Music Community Welcomes New MC Singers Conductor
August 5, 2014
Milburn Price, the new director of choral activities at Mississippi College, will soon receive a warm welcome from his MC family and friends.
Invited to an August 25 reception on the Clinton campus, students, community members and music patrons around the Mississippi get the opportunity to meet the talented Ellisville native. For the next twelve months, Price will serve as conductor of the award-winning Mississippi College Singers and join the Music Department faculty.
The Meet the New Conductor program is set for 6 p.m. that Monday evening at Aven Hall. Refreshments will be served and MC music professors will be on hand to greet visitors.
Just one day after the event, Price begins auditions for the 55-member MC Singers. He will stay busy teaching and conducting voice classes to undergraduates and graduate students through next spring. While Price works on the Clinton campus, the university will conduct a nationwide search for a permanent MC Singers director.
Bringing extensive experience and national recognition, Price served as performing arts dean at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama from 1993 until 2006. He previously worked a dozen years as dean of the School of Church Music at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He was president of the American Choral Directors Association from 1999 through 2001.
Price brings extensive ties to Mississippi, Mississippi College, and the state’s Baptist churches.
His one-year of service at Baptist-affiliated Mississippi College, he said, “gives me an opportunity to repay my indebtedness to Mississippi Baptists.”
Growing up in rural Mississippi, Price attended First Baptist Church Ellisville from the time he was a fourth grader through his senior year in high school. His mother, an elementary school teacher, served as pianist at the church in Jones County, while his father, Shelby Price, was the volunteer choir director. Growing up on a farm in Lincoln County, Shelby Price graduated from Mississippi College in the late 1920s.
The family’s church roots run deep.
As a member of First Baptist Church Oxford, Milburn Price was a University of Mississippi undergraduate and director of the Baptist Student Union Choir. The Ole Miss graduate turned down an offer to join the Mississippi College staff in the Spring of 1960 so he could attend graduate school at Baylor University in Texas. He was a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Jackson and First Baptist Church Vicksburg, among others, decades ago.
Milburn Price is quite familiar with Jamie Meaders and Richard Joiner, both former directors of the MC Singers. Meaders, who recently accepted a music position in New York City, was his former doctoral student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. Meaders and Joiner “have a very fine reputation in choral music,” Price said.
“I’ve followed the work of the MC Singers,” says Price, who heard the group perform in concert last year at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. “They have an interesting repertoire.”
After retiring at Samford in 2006, Price taught music classes at Mercer University and Stetson University in Florida.
Price and his wife, Barbara, who first met when they were Ole Miss students, are the parents of one son, Steven Price, co-pastor of a Methodist church in Bradenton, Florida. Barbara Price’s 95-year-old mother lives in Jackson, just miles from Mississippi College.
For details on the Meet the New Conductor event, contact Dottie Serio at 601-925-3440 or Serio@mc.edu.
Photo: Milburn Price is the new director of choral activities at Mississippi College. He will also teach conducting and voice classes on the Clinton campus in 2014-15.