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HPU’s Department of Music announces new Center for Rural and Small School Music Education

The Howard Payne University Department of Music recently announced the formation of the Center for Rural and Small School Music Education.

Through the program, HPU faculty will provide instruction via clinics for students and instructors, technology-mediated instruction and consultation, as well as research into and development of effective resources for rural and small schools. The initiative will specifically address the needs of music students and faculty in rural small schools in areas near HPU. The need of area schools was recognized by the Department of Music, serving as motivation to ensure music students at local high schools have access to the best opportunities and resources.

“We are committed to the idea that every student is entitled to a quality music education experience irrespective of where he or she lives,” said Dr. Richard Fiese, dean of the School of Music and Fine Arts. “It is also important to recognize that rural and small schools actually comprise over half of all school districts in Texas, but limited resources often severely hinder fine arts programs at these schools. As a faculty, we saw the need and were compelled by that awareness to take action in support of the teachers and students in small, rural schools.”

HPU faculty who are principal participants in the initiative are Dr. Fiese; Stephen Goacher, professor of music; Frank Nelson, assistant professor of music and director of bands; and Dr. Christopher Rosborough, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities.

“Collectively, the primary faculty participants in the center have over a hundred years of experience in music education,” said Dr. Fiese. “This is an incredible resource of expertise that is dedicated to expanding both access to and excellence in music educational experiences in small, rural schools.”

In addition to meeting an immediate need of many area schools, the program will aid teachers and instructors who possess direct links to HPU.

“We have many graduates who serve in school districts that are comprised of schools of small enrollment located in essentially rural areas,” said Dr. Fiese, “so it is an obvious extension of our ongoing relationships with alumni.”

HPU’s Center for Rural and Small School Music Education program is expected to begin in fall 2019. For more information, contact the School of Music and Fine Arts at 325-649-8500.

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2019 semester at Howard Payne University ( For more information about HPU, including the wide range of available financial aid options, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at


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