Dr. Loyd Hawthorne
Music Education and Christian Service
During his amazing career, Dr. Loyd Hawthorne taught, mentored, and guided countless vocal students to love the beauty and harmony in music. His legacy is manifested in lives changed because of music and his Christian influence.
Growing up, Loyd enjoyed a rare combination of interests in music and athletics in his youth. He was a lineman on the football team, but vocal music became his first love and singing in school and church choirs provided special venues for developing his voice.
He earned his Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Lamar University in 1963. Three years later he earned his Master of Music in Theory and Literature from Baylor University and later completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Texas in 1973.
In 1974, Dr. Loyd Hawthorne was named to the faculty of Hardin-Simmons University. During his tenure at Hardin-Simmons, Dr. Hawthorne served for five years as Dean of the School of Music and held the position of Logsdon Professor of Church Music. In 2002, he stepped down from the dean’s position in order to return to his love of choral music. A superb music educator, Dr. Hawthorne was recognized as a Cullen Professor for Teaching Excellence. He also holds the title of Professor Emeritus at HSU.
Dr. Hawthorne retired from Hardin-Simmons after 33 years on The Forty Acres. His career as a choral director and administrator included a total of 42 years of teaching at the high school and university levels.
Dr. Hawthorne’s choral performances have taken him to the United Kingdom, Europe, Mexico, and the Middle East. A highly sought-after clinician, Dr. Hawthorne has worked with universities, public schools and churches from the east coast to the west coast. In addition, he has been a clinician for New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, the Texas Music Educators Association and served on the music faculty of Church Music Week at Glorieta in New Mexico.
In 2003, Dr. Hawthorne formed and served as conductor of the Texas All-State Youth Choir – West, eventually named “Master’s Voices.” The choir convened nine summers on the Hardin-Simmons University campus, touring and performing throughout the South. Under his guidance, Master’s Voices also commissioned and premiered two sacred anthems: “To Know the Mind of God” by Mark Hayes and “Eternal Life” by Craig Courtney. Dr. Hawthorne served 15 years as conductor of the Texas Baptist All-State Youth Choir and a comparable period as conductor of the Louisiana Baptist All-State Youth Choir.
In 2007, Dr. Hawthorne was in the first class of graduates from Lamar University to be inducted into their Music Hall of Honor. He is a member of the Texas Music Educations Association, Texas Choral Directors Association, and the American Choral Directors Association. He has served as president, past president and second vice president of the Texas Choral Directors Association and received their Choral Excellence Award as well as their Texas Choir Master’s Award.
Dr. Hawthorne was called from retirement twice to serve as the Interim Director of Choral Activities at Baylor University for the 2008-2009 academic year and at Abilene Christian University for the 2014-2015 academic year. While at Baylor, the music faculty toured Belgium and the highlight of the tour for Dr. Hawthorne was the opportunity to conduct the Flemish Radio Choir.
In the summer of 2014, in collaboration with his former student, Dr. Jeremy Mims, Dr. Hawthorne formed “Voci d Amici,” a semi-professional vocal ensemble. The group is entering its seventh year and many of the members are former Hardin-Simmons students.
Throughout Dr. Hawthorne’s career, he has had the support of his loving wife, Brenda, and their two adult children, Karen and David.
For his outstanding and dedicated leadership in choral music and for his lasting contributions to excellence in Christian higher education, Hardin-Simmons proudly inducts Dr. Loyd Hawthorn into the HSU Hall of Leaders.