Arts

Hall of Fame

The Briarcrest Christian School Fine Arts Hall of Fame was established in 2011 to honor alumni who have excelled and obtained significant success in their chosen field of Fine Arts or Fine Arts Education and former faculty who have made significant contributions to the Fine Arts of Briarcrest.

2018 Fine Arts Hall of Fame

Born in Orange, Texas, wildlife artist and writer Charles Alexander grew up exploring the woods and fields of his childhood home near Germantown, Tennessee, a now much-altered landscape that first awakened his love of the natural world.

A 1982 Briarcrest graduate, Charles went on to earn a University of Memphis self-designed degree: Writing and Illustrating Works of Natural History. He later studied painting with wildlife artist Robert Abbett at the Scottsdale Artist’s School and with the renowned New York pastelist, Daniel E. Greene. In 1996, he began an intensive course in 19th century painting methods with master teacher Kathryn Manzo at the Contemporary Realist Academy in Memphis.

At the age of twelve, Charles began volunteering at the Memphis Zoo, dreaming of being hired as a keeper one day. At eighteen, that dream came true when he was presented with the chance to raise an orphaned lowland gorilla, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that opened the door to a full-time zookeeper career.  During his Memphis Zoo years, he was privileged to work with a multitude of rare species one-on-one, an experience that emboldened his desire to use his art and writing to raise awareness of the plight of vanishing wildlife around the world.

Charles left the zoo in 1995 to pursue his art full time. He has since researched his stories and paintings in many wild places, including the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem and flamingo lakes of Kenya and Tanzania; the Virunga volcanoes of Rwanda, home of the mountain gorilla; the tall and shortgrass prairies of the American Great Plains; and the bottomland swamp forests of the Lower Mississippi floodplain, to name just a few.
 In 1994, Charles began collecting stories in Madison Parish, Louisiana. He eventually recorded the oral histories of eighty different people throughout the delta country, in an effort to piece together an environmental history of the South’s last great wilderness, once home of the ivory-billed woodpecker.

A signature member of the Artists for Conservation foundation, Charles has exhibited his paintings coast-to-coast in such diverse venues as San Francisco’s Ft Mason Center and New Jersey’s Hiram Blauvelt Museum, one of only three museums in the United States dedicated exclusively to wildlife art. His work has been published in numerous natural history books and magazines, including Birder’s World, Wildlife Art, World Pheasant Association News, Texas Birds, and The Journal of the Texas Ornithological Society. In 2007, his work with Congo’s Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary was chosen by the Natural World Museum and the United Nations World Environment Program for inclusion in Art Into Action: Nature, Creativity, and Our Collective Future, a book featuring the work of seventy-nine artists from around the world whose art reflects the urgent need to conserve our planet’s natural heritage.

Charles now lives two miles from Mexico in the Rio Grande Valley of Deep South Texas, where he has studied wild parrots since 2012. He is currently working on new paintings and two primary book projects: one on the Valley’s parrots and another based on his Madison Parish stories.
 
 

Criteria

Candidates for induction into the Briarcrest Christian School Fine Arts Hall of Fame will be considered based on their significant achievements in the Arts, professionalism within the Arts and in its perpetuation, personal character and their mirroring of the mission of Briarcrest Christian School.

Candidates must be alumni of Briarcrest Christian School, former faculty or persons who have made significant contribution to the Fine Arts at Briarcrest.  Alumni nominees must have graduated ten years prior to induction.

Nominations

If you would like to nominate an alumni or former faculty member and online form will be available soon.

Past Recipients

List of 6 items.

  • 2017 Fine Arts Hall of Fame

    Emily Ozier graduated from Briarcrest Christian School in 1998. She treasured the time she had in the Plus Program with Mrs. Lois Parker and credits Mrs. Parkers creative teaching style with preparing her for the creative work she does today. Emily also credits her high school art teacher with playing a huge role in her art education, describing this time in her life as invaluable.

    Emily’s mother, who is retired Briarcrest Spanish teacher, Marciel York, remembers discovering her daughter was an artist when at the age of three, she designed and painted a family of bumblebees and then created a 3-D house filled with bee furniture for them. She published her first work, an illustrated cookbook at the age of 10. Years and years of drawing laid the foundation for the painting that would come later in her life.

