Students in the Hardin-Simmons University School of Music, anxious to find out if they received scholarships, gathered for one of the semester’s final programs in the Woodward-Dellis Recital Hall.
Funds from 78 scholarships were distributed among 57 undergraduate and graduate students during the annual Honors and Awards Recital, April 8, 2014. The scholarships provide funding for classes that will be taken during the 2014-2015 academic year, and total more than $178,000. The majority of the scholarships are endowed by former HSU students and friends of the university.
One of the most coveted scholarships is the result of a foundation set up in 1906 by Theodore Presser, the founder of The Etude magazine. HSU’s School of Music has continuously qualified for the substantial scholarship that is awarded to a student showing excellence in the study of music. The recipient is chosen by the music faculty.
While junior Catherine Miller, a music education major from Bryan, Texas, was surprised to be named the Presser Scholar, Catherine’s parents, Sara and Brian Miller, had received a heads-up from the dean of the College of Fine Arts, Dr. Robert Tucker, and were waiting with a congratulatory bouquet of flowers.
Miller first came to HSU during her junior and senior year of high school to attend the Abilene Summer Music Festival, an event founded by HSU music educators. While both of Catherine’s parents are graduates of other Texas Baptist universities, the Millers said HSU seemed to be just the perfect fit for their daughter and said their son is also considering HSU’s School of Music.
While music may come naturally, Sara, a music teacher, says one of the things she considers most interesting about her daughter is that she learned to read and write in Spanish before she learned English. Catherine lived in Mexico City for two years while her parents served as missionaries.
Catherine plans to complete her music education degree in 2016, after a year of student teaching.
One of the highlights of the evening were the farewell performances of four seniors and graduate students, comprised of Robert Colley, senior, Abilene, Texas, majoring in violin performance; David Spruiell, trombonist, senior from Tahoka, Texas, majoring in music education; Amada Hollis, soprano, graduate student in voice performance, from Abilene, Texas; and Wenhui “Sherry” Dou, graduate student in piano performance, from China.
Other students receiving special honors include:
• Jessica Spurgers, sophomore, Princeton, Texas, majoring in piano performance - Outstanding Student in Undergraduate Harmony Award
• Caleb Wardle, sophomore, Pilot Point, Texas, majoring in theory and composition - Outstanding Student in Undergraduate Ear Training Award
• Allison Grider, senior, Spring, Texas, majoring in music education - Outstanding Student Teacher Award
• Amanda Rex, senior, Andrews, Texas, majoring in music education - Sigma Alpha Iota Chapter Honor Award
• Cassidy Cantu, senior, Sweetwater, Texas, majoring in math - Sigma Alpha Iota Graduating Senior Highest GPA Award
• Ryan Lovell, graduate student, Abilene, Texas, studying conducting - Phi Mu Alpha Scholastic Award
Students inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda include:
Hayden Meek, junior, Granbury, Texas, majoring in Church Music; Catherine Miller, Bryan, Texas, music education and oboe performance; Christopher Cundiff, senior, Abilene, Texas, majoring in theory and composition; Jacob Estes, senior, Rising Star, Texas, majoring in theory and composition; Virginia Martinez, senior, Abilene, Texas, majoring in music business; Wenhui “Sherry” Dou, graduate student, China, piano performance; and Ryan Lovell, grad student, Abilene, Texas, conducting.