Alum Honored for Exemplary Leadership in Church Music

July 21, 2006
News Photo 3625Dr. Milburn Price, dean of the School of Performing Arts at Samford University, was honored with the Award for Exemplary Leadership in Church Music, given by Baylor University's Center for Christian Music Studies during the 2006 Alleluia! Church Music Conference July 18-21 at Baylor.

by Lori Fogleman, director of media relations, (254) 710-6275

Dr. Milburn Price, dean of the School of Performing Arts at Samford University, was honored with the Award for Exemplary Leadership in Church Music, given by Baylor University's Center for Christian Music Studies during the 2006 Alleluia! Church Music Conference July 18-21 at Baylor.

The award recognizes a Baylor graduate who has contributed uniquely and significantly to some aspect of the broad scope of church music ministry. The award can be given for cumulative lifetime achievement or a singular contribution.

Price earned his bachelor's degree in music from the University of Mississippi in 1960, a master's degree in music from Baylor in 1963, and his doctorate in musical arts from the University of Southern California in 1967.

"Milburn Price has been a model and a mentor to hundreds of church musicians, educators and administrators," said Dr. Randall Bradley, professor of church music and director of Baylor's Center for Christian Music Studies. "His skills as a scholar, conductor, teacher and practicing church musician make him a model for current church musicians whose jobs are continually becoming more and more demanding. Dr. Price is not only a fine scholar, but he is also a model Christian gentlemen. We are proud of Dr. Price's lifetime of achievement, and we are pleased that our current students can model after him."

Price received the award during the annual conference banquet on July 20. In addition, a permanent plaque will be on display in the School of Music, so future church music students at Baylor will "know who walked these halls before them," said Dr. Terry W. York, associate professor of Christian ministry and church music at Baylor and George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

"We feel that it is important for our church music students at Baylor to understand the story of the ministry for which they are preparing and to have a reverence for the heritage that they are about to inherit," York said during the award presentation. "We want our students to be aware of those persons whose names must be mentioned when the story is told. At another level, we want our church music students to be aware of how Baylor University has contributed to the story of church music ministry."

In addition to his degrees, Price has pursued post-doctoral studies at Princeton Theological Seminary and Candler Theological Seminary of Emory University. Prior to joining the Samford faculty in 1993, he had served as dean of the School of Church Music at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., from 1981-93. Earlier he was a member of the music faculty at Furman University from 1967-81, serving as chairman of the department of music for nine years.

For his choral compositions and arrangements, Price has received an ASCAP Composer's Award each year since 1979. He has hymn texts and tunes included in both 1975 and 1991 editions of The Baptist Hymnal. He served as National President of the American Choral Directors Association from 1999-2001. He is married to Barbara Stevens Price, and they have one son, Steven, a daughter-in-law, Catherine, granddaughter, Shelby, and grandson, Sidney.

For more information about the award, contact Bradley at Baylor's Center for Christian Music Studies at (254) 710-6522.

Text of the Award for Exemplary Leadership in Church Music Citation Presented to Milburn Price, July 20, 2006

Leadership is an Art; so goes the title of an excellent little book by Max DePree. In that regard, as in others, this year's recipient of the Exemplary Leadership in Christian Music award is an artist.

I would also suggest that leadership is a presence, an ambiance that becomes part of the environment when the leader enters a room. In that regard, as in others, Milburn Price is, indeed, a presence. Our gathering this evening is different than it might have been, because Milburn Price is with us. In like manner, he is a presence in the broad realm of Baptist church music. He certainly is a presence in the history and heritage of church music preparation and education at Baylor University.

When we speak of Milburn Price the educator, we must first list his academic preparation which includes the Bachelor of Music from the University of Mississippi (1960), Master of Music from Baylor University (1963), and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Southern California (1967). Professor Price taught at the University of Southern California and Furman University.

As an administrator, his positions of responsibility over the years include Chairman of the Department of Music at Furman University, Dean of the School of Music at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and Dean of the School of Music at Samford University.

As a composer, arranger, and hymn writer, hymn texts, hymn tunes, anthems and chorale arrangements abound. Prominent among his creative writing is his hymn, "Stir Your Church, O God, Our Father."

As an author of books he has made important contributions in collaboration with William J. Reynolds in A Survey of Christian Hymnody in that historic book's 2nd, 3rd, and 4th editions, and with Gary A. Furr in The Dialogue of Worship (1998).

As a choral and church music clinician, Milburn Price has been, and, obviously continues to be, in great demand on local, state, and national levels.

In Christian Music and its subset, Church Music, as in all of life, it seems, real servant leadership stands out while self-serving authoritarianism is found out. That is why Milburn Price is being honored here this evening. His quiet, effective artistry stands out on stages where addiction to the spotlight is not unusual. His confidence in himself and within himself in the arena of administrative leadership is, indeed, exemplary and stands out in an arena often populated by those who are trying to prove something to themselves. He is respected in the area of scholarship because he wears his successes lightly and is quick to contribute to team efforts.

Milburn Price's exemplary leadership is what it is because his discipleship is what it is. What we have benefited from for so many years of Milburn's leadership is simply the result and the overflow of his devotion Christ and the consistency and quality of his "Yes," to the Master.

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