    After high school, Emily attended Auburn University and graduated with a degree in communication and English Literature. Since then, she has studied in Italy with an impressionist master focusing on a method passed down from the impressionist painter, John Singer Sargent. In 2014 Emily attended training at Harvard seeking to deepen her understanding of how learning takes place in and through the arts.

    Emily spends extended time in an apartment in Manhattan with daily time spent in the Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This time also serves to edify her children’s educational principles of learning through experience and the arts.

    Her artwork can be found in private and public collections throughout the United States and her collections are shown in galleries in London, England as well.

    Emily and her husband John are the proud parents of six children and reside in Germantown, TN.
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  • 2016 Fine Arts Hall of Fame

    After high school graduation, Jana attended The University of Memphis. During that time, Jana did some recording and was referred to Mr. Tom Collins, a music producer, to help her begin a career in music. Mr. Collin’s advice was search and record some original songs and he helped her get in touch with a songwriter that sent some songs for her to consider. Unfortunately, the message in the songs was against what she had been taught at home and at Briarcrest and she felt convicted and declined the offer. In 1984, Jana auditioned for the traveling Christian group, TRUTH, and made it into callbacks. However, her plans and priorities changed since she was also dating a handsome guy at the same time. In 1985, Jana married Don West, an alumni from Elliston Baptist Academy-- a BCS rival.
     
    Shortly after Don and Jana married, her older brother, Mark (also a BCS alum), was suddenly killed in a car accident. This tragic event shaped Jana’s testimony and character more than she would ever have imagined.
     
    Don and Jana have two beautiful daughters, Natalie Grace (2006 BCS graduate) and Rachel Faith (2011 BCS graduate). Jana’s family has owned a real estate office, Sowards & Associates, since the early 1970’s. In 1987 Jana became an affiliate broker in her family’s business and still works for them today.
     
    In 1990, Jana had the opportunity to record the demonstration vocals on accompaniment tracks for southern gospel music. At the same time, the Gaither Homecoming videos became very popular. Jana was asked to organize the music for the musicians that played on the videos, which allowed her to be a participant in most of those videos over the next ten years. Mr. Bill Gaither & Mr. Ben Speer asked her to sing on the background tracks that were used for the video productions. She was blessed and honored to meet some amazing Gospel singers and enjoyed every minute.
     
    Don and Jana have served in several different churches throughout their years together including children, youth, and young adult ministries. Don, the Worship Pastor at Christ Community Baptist Church, is a gifted songwriter and guitarist. Both Don and Jana, as well as their two daughters, use their musical gifts to serve the Lord wherever He leads them.
     
    Jana was reluctant to accept this award because she feels very unworthy. However, she is grateful to be used by God and honored to be chosen for such a title. She wants to convey that she is “far from what she once was but not yet who she is going to be.”
    She thanks the committee for this award and will strive to live up to the mission statement of Briarcrest and what the Lord desires for her life.
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  • 2015 Fine Arts Hall of Fame

    The Briarcrest Alumni Association inducted one new member into the Fine Arts Hall of Fame during the 7th annual Briarcrest POPS concert on May 2, 2015. The 2015 Fine Arts Alumni Hall of Fame Recipient is Briarcrest Alumnae Paula Ward Hedgepeth '84.
     
    Mrs. Hedgepeth was drawn to the piano at an early age. She would crawl up on the piano bench to play and her mother began recognizing her ability to play by ear. By the age of 6 she was enrolled in formal classical lessons and continued for the next 14 years.
     
    During High School she was the Concert Choir Pianist and accompanist for All West Tennessee Honor Choir. As a vocalist she made All West and All State Tennessee Honor Choir. She was a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and was awarded outstanding senior in the vocal music department.
     
    Currently, she is serving in her 10th year as pianist at Grace Evangelical Church and in her 28th year as a private piano instructor in her home studio. She is innovative and current in her teaching methods by using the latest technology and is creative in ways to keep her students excited about. She has taught hundreds of children and adults and has former students who are now music teachers and many are volunteer musicians. She has played in countless venues and sings each week with her church worship band which has recorded at Ardent studios. She is an active member of the National Guild of Piano Teachers and the Germantown-Collierville Area Piano Teachers Association, having served in the past as Festival Chairman and President.
     
