News Archives: School of Music and Fine Arts

HPU Symphonic Band and Central Texas Community Band present “Yuletide Tidings” Nov. 21

BROWNWOOD – November 15, 2019 – Howard Payne University’s Symphonic Band and the Central Texas Community Band invite the public to “Yuletide Tidings,” a joint Christmas-themed presentation by the two groups directed by Frank Nelson, director of bands and assistant professor of music at HPU. The performance will take place on Thursday, November 21, at 7:30 p.m. in Mims Auditorium on the HPU campus. The event is free of charge.

The combined band is comprised of 56 members, including HPU students and faculty as well as musicians from Comanche, Santa Anna, Lake Brownwood and all across Brown County.

The program will feature numerous Christmas favorites such as “White Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “Home for the Holidays” and many more. The audience will be invited to sing along with the band on some selections. The event will also include a special musical presentation by a trombone septet from members of the community band.

“This will be an evening filled with fun and enjoyable holiday entertainment,” said Frank Nelson. “We look forward to celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through music with the people of our area.”


Cutline: Members of HPU’s Symphonic Band rehearse for the upcoming “Yuletide Tidings” concert.

Four HPU pre-college music students receive NSF Art Awards

Four students in the HPU pre-college music program were honored as recipients of Wilda Dragoo Music Scholarships during the Nancy Seaberry Frost Arts 21st Annual Music Scholarships presentation held at the Rip Festival in Eastland.

HPU pre-college music students recognized during the ceremony were Braylee Reeves and Matthew Till, students of Diane Owens, HPU pre-college program director, and Austin Luker and Avery Luker, students of HPU senior Suzanne Schad, a music education major from Briggs.

Through the aid of its donors, NSF Arts has helped to provide 462 music scholarships to school children in rural Texas and 127 concerts for schools and communities.

According to the organizations website, NSF Arts takes its namesake from Nancy Seaberry Frost, an accomplished music ensemble member. The Nancy Seaberry Frost Arts Endowment was established to introduce her love of music to children. 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 awarded Wilda Dragoo Music Scholarships during the NSF Arts 21st Annual Music Scholarships presentation. Pictured from left to right are Braylee Reeves, Matthew Till, Austin Luker and Avery Luker.

HPU sophomore Haleigh Clevenger receives PACCAR Foundation scholarship

Howard Payne University sophomore Haleigh Clevenger, a sophomore from Brownwood majoring in English and studio art, has been selected to receive a scholarship from the PACCAR Foundation provided by the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas (ICUT) Foundation and its national partner, the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC).

Her parents are Patrick ’95, who graduated from HPU with a major in practical theology and Spanish, and Elizabeth, who worked at the university from 1993 to 1995 with the university’s English as a Second Language program. Clevenger attended Midland Classical Academy until her junior year of high school. After moving to Brownwood, she graduated from Brownwood High School in 2018.

“I am so very thankful for what the PACCAR Foundation has done for my family and me,” Clevenger said. “Their generosity in granting me this scholarship is greatly appreciated and will bless my time here at HPU immensely. This gift will allow me to continue growing academically, in an environment that will, likewise, be maturing me spiritually. The foundation’s support is such an encouragement to me and inspires me to keep learning, achieving and setting goals within this community that I love.”

The PACCAR Foundation is a philanthropic branch of the auto production and financial corporation PACCAR. The foundation was formed in 1951 and grants millions of dollars each year for education, social services and the arts.

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of more than 700 nonprofit independent colleges and universities and higher education affiliates and organizations that has worked since 1956 to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence and enhance public understanding of private higher education’s contributions to society. CIC is the major national organization focused on providing services to leaders of independent colleges and universities as well as conferences, seminars and other programs that help institutions improve educational quality, administrative and financial performance and institutional visibility. CIC conducts the largest annual conferences of college and university presidents and of chief academic officers. CIC also provides support to state associations that organize programs and generate contributions for their member colleges and universities, including the ICUT Foundation. The council is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

Applications for admission are being accepted for the spring 2020 and fall 2020 semesters 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


Cutline: HPU sophomore Haleigh Clevenger, an English and studio art major from Brownwood, was recently named a recipient of a PACCAR Foundation scholarship.

HPU School of Music and Fine Arts to host jazz clinics

Howard Payne University’s School of Music and Fine Arts invites area band directors and students to attend four instrument-specific jazz clinics on Thursday, Nov. 14, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in HPU’s Davidson Music Complex.

The evening of clinics will conclude with a free performance by widely acclaimed clinicians Norm Bergeron, Stephen Goacher, Dr. Tarik Hassan and Dr. Benjamin Irom at 7:30 p.m. in HPU’s L.J. Mims Auditorium.

