Southwestern Seminary opens musical season with new conductor
FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) - The School of Church Music at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary commenced a new season of musical performances and introduced a new conductor during the seminary’s Gloria Concert, Oct. 5.
During the concert, nationally renowned conductor David Thye (pronounced Tee) led the seminary’s Oratorio Chorus for the first time since he became a professor of Church Music at Southwestern. Thye was introduced as a newly elected faculty member and installed into the Robert L. Burton Chair of Conducting during the seminary’s convocation chapel, Aug. 23.
Stephen Johnson, dean of Southwestern’s School of Church Music, introduced Thye during a lecture preceding the Gloria Concert. Johnson said that Thye was taking a significant step in a new direction during the concert by emphasizing a cappella performances. Johnson also said the concert featured two major works accompanied by instruments: Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms,” and John Rutter’s “Gloria.”
The concert opened with the performance of Don Hustad’s “Prayer Before Singing.” Thye said this song was appropriate for commencing the new musical season at Southwestern. The song is a prayer that people might come to know and glorify God through the music. He confessed that he hopes all his work will lead to this end.
“I really believe God placed me on the planet to be a servant of the church,” Thye said. Throughout his career, he has served God, “the author of excellence,” by striving to demonstrate excellence, integrity and compassion through his work.
For more than 30 years, Thye has conducted and managed musical and dramatic performances for elementary schools, high schools, universities, communities and professional ensembles. He has conducted, produced or performed in more than 100 oratorios, operas and large-scale productions. Alongside his position at Southwestern Seminary, Thye currently serves as the Principal Conductor-in-Residence with MidAmerica Productions in New York City, a major producer of concerts in Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center. Thye earned his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music. He also completed a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Voice at the University of Sioux Falls.
The Oratorio Chorus will perform a “Home for the Holidays” concert with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas, Nov. 23-25. It will also perform Handel’s “Messiah” with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra at Southwestern’s Truett Auditorium, Nov. 29, and again at the Bass Performance Hall, Dec. 4. More information about upcoming musical performances at Southwestern Seminary may be accessed at http://www.swbts.edu/churchmusic.