey is working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication with minors in English and theatre. She is a member of Delta Chi Rho, a Christian social-service organization at HPU. She has served in the Baptist Student Ministry both off-campus during Impact weekend and on-campus with the Freshman Council. In 2017, Cravey served as a leader for Jacket Journey, HPU’s new-student orientation. She is also a staff writer for the “The Yellow Jacket” student newspaper and has participated in seven HPU theatre productions during her time at the university.

Cravey leads by example by serving high-school-aged girls at First Baptist Church in Brownwood, volunteering at the Huntsville Children’s Theatre Camp as lead counselor and assisting the Huntsville Community Theatre as stage manager. Last summer, she took an active role in sharing God’s Word as an individual camp counselor for six-to-eight-year-old girls at Camp Eagle in Rocksprings.

“It was my honor to present the Yellow Rose Scholarship to Miss Cravey,” said Dr. Diana Ellis, president of the HPU Woman’s Club and the university’s first lady. “She is an amazing young woman who strives to share Christ with those around her, especially in her work with children.”

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University ( HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at
Cutline: HPU sophomore Katie Cravey (center) was recently awarded the 2018-2019 Yellow Rose Scholarship. She is pictured with her mother, Kerri Cravey (right) and Dr. Diana Ellis (left), HPU first lady and Woman’s Club president.

HPU’s University Singers to present concert on Monday, April 30

The American Choral Tradition-1BROWNWOOD – April 26, 2018 – The University Singers of Howard Payne University will present a spring concert titled on Monday, April 30, at 7:30 p.m. This free concert will be held at HPU’s Grace Chapel and is open to the public.

This concert titled “The American Choral Tradition” will feature strictly American composers dating back to the early singing school and sacred harp traditions of the late 18th century, folk songs of the early 20th century and will include a tribute to musical theatre.

Selections will include “Easter Anthem,” by William Billings; “Ching-A-Ring Chaw,” “Zion’s Walls” and “I Bought Me A Cat,” all by Aaron Copland; “I Could Have Danced All Night,” from My Fair Lady; “Every time I Feel the Spirit,” by Moses Hogan; and more.

The University Singers choir is under the direction of Dr. Christopher Rosborough, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities.

“We have such a rich tradition of choral music in American history that it is difficult to cover everything in one concert,” said Dr. Rosborough. “However, I believe the selections we chose will give a wonderful glimpse into this fascinating legacy. There’s truly something for everyone!”

The University Singers will be accompanied on piano by Dean Kiesling, music teacher at Northwest Elementary and organist at First United Methodist Church. Also, HPU alumna Renée Blackstock ’07 will be a featured soloist on two pieces.

The mission of HPU’s University Singers is to cultivate an ensemble of singers within the community and university who strive to offer a high level of artistry while advocating for great choral music in Brownwood and its surrounding areas.

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

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University ( HPU offers a variety of financial aid options. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at