Sessions will focus on drums, saxophone, bass and piano and be led by, respectively, Bergeron, director of percussion studies at Temple College; Goacher, professor of music at HPU; Dr. Hassan, an Austin-based bassist, composer, educator and double bass instructor at Temple College; and Dr. Irom, professor of music and director of jazz studies at Temple College.

All four clinics are free of charge. Registration will be open from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the date of the event in the Davidson Music Complex foyer.

Bergeron earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in jazz performance from the University of North Texas and his Master of Science degree in interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis in ethnomusicology, anthropology and documentary film. He served as the instructor of the Afro-Cuban, Afro-Brazilian, West African and Gamelan ensembles while at the University of North Texas. He performs as the drummer for Big Cat, a band fronted by Storyville vocalist Malford Milligan, and with the Austin Jazz Workshop at elementary schools in Austin-area school districts. He has performed in the studio and live with numerous artists including Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), Holland Greco, Tim Miller, Joe McBride, Jeffrey Osborne, Grover Washington, Jr., Al Jarreau, Wayne Bergeron, Ernie Watts, Joey McIntyre, Brave Combo, Mingo Fishtrap, Sara Hickman, Steve Reich, Angelo Bundini and on numerous jingle and singer/songwriter sessions. He endorses Vic Firth sticks and mallets, Aquarian Drumheads and Sabian cymbals.

Goacher has served as professor of music and director of jazz studies at Howard Payne University for the past 20 years. Goacher previously served as professor of music at Stephen F. Austin State University, Kansas State University and Northern Kentucky University where taught both woodwinds and jazz studies. Professionally, he has performed with the Henry Mancini Orchestra, Bob Hope, Tommy Dorsey, The Temptations, Lena Horne, Rosemary Clooney, Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis, Steve Lawrence and Edy Gorme. Additionally, he has been a member of the Temple Jazz Orchestra since 2008 and performed at the Jazz a’ Vienne France Festival, the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, the Monteau Jazz Festival in Switzerland and the Regen Jazz Club in Vienna, Austria.

Dr. Hassan earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in jazz studies from Florida State University; his Master of Music degree from the University of New Orleans; and his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in performance with an emphasis in jazz at The University of Texas at Austin. He spent nearly a decade as a professional musician in New Orleans where he developed his unique sound while studying the music of jazz masters past and present. He has performed with Jason Marsalis, Andre Hayward, Bruce Saunders, Irvin Mayfield, Ed Petersen, Steve Masalowski, Johnny Vidacovich, Marlon Jorday, Delfeayo Marsalis, Brian Seegar, and Troy Davis. He has performed at Snug Harbor, the House of Blues in New Orleans, The Orleans in Las Vegas, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and in France at Les Cultures du Monde.

In addition to serving on the faculty of Temple College, Dr. Irom is the director of the Temple Jazz Orchestra, a 20-piece big band comprised of some of the best jazz musicians in Central Texas. He has been a faculty member at Baylor University, Riverside Community College in Riverside, California and The University of Texas at Austin. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in music from the University of California, Santa Cruz; his Master of Arts degree in music composition from the University of California, Los Angeles; and his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in composition with jazz emphasis at The University of Texas at Austin. He has performed alongside Paquito D’Rivera, Poncho Sanchez, Arturo Sandoval, Christian McBride, Wynton Marsalis, Bobby Shew, Randy Brecker, Jim Pugh, Rufus Reid, James Moody, Roy Hargrove, Kenny Burrell, Eddie Daniels, John Fedchock, Marcus Printup, Ed Calle, Bill Watrous, Butch Miles and Bob Mintzer. His music is available for purchase through The University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press.


Cutline: Pictured are Dr. Benjamin Hassan, Stephen Goacher, Norm Bergeron and Dr. Tarik Hassan, instructors for HPU’s Nov. 14 jazz clinics.

HPU to host UIL workshop Nov. 15

Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team invites area high school UIL teams to participate in its annual speech, debate and journalism workshop. The event will be held at HPU’s Mabee University Center and the Paul and Jane Meyer Faith and Life Leadership Center on Wednesday, November 20, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The day will feature training in prose, poetry, informative, persuasive, LD debate and CX debate as well as editorial, news, feature and headline writing. HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau (SSB) speech and debate team will provide all speech and debate instruction. Members of HPU’s Yellow Jacket newspaper will provide journalism training.

“This workshop is a great resource for area high schools that want to give their UIL competitors a head start in preparing for district competitions,” said Dr. Julie Welker, chair of the Department of Communication, professor of communication and SSB coach. “Our goal is to help prepare both students and coaches in the speaking and journalism events, giving them the tools they need to competently compete and coach.”