    Paula and her husband Jeff have five grown children and recently became grandparents.
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  • 2014 Fine Arts Hall of Fame

    Briarcrest  Alumni Association inducted three new members into their Fine Arts Hall of Fame during the 6th annual Briarcrest POPS concert on May 2, 2014.  These highly skilled and gifted alumni must meet stringent criteria for induction based on their achievements, professionalism, and character. 

    Brandon Holmes ’04 works in the digital film industry, with credits in the blockbuster “Frozen”, “Rise of the Guardians”, “Megamind” and “Shrek Forever After”.  He is currently a coordinator for Disney Animation Studios, in Burbank, California and worked in various coordinator roles at DreamWorks Animation Studios.  Brandon received his BFA in Illustration, with a minor in Digital Film from the prestigious Ringling School of Art and Design on a Presidential Scholarship. 

    Jonathan Chu 
    ‘99 started his musical career at the age of three, and has spent his life bringing the joy of beautiful music to millions.  Growing up he performed with the Memphis String Orchestra and the Memphis Youth Symphony.  After studying violin performance at The University of Memphis, he began a career as a touring musician, playing with artists such as Todd Agnew and Big Daddy Weave. Currently Jonathan tours with the Christian hard rock group Skillet, which boasts a successful touring schedule as well as a recent Platinum Record that debuted at Number Two on the Billboard Top 100.

    Jerry Goin ‘80 began promoting bands his senior year in high school and got his first real break in the music business when he was hired as Radio and Promotions Director at Voice Box Records in 1980. He helped the Blackwood Brothers single, "We Come To Worship" rise to number one on the charts and the album won the Grammy for "Best Inspirational Album".  Their next release, "I'm Following You" also won a Grammy in 1983 for "Best Inspirational Album". He is currently Vice President at Toof American Digital and has remained a voting member of The Recording Academy and the Grammys for over twenty-five years.
  • 2013 Fine Arts Hall of Fame

    Mr. Craig Thompson '79. While at Briarcrest he designed the cover of Desiderata magazine and designed the 1979 High School annual. After High School Mr. Thompson founded Disciple Design, a full service design firm celebrating its 20 year anniversary.  

    Disciple Design focuses on branding for non-profit, educational and faith based organizations. They also feature work from up and coming artists with a faith based perspective. Mr. Thompsons firm has won various awards including Art Director’s Club of New York, International Typography Club, local, regional and national Addy Awards including 3 best of shows and 4 judges special awards and 3 Dove Award nominations for recorded music packaging.  

    Mr. Ron Turner served as the Briarcrest High School Jazz band director and assisted with the High School Marching Band from 1980 – 1987.  He is a past officer of West Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association and has chaired numerous events including all west Tennessee band and orchestra auditions, West Tennessee Concert Band Festival and Tennessee all state jazz ensemble.  He was co-conductor with his wife Paula, of the Bartlett Community Concert Band for almost 10 years. 

    His bands have consistently received superior ratings at local and national festivals for the past 20 years.  Mr. Turner is a member of the national association for Music Educators, Phi Mu Alpha – Professional Music Fraternity and Phi Beta Mu, - Honorary Band Directors Fraternity. He recently retired from a 36 year career teaching band in and around the Memphis area. 
     
    Mr. Michael Williams '87 was in marching, symphonic, and jazz bands as well as concert choir and mixed chorus.  After graduation he pursued a career in opera, conducted music in various churches and taught classical voice until God called him into teaching as his mission field.  

    He was Director of choirs at Snowden School and then at White Station Middle School.  His choirs won many top awards locally and across the country and he was awarded Outstanding Music Educator with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.  Mr. Williams also created built and ran the Department of Performing Arts at Crichton College and served as theatre director and choral conductor.  He is currently the Director of Theatrical and Choral Activities at CBHS . He is also a published composer of a cappella choral music. 
  • 2012 Fine Arts Hall of Fame

    Mr. Andy Childs, '80 was active in concert choir and theatre at Briarcrest.  He graduated from the University of Memphis in music business and recording engineering. Andy has been in the music business for over 30 years and recorded with Sony Records, RCA Records and Warner Brother Records with several chart singles and music videos. He has written songs recorded by national and international recording artists. Andy has appeared on all major broadcast networks including the FOX series NEXT GREAT AMERICAN BAND by the producers of American Idol and is currently involved in the ABC television series “Nashville”.   Andy resides in Franklin, TN where he attends Brentwood Baptist Church.  He has two sons, Daniel and Cameron. 

