Exemplary Leadership in Church Music Award Presented to Baylor Alumnus

Music award
Dr. David Music (left) of the Baylor School of Church Music awards Robert Sterling (right) the Exemplary Leadership in Church Music Award.
July 26, 2017

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Media contact: Lori Fogleman, (254) 710-6275

WACO, Texas (July 26, 2017) – Christian songwriter, arranger and record producer Robert Sterling returned to his roots last week to accept the Exemplary Leadership in Church Music Award at his alma mater, Baylor University.

Sterling graduated from Baylor’s School of Music in 1977 with a B.M.Ed. in instrumental music. Since then, he has won six Dove awards from the Gospel Music Association and written a book, The Craft of Christian Songwriting.

Even with an impressive resume, Sterling said he had not expected to win the Exemplary Leadership in Church Music Award.

“In my line of work, you write the best music you can write and hope it reaches people. This award affirmed that my music is out there in the world making some small difference. That's gratifying to know and quite humbling,” Sterling said.

Baylor’s Center for Christian Music Studies presented the award at a July 20 luncheon as part of the Alleluia Conference, an annual gathering for church musicians to learn and worship together on Baylor’s campus.

Sterling taught two breakout sessions for the conference, “12 Principles of Quality Songwriting” and “Arranging 101.” In the sessions, he advised beginning songwriters to be their own worst critic and to rewrite constantly.

In a blog post he wrote about the Alleluia Conference, Sterling wrote, “Accepting the award, I attempted to pass along a little wisdom to the students. I told them the crazy thing was this: I never set out to go into Christian music at all...but life has a strange way of taking you places you never considered going.”

by Kassidy Woytek , student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


The Baylor University School of Music provides transformational experiences that prepare students for careers in music. Our students thrive in a Christian environment characterized by a nurturing resident faculty, an unwavering pursuit of musical excellence, a global perspective, dedication to service, and devotion to faith. They investigate the rich musical and cultural heritage of the past, develop superior musical skills and knowledge in the present, and explore and create new modes of musical expression for the future. While preparing for future leadership roles, the students join with School of Music faculty in enhancing the quality of community life, enriching the larger culture, and making Baylor a place in which heart, mind and soul coalesce. The School of Music of Baylor University is a member of the National Association of Schools of Music and the Texas Association of Music Schools. Degree programs leading to the bachelor of music education degree conform to certification requirements of the Texas Education Agency.

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