The cost for the workshop is $25 per student. Although not included in the cost, lunch will be available on campus or at local restaurants. Those interested in attending can register online at 

“UIL coordinators and coaches should register their students soon,” said Dr. Welker. “We have a limited number of spots available and registration will close when we meet capacity.”

For further information on the workshop, contact Dr. Welker at or 325-649-8508.


HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau hosts debate competition

Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau (SSB) speech and debate team hosted the Heart of Texas Swing Tournament recently on campus. In addition to HPU, universities that competed were The University of Texas at Austin, Abilene Christian University, Texas Christian University, Texas State University, West Texas A&M University, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Kansas Wesleyan University and Wayland Baptist University.

“We were thrilled to be able to host an invitational tournament for our collegiate forensics community,” said Dr. Julie Welker, chair of HPU’s Department of Communication and professor of communication. “With some of the best universities in Texas competing, we had very strong competition.”

HPU SSB students competed well at their first tournament of the year and each student on the team earned an award.

Parker Brown, freshman Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and Jurisprudence major from Springfield, Virginia, received first place in impromptu speaking.

Haylee Maddox, senior strategic communication major from Bellville, was a quarterfinalist in IPDA debate. She and Alek Mendoza also received first place in dramatic duo interpretation.

Esmeralda Maldonado, junior strategic communication and jurisprudence major from Whitney, received sixth place in IPDA debate and a speaker award.

Alek Mendoza, sophomore theatre major from Bangs, received fourth place in dramatic interpretation. He and Haylee Maddox also received first place in dramatic duo interpretation.

Madi Neal, senior strategic communication major from Chandler, was a semifinalist in extemporaneous speaking.

Rishona Raub, freshman Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, social work and strategic communication major from Celina, was a semifinalist in extemporaneous speaking.

Devin Schurman, freshman Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, social work and strategic communication major from San Antonio, was a semifinalist in impromptu speaking and received sixth place in NPDA debate and a speaker award.

Dr. Welker expressed how impressed she was with everyone’s performance.

“I am so proud of the hard work and dedication this team is putting in this year,” she said. “I’m excited to see what the rest of the year holds for the team.”


Cutline: HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau members are pictured from left to right: Alek Mendoza, Devin Schurman, Parker Brown, Haylee Maddox, Madi Neal, Rishona Raub and Dr. Julie Welker. Not pictured is Esmerelda Maldonado.

HPU faculty members attend TSCA state convention

Two faculty members of Howard Payne University’s Department of Communication attended the Texas Speech Communication Association’s (TSCA) state convention held recently in Amarillo. The faculty members, Dr. Julie Welker and Richelle Hair, both had an opportunity to be on a discussion panel.

Dr. Julie Welker, chair of the Department of Communication and professor of communication, served on a panel titled “Online Communication Classes as Echo Chambers: Are We Killing the Face-to-Face Experience?” which addressed the current enrollment trends of online communication courses. Dr. Welker’s presentation focused on ways to increase student success in online classes, including student training for taking online classes, better pedagogical practices in online education and improving interpersonal communication online.

“Technological increases don’t automatically transfer over to better online communication, despite the perception that it might,” she said. “As student demand for online courses increases, our online classrooms must be a place where good, insightful communication and learning occurs.”

Dr. Welker has been attending the convention for several years and believes the conference is important for communication educators. She also serves on the Bylaws Committee for the TSCA.

“Both secondary teachers and professors at higher education institutions benefit from the rich programs and training opportunities the conference provides,” she said.

Richelle Hair, instructor of communication, served as the chair of the panel titled “Squashing Echoes – Title IX in Higher Education and Sexual Harassment in Secondary Education.” Hair served as the facilitator for this discussion, focusing on how Title IX plays a role in minimizing sexual assault and harassment in both secondary and higher education.

“Faculty must understand the importance and implications of Title IX,” she said. “This is a significant issue that has implications for our students and faculty alike. Students, faculty and staff need to understand their role in reporting.”

Hair added that she was thankful for the opportunity to attend the TSCA conference this year.

“The programs were insightful and I enjoyed collaborating with faculty from other universities,” she said. “TSCA has a warm and inviting environment and I felt I had an open seat at the table to share and learn with my colleagues.”

TSCA is the largest state professional communication association in the nation. Membership in TSCA is open to any communication educator, communication student, communication consultant or individual interested in learning about the field of speech communication. All levels of instruction and areas of interests are represented in the association.

The benefits of membership in TSCA include updated professional awareness, networking with other professionals, and exposure to innovation, teaching methodologies and scholarly works relevant to the discipline of speech communication.