    Mr. Keith Compton '78 for over thirty years, he has been involved in many aspects of the music industry primarily as an audio engineer having worked on numerous gold, platinum and both Grammy nominated and winning projects (17 nominated, 5 winning). He has produced projects and is an accomplished guitarist, sequencing programmer and published songwriter. Keith has designed and built high resolution audio equipment and was one of the youngest governors for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. He is also an adjunct at The Art Institute of Tennessee. 

    Dr. Dave Knowlton '86.  While a student, he was a member of the band, serving as band chaplain and an assistant percussion section leader his junior and senior year.  His senior year, he earned the "Most Outstanding Marching Band Member" award.  Dr. Knowlton has worked in seven different states as a percussion instructor, marching band show designer, music arranger, and clinician for a variety of middle schools, high schools, colleges, and drum and bugle corps.  He has judged regionally for the Mid-Continent Color Guard Association and Indiana Percussion Association.  He judges nationally for the United States Scholastic Band Association.  Dave, his wife Heather, and daughters Emma and Sarah live in Glen Carbon, IL.  

    Mr. Steve May served as Briarcrest’s Vocal Music Director from 1977 - 1990. His choirs continually earned superior ratings at regional and national competitions in New York City, Washington D.C., Colorado, Texas, Florida, and Georgia. In addition, the choir won first place at an international music festival in Quebec City, Ontario, in 1986. The Concert Choir averaged thirty concerts a year during that time. In addition to Concert Choir, Steve directed the Beginning and Advanced Choruses, as well as the Men and Women’s Choruses, taught Music Theory, and was a co-sponsor of Tri-M. He returned in 1998-99 as Director of the Concert Choir while the school pursued its next full time director. He also served as Minister of Music at Hickory Ridge Baptist Church while at Briarcrest and later at Leawood Baptist Church. He is presently in the same role at First Baptist Church in Winter Park, Florida, where he has served since 2001.

     Rev. Terry McNatt came to Briarcrest as Director of Bands in 1978. During his ten-year tenure, the band program was a consistently Superior rated band that was recognized nationally and won multiple honors from 1978 to 1988 in marching, concert & jazz.  One proud accomplishment was the tremendous growth in the Beginning and Intermediate Band Program which was primarily due to the hiring of a full-time Middle School Band Director, Mr. Ron S. Turner.  Terry and Ron were a team! Terry is honored to share the band’s tremendous success during his tenure with Ron Turner. From 1988 to 2000, Terry served as Associate Pastor of Worship and Music at Germantown Baptist Church and founded the orchestra at GBC and the Germantown Baptist Conservatory of Music - a private music lesson program that grew to over 500 students with a faculty of thirty. For the past 12½ years, Terry has served as Worship and Music Pastor at Wallace Memorial Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Terry’s wife, Mary Ruth, also served at Briarcrest as an elementary music teacher.  The McNatts have two daughters, Melody and Michelle, two son-in-laws and two absolutely fabulous grandkids!  About this special evening, Terry wants to say: “To God be the Glory for all that HE accomplished and will continue to accomplish at Briarcrest.  It was an honor and a God-given privilege for Mary Ruth and I to serve the Briarcrest Family for ten years.  Our lives were blessed by the relationships and friendships that began here in 1978 and continue to this very day!  The students, faculty, administration, and parents that we were privileged to teach and work with ARE the success story of our time at Briarcrest.  To them - GOD BLESS YOU AND WE LOVE YOU ALL!”  

    Mrs. Elaine Neeley was the first art instructor for Briarcrest high school from 1974 – 1984.  Since beginning her own business in 1984, her artwork includes limited edition prints of Memphis and Nashville as well as commissioned paintings and portraiture.  She has founded and staged charitable events such as the Art for Heart’s Sake art sale benefiting the American Heart Association and the Kaleidoscope Craft Sale benefiting LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center. This December, the Memphis Phoenix Club will honor Elaine for the seventh time by featuring her Memphis art among their fundraising Christmas card selections.  Always believing that’s God’s purpose for her life is to teach and guide others in the fulfillment and enjoyment of His artistic gifts, she continues to teach privately over 150 students.  Her hobby for twenty years has been fostering and placing abandoned and stray kittens in “Forever Homes.”  It has been a mission of love. 

