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HPU to host world premiere of choral work by alumnus

Alumni_Choir_LogoBRdr-william-batesOWNWOOD – September 23, 2016 – The Howard Payne University Alumni Choir will present a concert featuring the world premiere of HPU alumnus Dr. William Bates’ setting of “O Sing to the Lord a New Song” on Saturday, October 29, at 1:30 p.m. The Alumni Choir will perform during the university’s Concert Choir performance in HPU’s Grace Chapel. All HPU choir alumni are invited to join the choir and be a part of this exciting world premiere during Homecoming.

The new piece was composed by Dr. Bates to honor the HPU music faculty of the class of 1966.

Dr. Bates earned his Bachelor of Music degree in organ and church music as well as a Bachelor of Arts in music theory from HPU in 1966. He went on to earn both his Master of Music and Doctorate of Music degrees from Indiana University. Dr. Bates has presented recitals and workshops for churches and American Guild of Organist chapters throughout much of the United States. He has also presented recitals in Europe, including those at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, and King’s College in Cambridge, England.

Dr. Bates’ teaching career spans a total of 46 years. He served at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina, as professor of organ and music history, associate dean and director of graduate studies for the university’s School of Music. In 2012, Dr. Bates was named a recipient of the Oswald Gleason Ragatz Distinguished Organist Alumnus Award at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.

The Alumni Choir will make its first appearance at Homecoming with hopes of growing the ensemble to explore more performance opportunities. The choir will gather from 8:30-9:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 29, to rehearse and will be showcased at 1:30 p.m. during the Concert Choir concert. The Alumni Choir will present the world premiere of Dr. William Bates’ new piece and join the HPU Concert Choir on Fettke’s “The Majesty and Glory of Your Name.”

The Alumni Choir and the Concert Choir are under the direction of Dr. Christopher Rosborough ’08, director of choral activities.

“The HPU choral program spans nearly 70 years and we are excited to be able to celebrate generations of great music-making on this momentous occasion,” said Dr. Rosborough. “Being an HPU alumnus, I am honored to share in this experience. We are grateful to Dr. Bates for his contribution and encourage the public to come be a part of this ‘new song’ in the HPU School of Music and Fine Arts.”

To join the Alumni Choir, visit

For more information, contact the HPU School of Music and Fine Arts at 325-649-8500 or visit


Photo cutline: HPU will present the world premiere of a choral work by alumnus, Dr. William Bates. All HPU choir alumni are encouraged to join the Alumni Choir and celebrate this honor.