Posted by Philip Poole on 2012-04-25

It did not have the glitz and glitter of the Grammys or American Music Awards, but the evening was no less important for the dozens of Samford University music students who were recognized April 24 during the School of the Arts honors recital.

The evening, sponsored by Birmingham arts philanthropist Patty McDonald, featured performances by six students followed by the annual year-end awards ceremony.

Several students were multiple winners, including two students who were among the four major scholarship award recipients announced during the evening.

Rebecca Frees, a junior piano major from Pell City, Ala., received the Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award, a $4,800 scholarship given directly to the student in addition to any other financial aid awarded by the university. She also was named the outstanding student of the year from the junior class and received a junior class medal for academic achievement.

Amberlyn Morgan Richardson, who performed during the recital, received the Eva Clapp White Memorial Voice Scholarship. Paul Gaston White, who funded the scholarship, was present to help honor Richardson, a junior voice major from Hayden, Ala. She also received a class medal for academic achievement.

Sarah Macon, a senior music major from Columbiana, Ala., received the senior class outstanding student of the year, a class medal for academic achievement and the senior honor pin for having the highest grade-point-average among members of Delta Omicron international music fraternity. Macon also performed during the recital.

Lydia East received the Star of Delta Omicron, selected by other chapter members as best representing the "spirit of DO." East, a senior music major from Daviston, Ala., also received a class medal.

Whitney Head received the Delta Omicron faculty sponsor award for excellence. She had served the chapter both as pledge captain and music director. Head, a senior church music major from Pell City, Ala., also received a class medal for academic achievement.

Anna Brady Bethea, a freshman from Shalimar, Fla., was named outstanding student of the year for the freshman class and also received a class medal. Bethany April Orick was student of the year for the sophomore class and received a class medal. Orick is a voice major from Hoover, Ala.

Christopher Michael Barbee received the 2012 Shepherd/Walker Award, which honors the memory of Robina Walker and her pupil, the late Samford faculty member Betty Sue Shepherd. The award is presented to a student who uses "his or her talent and education to enrich the lives of others." Barbee is a senior music major from Trussville, Ala.

Jeremy Nicholas Moore, a junior from Vestavia Hills, Ala., received the Barbara Stevens Price Church Music Scholarship. Funded by former School of the Arts Dean Milburn Price in honor of his wife, the scholarship is presented to a student who "has demonstrated outstanding progress in music studies in both academic and performance areas." 

Drew Bailey, a senior instrumental music major from Hueytown, Ala., received the collegiate honor award from Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia national music fraternity. The award recognizes a member who "has demonstrated outstanding musicianship, scholarship and service to the department or university.

John A. Keyton, a senior music education major from Dothan, Ala., received the Phi Mu Alpha scholarship award for having the highest grade point average among graduating members.

Jordan Deane Yeo, a sophomore history major from Chapel Hill, N.C., received the Trey Coley Award recognized the Samford Marching Band member who "shows exemplary service and dedication." Yeo served as band chaplain this year and "was an inspiration to everyone, including me," said director James J. Smisek in presenting the award.

Samford color guard captain Chrislyn Joy Morse received the Rebecca Ferguson Award, presented to a band member who "continually has a positive attitude and who constantly encourages others regardless of his or her personal situation." Morse is a senior education major from Madison, Ala.

Seven students were inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda national music academic honor society, and a total of 19 students received class medals for having a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.75.

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.