News Column

New Faculty Join Music Department

August 18, 2014



HOUSTON, Aug. 18 -- Houston Baptist University issued the following news release:

The Department of Music at Houston Baptist University is pleased to announce the hiring of three new faculty members and the appointment of a new Chair.

Dr. Jason Lester has been appointed as Chair of the Department of Music and Associate Professor of Music. Dr. Lester holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from the highly respected music school at Florida State University, with additional degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Baylor University. He is an accomplished performer in opera, oratorio, and recital repertoire, and serves as Director of Vocal Instruction for Houston Grand Opera's High School Voice Studio. Dr. Lester has a long relationship with HBU as an adjunct professor and comes to us from his current position as a professor at Wharton County Junior College. In his role as Chair, Dr. Lester will lead the Department of Music in its continual mission to provide excellence in music for our students and our community.

Dr. Edgar Cajas has been hired as Associate Professor of Music Education. Dr. Cajas holds a PhD in Music Education from the University of Oklahoma. He comes to us from his recent appointment in the School of Church Music at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Cajas is especially known for his Christ-like relationships with students, his commitment to missions, and his engagement with the Hispanic Church.

Professor David Kirkwood has been hired as Associate Professor of Music. He is completing his Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Arts at the University of Southern California. He also studied extensively at the Peabody Institute at John Hopkins University. Professor Kirkwood has performed in many operas and sacred music concerts and currently performs with the Los Angeles Opera Chorus and the Lyric Opera of Baltimore.

"Each of these new faculty will help to further the mission of the arts at HBU. Specifically, each contributes to the Department of Music's renewed focus on Vocal Performance and Music Education," said Dr. Matthew Boyleston, dean of the School of Fine Arts. The new initiatives in vocal performance and music education join the recent launching of the Husky Marching Band as music at HBU continues to fulfill its Ten Pillars vision objective to "Expand our Commitment to the Creative Arts: Visual, Musical, and Literary." "HBU has a strong choral tradition and has been placing new teachers in high schools around the state for many years. I look forward with great interest to seeing how these exciting professors continue that mission and expand it into new areas," said Dr. Boyleston.

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