     Ms. Kim Trammell '88. Her involvement at Briarcrest included being a member of the Marching, Symphonic and Jazz Bands under the direction of Terry McNatt and Ron Turner; a member of the Concert Choir under the direction of Steve May; a member of the All-West Tennessee Honor Band, Orchestra and Jazz Band, and was nominated to the McDonald's All-American High School Band. After graduating, Kim attended the University of Memphis on a full music scholarship and earned a bachelor's degree in music, becoming an Adjunct percussion instructor /music arranger for several Mid-South area marching band programs, including The University of Memphis, Briarcrest, Munford, and Cordova. In her performing career as a drummer and percussionist, Kim has shared the stage and studio with such great artists such as: Jimmy Buffett, Darius Rucker, CMA Musician of the Year- Mac McAnally; Contemporary Christian Artist- Todd Agnew; Dove and Grammy award winners Bruce Carroll and Kim Hill; Opera singer Kallen Esperian, The Iris Chamber Orchestra and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. Kim has also worked professionally with other Briarcrest Fine Arts Hall of Fame inductees, Terry McNatt, Barry Trobaugh, Keith Compton and Andy Childs. 

    Mr. Barry Trobaugh '75.  He was a two-time Tennessee All State musician and a member of the first ever band at Briarcrest under the direction of Mr. Larry Volman.  Barry is in his 32rd year as a music educator and is currently the Director of Bands at Munford High School Band where his 200 member band is the reigning USSBA 2011 National Champions.  Under Barry, the Munford band holds two Tennessee state championships (2007 and 2010) and has won the Bandmasters Championship held at the Liberty Bowl an impressive 13 times.  Barry has served as President of the West Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association and currently serves as the Tennessee Music Education Association and the Tennessee Bandmasters Association representative for West Tennessee Bands. The driving force in Barry's life is his beautiful wife Debbie and their daughter Kaitlyn.  Without their support, many of his successes would have never been possible.

    Dr. Mike Turpin '75   he was the class salutatorian, band president, McDonald’s All-American High School Band, 1st chair all-region and all-state bands; and wrote the high school Alma Mater.  He graduated Summa cum Laude in 1979 from Lamar University with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education. In 1981 he received a Master of Music Education from the University of South Carolina. He received his Professional Counselor Certification for Texas in 1993 and his Doctor of Philosophy in Training & Development in 2003 from Texas A&M University. Mike is currently the Vice President of Institutional Planning at Kilgore College where he has worked since 1984 in various positions such as Music Instructor Adjunct; Director of Accreditation Office, Coordinator of Counseling & Advising and Director of Student Services.  He was named to Who’s Who Among America’s College & University Teachers in 2004 & 2005.  Mike’s career highlights include leading student performing groups in San Francisco; New York; Philadelphia; London, England; and Nice, France.  Additionally, private lesson high school students consistently win first-division ratings at region and state solo-ensemble contests and regularly earn positions in Texas all-region and all-state bands. Mike has been married for 32 years to his wife, Terry. They are active members of First Baptist Church Longview TX.  Their sons Zach & Philip are graduates of Texas Tech University and work in Dallas.

    Mr. Larry Volman served as the first high school band director at Briarcrest from 1974-78. He was one the founding faculty members for the high school and one of three members used in newspaper advertisements recruiting students for the start-up of the high school. Larry devised and implemented a system for teaching beginning band at the satellite elementary schools as well as supervised the teachers who taught at those schools. He formed concert, jazz and marching bands at the high school level. He wrote the curriculum for instrumental instruction for their state and regional accreditation processes. Under Larry's leadership the concert band won competition in its very first year; every marching, concert, and jazz ensemble received straight superior ratings at every festival entered during Larry's tenure. The marching band placed first in class in the Memphis State University marching contest in 1976 and 1977;  the marching band was named the small class champion at the prestigious  Middle Tennessee State University Marching Contest of Champions in the fall of 1977; the 1977 and 1978 band programs lead the region in the number of students selected for the Tennessee All-State Band.Larry and his wife, Martha Lynn, live in McDonough, GA.