News Archives: School of Music and Fine Arts

HPU music students qualify for international summer programs, accepting donations

BROWNWOOD – December 14, 2018 – Four Howard Payne University music students participated last month in the Summer Program Auditions sponsored by the Texoma Region of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. The auditions are attended by casting representatives from young artist programs within the United States, as well as international programs. Each of the HPU students received multiple offers from artist programs in England and Italy.

Students attending the auditions were Leland Brown, sophomore vocal performance major from Euless; Sadie Perez, junior vocal performance major from Brownwood; Brendyn Porter, senior vocal studies major from Red Oak; and Andreahnna Rosenquist, sophomore vocal performance major from Brownwood. Perez and Rosenquist are students of Dr. Celeste Church, dean of institutional research and effectiveness and professor of voice. Brown and Porter are students of Dr. Gregory Church, professor of music.

“The fact that each of these students attended their first audition for young artist programs and received two or more offers speaks to the level of talent we have in the vocal program at Howard Payne,” said Dr. Celeste Church. “Our students are comparable with singers from the finest schools in our region.”

Students accepted into these programs may participate in a wealth of opportunities including two to six weeks on location, private coaching, language lessons, recital performances, opera scenes performances, and acting and movement instruction, all from professionally recognized instructors. It is a wonderful opportunity that can provide a foundation for graduate work and a career in performance.

“These programs are an important first step for young singers to begin establishing their careers as professionals,” said Dr. Gregory Church. “The money spent to participate in these programs is an investment in the students’ futures.”

Participation in summer artist programs is a privilege, but it is also costly. For the HPU students to take advantage of one of these opportunities, it will require a significant investment of time, energy and financial resources. There are limited scholarships offered for some of the programs, but it falls to these students to pay for their travel and program tuition.

Those interested in supporting one or more of these students in taking advantage of this opportunity, may contact Randy Yeakley, HPU’s vice president of development at 325-649-8804. You may contribute to the “HPU Fine Arts Enrichment Fund” by sending a check payable to Howard Payne University to P.O. Box 2369, Brownwood, Texas 76804.

For more information, please contact HPU’s Office of Institutional Advancement at 325-649-8006 or


Cutline: Four HPU music students recently participated in the Summer Program Auditions sponsored by the Texoma Region of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, each receiving multiple offers from artist programs in England and Italy. Left to right: Leland Brown, Sadie Perez, Andreahnna Rosenquist and Brendyn Porter.

HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau competes in Oxford, England

BROWNWOOD – December 14, 2018 – Members of the Student Speaker Bureau, Howard Payne University’s competitive speech and debate team, recently traveled to Oxford, England, to compete in the Oxford Inter-Varsity Debating Tournament, one of the largest British Parliamentary debate tournaments in the world.

Lucy Manning, sophomore communication, social science jurisprudence and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Fort Worth, competed in the tournament with two separate debate partners, both from Oxford University. Freshman Alek Mendoza, communication and theatre major from Bangs, served as an adjudicator at the tournament. Also on the trip were Dr. Julie Welker, chair of HPU’s Department of Communication and Student Speaker Bureau coach, and Richelle Hair, instructor of communication.

The British parliamentary style of debate at the tournament consists of four teams of two. The teams are presented with a resolution and then given 15 minutes to prepare for the debate. Debaters may not consult the Internet or coaches but may have some printed material available. Contestants are expected to have a broad, working knowledge of world events and issues. Some of the topics debated at this tournament included research into the possible genetic origins of sex, race and sexuality; environmental advocacy and legislation; compulsory military service in Israel; South African township development; and U.S. political ties with Saudi Arabia.

“The best thing about going to an international debate tournament was viewing the different debate styles and learning more about other cultures,” said Mendoza. “I had the opportunity to use my Spanish to communicate with two competitors from Spain and discuss many things that differ in our cultures.”

The HPU team watched the grand final round, held in the famous Oxford Union Debating Chamber.

