Around the State: Baylor students to perform at Carnegie Hall

The student winners of Baylor University’s Semper Pro Musica Solo and Chamber Competition will perform May 26 at New York City’s prestigious Carnegie Hall. They are (front left to right) Cezary Karwowski, Sylvia Jones, Max Winningham; (back left to right) Darren Carter, Elise Maas, Samuel Day, Freya Downey.

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Seven student winners of Baylor University’s fifth biennial Semper Pro Musica Solo and Chamber Competition will perform at New York City’s prestigious Carnegie Hall. Begun in 2016 and currently held every two years, the Semper Pro Musica Solo and Chamber Competition in the Baylor School of Music identifies the school’s top talent. After two rounds of rigorous competition, the winners have the opportunity to present a recital at a significant external performance venue. Winners of the solo competition are Sylvia Jones, a soprano vocalist from Auburn, Wash.; Cezary Karwowski, a pianist from Bialystok, Poland; and Max Winningham, a double bassist from Houston. The winner of the chamber competition is Baylor’s Fest Quartet, composed of violinist Freya Downey from Norman, Okla.; violinist Darren Carter from Dallas; violinist Elise Maas from San Antonio; and cellist Samuel Day from Benton, Wisc. The students will perform in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall at 8 p.m. on May 26. “Weill Recital Hall is where about 98 percent of Carnegie Hall debuts take place, and it is arguably the most important recital space in the world over the last century,” said Gary Mortenson, dean of the Baylor School of Music. “The experience of performing there is truly an experience like no other in the world of music today, and our talented student winners will remember their performances at Carnegie Hall for the rest of their lives.”

Bertha Mieth (center) has been named recipient of the Howard Payne University Women’s Club’s Yellow Rose Award. She is pictured with Melinda Hines (left) and her daughter, Miki Martin, an HPU alum.

The Howard Payne University Women’s Club will recognize Bertha Mieth of Glen Rose, Olivia Catlett of Alleyton and Jessica Phariss of Brownwood at this year’s Yellow Rose Scholarship Luncheon on April 7. Mieth has been named recipient of the Yellow Rose Award, presented annually to a woman who has exhibited exemplary leadership within her sphere of influence and who has played a significant role in the execution of the mission and vision of HPU. Mieth is a member of First Baptist Church in Glen Rose, where she is involved in Woman’s Missionary Union, sings in the adult choir and plays handbells. Through 68 years of marriage, Mieth has supported her husband, Ben, founder of International Commission, an organization that has reached millions for Christ since its founding in 1972. They have three children, six grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Catlett and Phariss are recipients of the Yellow Rose Scholarship. The scholarship is presented to female students active in campus life and who exhibit leadership qualities representative of the Christian values and beliefs fundamental to HPU. Catlett is a junior elementary education major involved in intramurals and was a member of the Baptist Student Ministry lead team in 2020. She is a student worker in the office of institutional advancement. She also works as an intern for May First Baptist Church. She has served abroad in Peru and Brazil, and following graduation, she hopes to continue serving in missions as a teacher. Phariss is a sophomore social work major with a minor in cross-cultural studies. She is a member of the BSM lead team and is involved at Southside Baptist Church in Brownwood. She has traveled to Honduras twice on mission trips. She plans to pursue a master’s degree and is interested in community outreach and counseling.

Texas Baptists’ Future Church 2030 Conference at First Baptist Church in Bryan on April 4-5 will focus on preparing churches and church leaders for the year 2030. Speakers will explore the cultural, technological and demographic changes that will happen in the coming decade. Featured speakers are Tod Bolsinger, author of Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory; Carey Nieuwhof, best-selling author and founding pastor of Connexus Church in Ontario; and Eric Mason, founding pastor of Epiphany Fellowship in Philadelphia. Sessions include “How Not to Waste a Crisis,” “The Key to the Future is Found in the Past,” “Why the Old Model of Church No Longer Works” and “The Rise of the Future Church.” Early registration through March 31 costs $25. After March 31, the price per participant is $35. Students may attend for free. To register, click here.

Five universities affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas were named Military Friendly Schools for the 2022-23 academic year. Dallas Baptist University, Houston Baptist University and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor received the gold designation in the category of private schools offering doctorates. Wayland Baptist University received the silver designation in the same category. Howard Payne University received bronze recognition in the category of private schools not offering doctorates. The annual Military Friendly Schools survey is offered to more than 8,800 institutions nationwide. Schools are graded on their ability to meet minimum thresholds for student retention, graduation rate, job placement, loan repayment and loan default rates for all students and—specifically—for veterans. Measurement categories include academic policies and compliance, military student support and retention, graduation and career outcomes, admission and orientation, culture and commitment, and financial aid and loan repayment.


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