Rawls Combines Education and Performance

Nationally noted tenor Arnold Rawls will receive Oklahoma Baptist University’s 2006 Distinguished Music Alumni Award during the annual Music Awards Banquet May 8.

Dr. Rawls, who serves as artist/professor of sacred music at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, frequently appears with opera companies across the nation. He has appeared with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Santa Fe Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and the Nashville Opera. He will make his international debut in Bregenz, Austria, this summer. He also has performed as a soloist with the Lake Charles Symphony, the Rapides Symphony, and the Suburban Symphony in Chicago.

In addition to his teaching and performance work, Rawls is an active clinician, leading handbell techniques and vocal and choral clinics. He recently released an album of sacred music titled “Love Lifted Me.”

Rawls graduated from OBU in 1982 with a bachelor of music education degree. He completed a master’s degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Oklahoma.

While attending OBU, Rawls served as an assistant to Dr. A.L. “Pete” Butler in the music ministry at the First Baptist Church of Ada, Oklahoma. He followed Dr. Butler, the 2000 recipient of OBU’s Distinguished Music Alumni Award, as minister of music at the church.

“That is where I learned to put my church music training into practice,” said Rawls. “It was a wonderful lab to augment my OBU training.”

OBU’s Distinguished Music Alumni Award recognizes a music graduate who “has demonstrated the highest levels of musical ability and Christian integrity in their professional and personal lives.” The award was first presented in 1996. Rawls is the 11th recipient of the annual honor.

The Music Awards Banquet will begin at 6:30 p.m. in rooms 218-219 of OBU’s Geiger Center. Tickets are available for $12 per person. To order tickets, contact Thresa Swadley in OBU’s College of Fine Arts, at 405-878-2305.