“Oxford was amazing,” said Manning. “We had the challenge of a new debate format and the chance to discuss important topics with people from all over the world. We debated in the chamber where brilliant discussions have occurred for generations. The history of the Oxford Union was fantastic.”

While in Oxford, the team toured the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and the University Church of St. Mary, the official church of University of Oxford. The HPU group also attended Evensong at Christ Church.

“Experiencing the culture of Oxford is such an important part of our trip,” said Dr. Welker. “Besides the debates, we spend time exploring University of Oxford and learning about the oldest university in Europe.”

After competing in Oxford, the group traveled to London for educational sightseeing. The team visited Parliament, attending debates at both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The group visited Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, the British Library, the British Museum, the National Gallery and other various points of interest.

While in London, the group met with an International Mission Board (IMB) missionary, who is stationed just outside of London. The IMB missionary shared with the group about her work, mission and needs in the greater London area. The group was able to pray with her and share a small gift of financial support.

“I really wanted the team to connect with an American who was doing mission work in the greater London area,” said Dr. Welker. “This was a unique opportunity to combine our academic-based trip with understanding more about sharing the Gospel in European nations.”

The HPU debate team has been traveling to Oxford for the international competition since 2011 and plans to continue the tradition of international debate.

HPU pre-college music students receive NSF Arts awards

BROWNWOOD – December 5, 2018 – Five students in Howard Payne University’s Pre-College Music and Art Program were honored at the 20th Annual Music Scholarship Awards presentation in Eastland. The awards were presented by the Nancy Seaberry Frost Arts Endowment (NSF Arts) during the community’s Rip Fest.

The HPU pre-college award recipients included Angie Calfa, 17-year-old voice and piano student; Christopher Ivy, 8-year-old piano student; Kyle Ivy, 14-year-old piano student; Austin Luker, 9-year-old piano student; and Sarah Reeves, 15-year-old voice student.

NSF Arts has sponsored hundreds of music scholarships and concerts across Texas since 1999.

“We are so honored that our young students received this recognition and thankful for the opportunity of study that the scholarship provides,” said Diane Owens, director of the pre-college program.

According to the website for the endowment, Nancy Seaberry Frost left her musical mark on Texas communities with a Sebastian Klotz violin. While enjoying a career in music ensembles, she provided West Texas and beyond with more than 50 years of beautiful stringed music. With her passing, the rare violin continued to be more than an instrument; it became a treasure which introduced her love of music to children and fostered a legacy with the establishment of The Nancy Seaberry Frost Arts Endowment. In 1999, the Frost Estate shared the proceeds of the sale of the Klotz violin to create the endowment. The NSF Arts Music Scholarship Program and the Community Performances Program add to this rich legacy by creating and sharing music with future generations.


Cutline: Four HPU pre-college music students were honored at the 20th Annual Music Scholarship Awards presentation in Eastland. Left to right: Sarah Reeves, Austin Luker, Angie Calfa, Kyle Ivy and Christopher Ivy.

HPU junior Sarah Abigail Brown named recipient of the first Jack White Character Scholarship

BROWNWOOD – December 3, 2018 – Howard Payne University junior Sarah Abigail “Abi” Brown was recently named the first recipient of the Jack White Character Scholarship.

Brown, an art education major from May, Texas, is active in the HPU Baptist Student Ministry, serving on the BSM leadership team and as a leader of the Pray and Do ministry. She also serves at May First Baptist Church as a youth leader, is a member of honors organization Gamma Beta Phi and is a student worker at the Walker Memorial Library.

“I feel very honored to be the first recipient of the Jack White scholarship,” said Brown. “It’s for being of good, moral character in and out of class, so that makes the scholarship a great honor.”

The scholarship was started in 2018 in memory of Jack White by his wife, Mikki Senkarik, and former Baylor University football head coach Grant Teaff. Funding for the scholarship was aided through the sale of a painting honoring White by Senkarik and a donation from Teaff and his wife, Donell. Teaff and White had a lasting friendship that began shortly after Teaff was hired at Baylor and requested that White create new artwork for the team.