Cutline: HPU’s Dr. Julie Welker (left) and Richelle Hair recently attended the TSCA state convention.

HPU choirs perform in Austria

Members of Howard Payne University’s Concert Choir and University Singers recently performed in Austria with six other choral groups.

HPU’s contingent of 23 performed with a mass choir, numbering almost 100 singers, and a chamber orchestra in a performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Requiem” at the historic Votivkirche. The renowned composer was born in Salzburg, living and performing in Austria for most of his life. This historical context lent significance to the experiences of attendees.

“A part of my heart will always be in Austria, especially Salzburg,” said Dr. Christopher Rosborough, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities. “To host this trip was an immense honor and I know that, for those in attendance, minds were sharpened, hearts were changed and eyes were opened. There is nothing more empowering to the musician and scholar than to experience first-hand the history of a specific composer. In our case, a musicological wellspring such as Austria holistically filled each of us.”

Student Taylor Davis commented on the experience of performing abroad at a historic site.

“This trip was absolutely incredible,” said Davis. “To sing alongside six other groups in the Votivkirche in Vienna was absolutely magical and I was left in tears at the end of the concert. Austria is such a kind, beautiful country and I feel as though my life and view of the world have changed significantly after going.”

The ensemble performed under the direction of Dr. John Dickson, director of choral studies at Louisiana State University. Dr. Dickson is familiar to HPU, having served as the featured clinician at the university’s first annual Conducting Workshop held in the spring of 2018.

HPU students included Rebekah Barnett, a junior from Frisco majoring in musical education; Taylor Davis, a senior from Alvin majoring in musical education; Madelyn Deviney, a senior from Bulverde majoring in the Guy D. Newman Honors Academy and English; Preston Ezzell, a freshman from Brownwood majoring in engineering science and music education; Joseph Lahmann, a junior from Killeen majoring in business and systems development; Ryan Miles, a junior from Goldthwaite majoring in vocal performance; Amanda Moore, a freshman from Euless majoring in elementary education; and Suzanne Schad, a senior from Briggs majoring in music education.

HPU alumni, faculty and staff included Joy Renée Blackstock ’07; Kayla Chadwick ’19; Jessica Jones ’06; Cathryn Rasbury ’15; Danielle Rosborough ’08, database manager; Beverly Ross ’76; Natalie Stephens ’19; and Katelyn Zimmer ’19. Dr. Rosborough led the group from HPU and performed along with choir members. Also accompanying the group were six members of the HPU University Singers, Gary Butka, Angie Calfa, Ann Harris, Bill Slaymaker, Ann Slaymaker and Brent Rosborough.

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


Cutline: Pictured are members of HPU choirs in front of the Austrian cathedral, Votivkirche.

HPU honors 61 students at Academic Awards Convocation

Howard Payne University honored 61 students for academic achievements at the university’s annual Academic Awards Convocation, held near the end of the spring 2019 semester.

Receiving awards were:

Kylie Johnson, Honor Award in Spanish

Brianna Weaver, Outstanding New Secondary Teacher and English Academic Achievement Award

Jessica Catlett, Honor Award in Social Work

Emma Reed, Outstanding Model United Nations Student

Riley G. Morrison, Outstanding Student in Marketing and Outstanding Graduate in Engineering Science

Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Xavier Haines, HPU Outstanding Male Scholar-Athlete

Kaitlyn Bush, Outstanding Student in Practical Theology and Outstanding Student in Christian Studies
Cameron Butler, Outstanding Spanish Minor
Kristen Herring, Outstanding New Elementary Teacher
Hannah Justice, Outstanding Graduate in Biomedical Science
Joel Justice, Outstanding Student in Biblical Languages
Grace Milcherska, Outstanding New Elementary Teacher
Bailey Myler, Outstanding Moot Court Student
Seth Owen, Outstanding Student in Physical Education
Tanner Pennington, Outstanding History Student
Grant Saltar, Outstanding Music Major (Instrumental) Upper Division
Anna Vallejo, Outstanding Nontraditional Student
Tricia S. Webb, Outstanding Perseverance Award

Suzanne Schad, Outstanding Music Major (Piano) Upper Division

Preston Davis, English Academic Achievement Award

Sierra Ross, Outstanding Mock Trial Student and Honor Award in Spanish

Canyon Country, California
Matthew Davis, Outstanding Student in Christian Education

Kathryn Grice, Outstanding Swarm Yearbook Staff Member

Clifton, Colorado
Caleb Kostreva, Outstanding Government Student

Corpus Christi
Ethan Cerna, Outstanding Upper Division Student in Biology

Jaime Dodson, Honor Award in Psychology

Audrey Joan Simpson, Outstanding Student in the School of Business and Tami Pattillo Memorial Award

