Pair to be honored with celebration

PLAINVIEW - Noted pianist Mark Anthony Pair will be honored with a retirement celebration at Wayland Baptist University at 2 p.m. on April 11 in the south hallway outside Harral Memorial Auditorium.

Pair, who retired in May 2002 after 36 years at Wayland, will be named Piano Artist in Residence at the event, and his longtime studio will be dedicated the Mark Anthony Pair Piano Studio.

A graduate of Wilson High School, Pair attended Southern Methodist University and earned his bachelor's degree in piano performance from Texas Tech University. He continued studies at Tech toward a graduate degree and returned to SMU to complete the master's degree in piano performance in 1965 and later a master of music degree in theory.

Pair came to Wayland in 1966 as instructor of private piano and music theory and director of the men's chorus. He later taught class piano and music appreciation and was responsible for the piano barrier proficiency. While at Wayland, Pair performed at least one professional piano concert each semester, and he was called on to perform at other campus events such as pageants, talent shows, musicals, banquets and other events.

His piano concerts typically feature a particular composer, and over the years, he has performed the works of Scriabin, Chopin, Ravel, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Brahms, Grieg, Liszt, Schumann, Bach, Beethoven and others. All his concerts are performed from memory.

He has also performed at other universities and schools, including Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, West Texas A&M University, University of Alabama, Eastern New Mexico University and New Mexico Junior College, and at the Texas Music Educators Association annual convention. He has also judged several musical events both on the Wayland campus and elsewhere.

Pair received the Orpheus Award from Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity, of which he was a member, the Piper Foundation Award and a special award from the Wayland Music Department for performing 50 concerts. He was a member of Friends of the Arts, The National Piano Guild, Texas Music Educators Association and the American Scriabin Society. He and wife Helen are members of the First Baptist Church in Plainview.

Friends are encouraged to bring letters for Pair, which will be included in a Book of Letters to be presented at a later date. Letters can also be sent to Dr. Carl Moman in care of Wayland, 1900 West 7 th St., Plainview, Texas 79072.