Senkarik, along with Coach Teaff, had the opportunity to meet Brown when the scholarship was presented to her.

“Abi is just precious. Her artwork impressed me very much,” said Senkarik. “She’s a wonderful person with a generous spirit and her faith makes me proud. I know Jack would have loved to have met her and would be proud of her too.”

Jack White graduated from HPU in 1955 and went on to become a Master Oil Painter. Through the course of his career, he painted portraits of President Lyndon B. Johnson, NBA player Julius Erving, McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc and Dallas Cowboys’ head coach Tom Landry. He was named a State Artist of Texas in 1975.

To learn more about donation options to this scholarship fund and others HPU offers to its students, please visit

Applications are being accepted for the spring 2019 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 junior Sarah Abigail Brown was awarded the first Jack White Character Scholarship in recognition of her character and academic success.

HPU, Lyric Theatre and Arts Council of Brownwood to present Handel’s “Messiah”

BROWNWOOD – November 30, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s School of Music and Fine Arts will partner with the Brownwood Lyric Theatre and the Arts Council of Brownwood to present G.F. Handel’s “Messiah.” The concert will be held Tuesday, December 4, at 7:30 p.m. at the Brownwood Lyric Theatre. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults and are available at the door on the evening of the performance.

This collaborative effort has materialized from many facets of the local fine arts community. Dr. Christopher Rosborough, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities at HPU, will conduct the newly formed Brown County Festival Chorus with full orchestra.

“This music, in its timelessness, ushers in the joy of the Christmas season for many,” said Dr. Rosborough. “We are so pleased to be able to partner with these community entities and present this masterwork!”

Soloists include HPU alumnae Renée Blackstock ’07 and Danielle Rosborough ’08, as well as Travis Lowery, director of music ministries at First United Methodist in Stephenville, and Dr. Iwao Asakura, associate professor of music at Tarleton State University.

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


Cutline: HPU will partner with the Brownwood Lyric Theatre and the Arts Council of Brownwood to present G.F. Handel’s “Messiah.”

HPU Pre-College Music and Art program to present “Christmas at HPU”

BROWNWOOD – November 29, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Pre-College Music and Art program will host its “Christmas at HPU” celebration on Sunday, December 2, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the atrium of HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center. Family and friends of the students and other members of the community are welcome and encouraged to attend.

“Students in the program will present some wonderful vocal and instrumental Christmas selections,” said Diane Owens, director of the program. “Additionally, the pre-college art students will have some of their recent work on exhibit.”

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 or Jill Holamon at 325-649-8500 or


HPU to celebrate birth of Christ through “Lessons and Carols”

BROWNWOOD – November 29, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s School of Music and Fine Arts will present its annual Service of Lessons and Carols at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 2, at St. John’s Anglican Church in Brownwood. The service includes Scripture readings about the prophecies and fulfillment of the coming Christ, in coordination with music that reflects the passages being read.

HPU personnel will read the Scriptures and the university’s Heritage Singers will perform the musical selections with Dr. Allen Reed, retired 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 – celebrating 100 years this season! The service was first broadcast in 1928 and has broadcast annually, with the exception of 1930. In the United States, the service airs on approximately 300 radio stations and a host of public television networks.

The Heritage Singers are under the direction of Dr. Christopher Rosborough, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities.

“The service of Lessons and Carols is a poignant reminder of the prophecies, and their fulfillment, of the coming of Christ,” said Dr. Rosborough. “With the busyness of this time of the semester, as well as the bits of turmoil we see in the world around us, this service provides an opportunity for contemplation as we focus on the tangibility of our Messiah.”

St. John’s Anglican 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 band and choirs to present Christmas concert

BROWNWOOD – November 26, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s band and choral programs will present a joint Christmas concert on Thursday, November 29, at 7:30 p.m. The event will take place in the university’s Mims Auditorium and is free and open to the public.

