Stovall honored, music school highlighted at Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon
FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Over an autumn lunch of tomato basil soup and sourdough sandwiches, attendees of the Oct. 17 Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon gained a glimpse into the heart of Southwestern’s ever-expanding School of Church Music (SCM).
During the lunch, the 121 women in attendance enjoyed piano, trumpet and voice selections from faculty, including a piano piece written by SCM Dean Stephen Johnson and played by his wife, Michelle. Johnson said he selected the piece specifically for the luncheon in an effort to display the capabilities of the top-of-the line pianos Southwestern has been working to bring to the seminary as it seeks to become an all-Steinway school.
Johnson said that so far in the campaign to outfit the seminary in Steinway pianos, Southwestern has purchased 23 pianos and has 43 to go.
During a few rounds of “musical chairs” with First Lady Dorothy Patterson, in which music faculty seated on the stage fielded questions from Patterson, Johnson, Associate Professor of Church Music Tom Song, Associate Professor of Instrumental and Jazz Studies Joe Hardin, Professor of Conducting David Thye and Michelle Johnson talked about the various areas of the music school and their continued growth and expansion.
They discussed how the music school has actively been using music to share the Gospel at home and abroad through music missions, children’s choir, a growing number of jazz groups and large events at venues such as New York’s Lincoln Center.
Southwestern will present one such large-scale event Dec. 6 with its production of Pianorama, which will include close to 48 pianists—ranging from children to the president of Steinway and Sons—playing 16 pianos.
The musically themed luncheon also included a special presentation by First Lady Dorothy Patterson to Dean of Women’s Programs Terri Stovall, marking the dean’s 10th year at Southwestern.
“We are the only seminary that has a dean of women’s programs,” Patterson said before presenting Stovall with a scrapbook of memories and notes. “It’s so wonderful to know that when I get up to heaven, … I will not have to worry about women’s programs, because Dr. Stovall is assembling a wonderful faculty.”
Stovall thanked the first lady and said the last 10 years have indeed been a “ride.”
“Those of you who know my husband and I know we can be considered adrenaline junkies, because we like to ride motorcycles—yes we each have our own Harley Davidson—and roller coasters,” Stovall began. “But there’s nothing so thrilling or adrenaline inducing than trying to keep up with what God has done these past 10 years at Southwestern.”
Stovall went on to describe some of what God has been doing at Southwestern, mentioning that He has assembled the largest women’s faculty of any theological seminary in the world, has allowed for the creation of a homemaking concentration at the master’s level, and this semester has 18 student wives studying Hebrew.
“While we have been focused on keeping our programs deep, God has been taking care of the breadth,” Stovall said.