Richard Treviso, Outstanding Upper Division Student in Chemistry

Cecily McIlwain, Outstanding Student in Cross-Cultural Studies and Outstanding Student in Christian Studies
Spencer Wolverton, Outstanding Upper Division Student in Communication Studies

Caleb Callaway, Outstanding Lower Division Student in Communication Studies
Abraham Cooper, Distinguished Music Major Achievement Award and Excellence in Chemistry Award
MaKayla De Leon, Outstanding Lower Division Student in Mathematics
Tanya Glasscock, Outstanding Nontraditional Student in Education

Fort Worth
Reed Alexander Shelley, Outstanding Student in Marketing and ASC Medal of Honor Award

Garden Ridge
Camila Cotter, Outstanding New All-Level Teacher and Outstanding Music Major (Vocal)

Seth Rainey, Outstanding Yellow Jacket Newspaper Staff Member

Haltom City
Dayane Gutierrez, Outstanding Student in Management

Cody Harrison Hughes, Outstanding Student in Accounting

Lindsey Krueger, Outstanding Music Service Award
Tyler Olin, Outstanding Student Speaker Bureau Member and Texas All-State Forensics Squad

Noah Payne, Paul Jay Cunningham Memorial Award

Kathleen Cravey, Outstanding Academic Achievement in Communication Studies

Talen Davis-Rentfro, Outstanding Lower Division Engineering Science Student

Hailey Green, Outstanding Achievement in Theatre

David Dingle, Outstanding Graduate in Biology

Lake Jackson
Hogan Stogner, Outstanding Lower Division Engineering Student

Graham White, Outstanding Student in General Studies

Justin Hughes, Outstanding Upper Division Student in Engineering Science

Sarah Abigail Brown, Jack White Character Award in Art
Eli Williams, Outstanding Student in Biblical Languages
Deejay Moses, The Servant Artist Award

Kimberly Bogart, Outstanding Upper Division Student in Mathematics

Midway, Arkansas
Jessica Swonger, HPU Outstanding Female Scholar-Athlete

Newport, Arkansas
Mikala Meadows, Outstanding Student in General Biology

Dalton Pendergrass, Outstanding Music Major (Instrumental) Lower Division

Brian Blanchard, Outstanding Music Major (Piano) Lower Division

Rachel Carpenter, Outstanding Student in Bible

San Angelo
Juan Luna, Honor Award in Criminal Justice

Valley Mills
Lance Bracco, Outstanding Lower Division Student in Biology

Kaitlyn Harrison, Kinesiology/Athletic Training Highest GPA – 4.0, Outstanding Athletic Training Student and ASC Medal of Honor Award

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


HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau earns two places at nationals

BROWNWOOD – April 17, 2019 – Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team recently competed at the National Christian College Forensics Association national tournament, with two of the members earning awards. The competition took place at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Kansas.

Freshman Alek Mendoza, theatre and communication major from Bangs, won fifth place in novice dramatic interpretation, and sophomore Lucy Manning, Guy D. Newman Honors Academy, communication and social science jurisprudence major from Fort Worth, won sixth place in open persuasive speaking.

More than 220 students from 21 universities from across the nation participated in the 2019 championship. All institutions represented are members of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities.

“I’m very proud of Alek placing in dramatic interpretation as a freshman,” said Dr. Julie Welker, speech and debate team coach and chair and professor of communication. “He has worked hard this year on his interpretive pieces and the hard work has paid off. Alek is a very talented performer, and I’m thankful the judges recognized that.”

Dr. Welker also praised Manning’s work at the tournament.

“In just her second year of competition, and moving into the open division, Lucy’s sixth place was hard earned,” said Dr. Welker. “Lucy has been a strong competitor this year, winning both speaker awards and placing at every tournament we’ve attended.”
Manning also competed in parliamentary debate.

Other students competing in the tournament were junior Madison Neal, communication major from Chandler; senior Tyler Olin, social science jurisprudence and Guy D. Newman Honors Academy major from Howe; and sophomore Esmeralda Maldonado, communication major from Whitney. Richelle Hair, instructor of communication, also traveled and assisted in coaching the team.

The team is spending the rest of semester adjudicating district and regional UIL speech and debate meets, and will begin preparing for next year’s competitive season.


Cutline: HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau speech and debate team recently competed at the National Christian College Forensics Association national tournament. Pictured from left are Tyler Olin, Alek Mendoza, Madison Neal, Lucy Manning and Esmeralda Maldonado.