Southwestern professor receives music award

FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary music professor William Mac Davis, Jr., won the ASCAPLUS award for his sixteenth consecutive year from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

“For many years, Dr. Davis has remained active in writing for both the concert hall and the local church,” said Stephen Johnson, dean of Southwestern’s School of Church Music. “The fact that he has received this award is a wonderful tribute of recognition of his continued compositional accomplishments.”

Having joined the faculty at Southwestern Seminary in 1979, Davis now serves as a professor of music theory and composition and as associate dean for the performance division of the seminary’s School of Church Music. He also fills the chair for the department of music theory and composition. A composer with international recognition, Davis’ music has been performed throughout the United States and in England, Italy, Brazil, China and Japan.

Davis received his ASCAPLUS award in the Concert Music Division. His compositions and performances were evaluated by an awards panel comprised of three musicians, including one classical music critic for The New York Times.

“Dr. Davis’ compositions have a contemporary sound to them, yet they are always accessible to listeners coming from a variety of musical experiences,” said William Colson, distinguished professor of music theory and composition in the School of Church Music. “One reason for this is that they are so frequently based on or incorporate familiar tunes—especially hymn tunes—that are readily recognizable and provide a ‘handle’ by which they can be grasped.”

Davis earned his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in theory and composition from the University of Mississippi and his Ph.D. in composition from the University of Utah. He also studied at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. Beyond his work at the seminary, Davis and his wife, Barbara, are members at Southcliff Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, where Davis directs the church orchestra.

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