William Carey University assistant professor Dr. Ellen Elder and Laurel music major Christopher Napier are among 72 outstanding faculty and students from 36 Mississippi public and private universities and colleges to receive special recognition from the Mississippi Legislature during the Higher Education Appreciation Day – Working for Academic Excellence.
Established in 1988, HEADWAE honors individual academic achievement and the overall contribution to the state’s public and private institutions of higher learning.
Dr. Ellen Elder is assistant professor of piano at the Winters School of Music at Carey. She teaches applied and class piano and related courses in piano literature and pedagogy, and directs the Piano Ensemble. She holds the D.M.A. in piano pedagogy and performance and the M.M. in piano performance and literature from the University of Michigan. She received her B.M. in piano performance from the University of Southern Mississippi. Elder has served on the faculties at the University of Michigan, the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Eastern Michigan University and Schoolcraft College.
In addition to her university teaching, Dr. Elder also serves as Director of the Carey Institute of Fine Arts. She established and taught the first piano group classes offered for children and adults through the Institute. Elder is the Vice-President for Pre-College Performances for the Mississippi Music Teachers Association. She is married to Brian Keith Elder, senior software engineer of Quicken Loans, Inc., and is the daughter of Sue Boyd Price and the late Herbert P. Price of Hattiesburg.
Christopher Napier is a senior vocal performance major from Laurel. He teaches voice for CIFA. He has studied German for the past two years and will resume the study of French in the spring trimester. Napier has a 3.929 GPA. A published poet in the university literary magazine “The Indigo,” he will present his senior voice recital April 21 and his piano recital May 5. In 2009 he competed at the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition and tied for second place in the junior male division. He has also appeared in Carey Dinner Theatre.
(reprint from Hattiesburg American March 15th, 2009)