EDITOR’S NOTE: “From the Colleges” includes news releases of interest from Southern Baptist universities and colleges.
Today’s From the Colleges includes items from:
University of Mobile
Ergun Caner taps Peter Lumpkins as communications VP
MOUNT VERNON, Ga. (Brewton-Parker College) — Ergun Caner, who assumed Brewton-Parker College’s presidency Jan. 1, has named Peter Lumpkins as vice president of communications.
Caner, in a Jan. 22 news release from the Baptist-affiliated college, described Lumpkins of the SBC Tomorrow blog site as “one of the most well-known and respected writers in the Southern Baptist Convention.”
“One of the most important roles of a college,” Caner said in the news release, “is consistently ‘tell its story’ to alumni, churches and constituents. Peter Lumpkins is singularly qualified for such a monumental task. A graduate of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Peter has written three books, runs a successful publishing company and is one of the most popular voices in the new social media. … Peter has served in Georgia churches for the past seventeen years. We welcome Peter and his wife Kathy Lynn to the BPC family.”
Caner said Lumpkins is “a perfect fit for us, as he provides a much-needed voice for traditional and grassroots Southern Baptists. He is a bold preacher, a personal soul winner, a local churchman and a fearless writer. I consider his book ‘Alcohol Today: Abstinence in an Age of Indulgence’ to be one of the best books on the subject. His blog, SBC Tomorrow, is one of the most-read religious blogs in the SBC, averaging over 64,000 hits a month since its launch in 2006.”
Lumpkins will begin his duties Feb. 1 at the Mount Vernon, Ga., campus and will serve as a member of the president’s cabinet. The news release said Lumpkins will “oversee every venue of writing and marketing on the campus, including alumni newsletters, web content, social media and academic publishing.”
Caner was unanimously elected as Brewton-Parker president Dec. 2 by the 30-member board of trustees of the four-year 600-student college affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention, succeeding Mike Simoneaux. Caner had served at Arlington Baptist College in Arlington, Texas, as provost and academic dean since 2011.
UMobile prof aids Steven Curtis Chapman’s Carnegie Hall debut
MOBILE, Ala. (University of Mobile) — When Steven Curtis Chapman makes his Carnegie Hall debut Feb. 8, Christian music’s most awarded recording artist will be backed by a 50-piece orchestra playing notes penned by a University of Mobile professor for Chapman’s hit “For the Sake of the Call.”
“I’ve written more than 1,000 pieces of music, including about 250 that have been published,” UMobile’s Steve Dunn said, “but I’ve never written anything that has been performed at Carnegie Hall.” Dunn is assistant professor of music and director of Symphonic Winds at the University of Mobile Center for Performing Arts.
Chapman will kick off the spring leg of The Glorious Unfolding Tour with the Carnegie Hall concert in New York City featuring his band plus a 300-voice choir and the 50-piece orchestra. “The Glorious Unfolding” is the 18th album by Chapman, who has 58 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, five Grammys, an American Music Award, 47 No. 1 singles and sales of nearly 11 million albums.
Dunn said he doesn’t know Steven Curtis Chapman, but he does know Camp Kirkland, considered one of the nation’s premier church orchestrators and arrangers. Kirkland will conduct the New York orchestra and is in charge of turning music written for Chapman’s band into arrangements for an orchestra.
Dunn said he was a high school student when he first met Kirkland and showed him an original composition. Since then, Kirkland has been an influential mentor and Dunn is on Kirkland’s “go-to list” when arranging and composing is needed for someone of the caliber of Chapman.
Dunn was given a recording of Chapman and his band performing the No. 1 hit For the Sake of the Call. Accompanying that were 20 pages of mostly blank staffs, with only the choral arrangement and original band notes for guitar, piano and drums filled out.
He had five days to write 116 measures for 17 different instruments. That quick turnaround isn’t uncommon in the industry, Dunn said.
“My job was to fill in the gaps with other instruments,” Dunn said. “I determine which instrumentation will help improve that particular moment, or create that particular sound. You have to know how the instruments work together. It’s like you are given a skeleton and you have to know how to put the muscle and skin on it. Depending on how you do that, the result can sound different ways.”
Dunn, who teaches orchestration at the University of Mobile, said facing 20 pages of blank musical staff can be intimidating.
“That’s the time I have to say, ‘Lord, I know I’ve done this before, so I trust I can do it again,’” Dunn said. He “hears” the notes in his head, occasionally checks a chord on the keyboard in his office, and writes notes for instruments ranging from oboe to tuba. If there is time, he will put a few stanzas into notation software that provides a playback of the music with all instruments. Usually, there isn’t time.
Even without actually hearing the notes played together, Dunn said he knows when the orchestration is right. He likens it to a chef knowing when a dish needs a dash of this spice or a pinch of that one, how an artist is able to mix paint to achieve just the right color, or how an interior decorator can look at a room and instantly know where to place a lamp to achieve the right feel.
Dunn won’t get to hear the orchestration for Chapman but is okay with that.
“It’s always nice to hear it performed, but I don’t have to. I’ve kind of heard it on my own, in my head, and I can live with that. Knowing it was performed and other people have heard it is enough,” Dunn said.
Compiled by Baptist Press editor Art Toalston. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).