The band will open the evening with “The Star Spangled Banner” followed by two performances each by HPU’s Concert Choir and Heritage Singers. Leading more than 60 student performers for the evening are Frank Nelson, director of bands and assistant professor of music, and Dr. Christopher Rosborough, director of choral activities and assistant professor of music.

HPU’s Heritage Singers will perform “Of The Father’s Love Begotten” arranged by Paul Wohlgemuth and “Mary Had a Baby” arranged by William Dawson. The Concert Choir will perform “What Sweeter Music” by John Rutter and “A Musicological Journey Through the Twelve Days of Christmas” by Craig Courtney.

The band will perform “And the Mountains Echoed: Gloria!” by Robert Longfield. This musical work was inspired by the biblical narrative of the appearance of the angels to the shepherds telling them of the birth of Jesus. Additional Christmas pieces to be performed include “Greensleeves” arranged by Alfred Reed; “Mary’s Boy Child” arranged by Philip Sparke; “Sussex Mummers’ Christmas Carol” by Percy Grainger; “The Christmas Song” by Robert Wells and Mel Tormé; and “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson.

The band and choir will join forces in presenting several Christmas carols in a unique setting arranged by David Wilcox – “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “The First Nowell.”

“We invite all of Brown County to come and experience this celebration of Christmas music with us,” said Nelson. “It’s a great way to start off the Christmas season for you and your family. And the best part about it – the concert is absolutely free! It’s our gift to the community. We hope you’ll make plans to attend!”

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


HPU pre-college music students present Fall Saturday Performance Class

BROWNWOOD – November 15, 2018 – Music students from Howard Payne University’s Pre-College Music and Art Program recently presented their yearly Fall Saturday Performance Class in the choral hall of HPU’s Davidson Music Complex.

Twenty-two performers entertained a standing-room-only crowd with vocal and piano solos. At the conclusion of the performance, there was a time of fellowship and refreshments.

“This is always the first performance of the new academic year and the students did an amazing job,” said Diane Owens, director of the program. “It was an exciting and memorable day.”

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 or Jill Holamon at 325-649-8500 or


Cutline: Music students from HPU’s Pre-College Music and Art Program recently presented their yearly Fall Saturday Performance Class.

HPU’s Paige Bowers to present senior clarinet recital

Bowers for webBROWNWOOD – November 15, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Paige Maria Bowers, senior music education major from Corpus Christi, will present her Senior Recital on clarinet, Friday, November 16, at 7:30 p.m. in Grace Chapel on the HPU campus.

Bowers is the daughter of two HPU alumni, Commander Hollis Bowers of the Corpus Christi Police Department, and Jessica Villarreal Bowers. Paige’s grandmother, Linda Marie Bowers, was also an HPU alumna. Paige was an accomplished clarinetist prior to enrolling at HPU, performing in the Texas A&M University Corpus Christi and Del Mar College Honor Bands and winning Region Band honors all four years of high school. She also performed at the Texas UIL State Solo and Ensemble Contest.

Paige received a music department scholarship while attending HPU and has participated in the Symphonic Band, Winds of Triumph and the Jazz Ensemble. She is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi fraternity and Delta Chi Rho sorority. Paige will be accompanied on piano by Dr. Elizabeth Wallace, professor of music and chair of HPU’s Department of Music. Featured on Paige’s program will be the “Sonata for Clarinet and Piano” by Francis Poulenc and “Time Pieces” by Robert Muczynski.

Paige’s recital will also present chamber music featuring a flute and clarinet duo by Chelsea Komschlies. Accompanying Paige will be flutist Kathryn Grice, senior from Carlsbad. A woodwind quartet with Grice and Grant Saltar, senior from Plano, will round out the program.

“Paige has a special voice on the clarinet and an ease of expression which audiences easily discern and appreciate,” said Stephen Goacher, professor of music. “Her program presents variety and will make for an interesting evening’s music.”


Cutline: HPU’s Paige Maria Bowers, senior music education major from Corpus Christi, will present her Senior Recital on clarinet, Friday, November 16, at 7:30 p.m.