Longtime music faculty members to be honored with lifetime service award 

February 12, 2010    

PLAINVIEW – Earl Miller and Mark Pair will be honored with the Distinguished Lifetime Service Award by Wayland Baptist University during homecoming chapel slated for 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 26.

Miller, who is University Organist Emeritus, served Wayland for 37 years, teaching organ, piano and other music courses from 1957-94. A member of the American Guild of Organists and several other music organizations, he was instrumental in planning of the Wicks Pipe Organ in Harral Auditorium. A native of Alexandria, La., he received his bachelor’s degree from Louisiana College and both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sacred music from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.

Besides his university service, Miller was organist for First Baptist Church in Dallas and Plainview, First United Methodist Church in Hale Center and, for 24 years, was organist and choirmaster at St. Mark’s Episcopal in Plainview.         He has also been organist for denominational meetings and was on music faculty at Glorieta Conference Center. He has played in several European countries on Organ Study Tours.

Earl and wife Lucile have been active in several cultural arts organizations in Plainview and are longtime supports of Wayland, mentoring many students. A scholarship was established in his name several years ago to assist organ and church music students. The Millers have one daughter, Elizabeth Lawson of College Station.

Mark Anthony Pair served on the music faculty for 36 years, teaching piano and music theory. In addition, he performed piano concerts for the public twice annually at Wayland and periodically for other groups. Named Piano Artist in Residence after his retirement in 2002, Pair still presents concerts and remains a valuable resource for the School of Music.

Pair earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech and two master’s degrees in music from Southern Methodist University, one in piano and one in theory. He has held memberships in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Friends of the Arts, the National Piano Guild, Texas Music Educators Association and the Scriabin Society. 

He has performed in many venues, including five years at the TMEA Convention and has judged many events. He particularly favors performing one-composer thematic concerts and is one of the very few pianists in the world who has performed the Ten Scriabin Sonatas in one concert. Among many honors, Pair received the Piper Foundation Award and the Orpheus Award from Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia in 1990 for his performance of 50 concerts at Wayland Baptist University.

Pair and his wife, Helen, are longtime members of First Baptist Church. He has served as pianist for the Pastor’s Class for more than 30 years, and Helen leads the singing.

The two will receive their awards at the traditional chapel service honoring all distinguished alumni for the homecoming year. The chapel is the kickoff for a two-day homecoming event which includes a banquet, luncheons, reunions for classes ending in zero, athletic events and Hall of Honor inductions, theatre productions, art shows and receptions.

For more information on WBU homecoming, call (806) 291-3603 or visit the Web site at www.wbu.edu/alumni.