Published on April 28, 2023 by Ashley Smith  
Music Honors Recital 2023

The annual Division of Music Honors Recital and Awards Ceremony took place on Tuesday, April 18, 2023. Co-presented by Ann and Howard Holt, this year's event featured presentations of academic and named scholarship awards as well as four live performances. Hosted by Joel Davis, interim chair of the Division of Music, the event was attended by faculty, staff, students, donors and parents.  Members of the Commercial Music Chamber Ensemble performed an original song by Rachel Summers.  Sophomore piano major James Powers played Debussy’s L’isle joyeuse. Vocal performance major Adreanna Pulliam sang Kurt Weill’s What good would the moon be? and the Samford Brass Quintet closed the event with arrangements of Just a Closer Walk to Thee and Maria from Westside Story

Davis recognized new members of Pi Kappa Lambda Honor Society. Consideration for membership is based upon the following regulations: seniors must be in the upper one-fifth of their class and graduate students must have grades of A in two-thirds of their graduate studies. Undergraduate inductees included Bailey J. Cornelius; Samuel Wayne Gravlee; and Matthew S. Reber and graduate inductees were Cora Faye Elmore, Kelsey P. Wade and Lorraine Gail Yant. Assistant professor Beth McGinnis was also inducted as a member of the Gamma Omicron Chapter of PKL.

Assistant professor of piano Jason Terry presented the Dawson Memorial Organ Scholarship to provide scholarship assistance for currently enrolled or incoming Division of Music students pursuing studies in organ. The recipient is chosen based upon academic standing, organ proficiency, financial need, and overall character. The 2023 Dawson Organ Scholarship Award went to Millicent Hawthorne.

Assistant professor Cindy St. Clair announced the Shepherd–Walker Award, given by Mr. Ellis J. Parker in honor of his aunt and great music teacher, Robina Walker as well as her pupil, Betty Sue Shepherd. The award is to be given to the student who has used his/her own talent and education to enrich the lives of others. K’Mya Burrell received this year’s Shepherd–Walker Award.

History major and music minor Jessica Kay Smith earned the distinction of Honors in Performance for additional piano studies beyond those required for the minor in music. Smith studied at the same concentration level as a performance major, as reflected in credit hours and recitals.

McGinnis announced the Outstanding Student of the Year Awards who are selected based on total contribution, including spirit, work ethic, and collegiality as voted by the members of the music faculty. The recipients for 2023 are: freshman Milly Criswell; sophomore Allison Frederick; junior Sarah Giadrosich; senior Sam Gravlee; and graduate students Sebastian Black and Tyra Shelley.

Connie Macon recognized the Academy of the Arts Teaching Fellows which included undergraduates Allison Frederick and Kayla Magnus, and graduate students DeLee Benton, Cora Elmore and Lorraine Yant.

Assistant professor Jeff Flaniken announced the Howard Weldon Smith Violin Scholarship Award, created by a gift from Mrs. Marie Smith in memory of her husband, Dr. Howard Weldon Smith. The 2023 Howard Weldon Smith Award went to Rebekah Willard.

Katie Schansberg received the Barbara Stevens Price Church Music Scholarship Award which was announced by assistant professor Jonathan Rodgers.

The Jeff and Lori Northrup Music Performance Scholarship fund was established to annually award monies to outstanding students completing their junior year of undergraduate music studies. The 2023 Northrup Instrumental Performance Award went to junior Kerrig Kelly and was presented by assistant professor Michael Averett. The Northrup Vocal Performance Scholarship was presented by Kristin Kenning, professor of voice to Adreanna Pulliam who also received the 2023 Northrup Scholar Award.

The Presser Scholar Award is to be presented and paid in full to an undergraduate music major at the end of their junior academic year. It is designed to encourage and support in a distinct way the education of a music student who exemplifies high academic accomplishment, leadership, and citizenship. Davis announced Alexandra V. Cook as the 2023 Presser Scholar.

Davis closed the event with words of encouragement, calling students to “promote harmony” and “make music out of affirmative beliefs,” as advocated by Aaron Copland in his Charles Eliot Norton Lectures of 1952. All attendees were invited to a reception following the final performances.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.