News & Events

Brett Pardue Receives Robertson Award at Mars Hill University

Brett Pardue01Brett Pardue of Elkin, NC, has been named the 2014 recipient of the Joe Chris and Donna N. Robertson Award at Mars Hill University.

The Joe Chris and Donna N. Robertson Award, a prestigious honor established in 2003, recognizes a graduating senior in the fine arts with a strong commitment to his or her chosen field, promise in the fine arts, and demonstrated service to the arts, Mars Hill University, and the community. A cash award is presented to the recipient for the purpose of enhancing his or her development in the arts. The award is given in memory of Joe Chris Robinson, former chairman of the Mars Hill College Art Department who taught at MHC for four decades (1951-1991), and in honor of Donna N. Robertson, former college organist and retired Associate Professor of Music.

Pardue will graduate with his Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance and a minor in English in May. He is a member of Alpha Chi National Honor Society. His musical achievements include being selected for the Bel Canto Institute of Music in Florence, Italy in the summer of 2012 where he was the winner of their Performance Award. As a benefit of this award he gave a recital in New York with Jane Klaviter, a coach at the Metropolitan Opera. He was a semi-finalist at the National Orpheus Vocal Competition and has been a chorus member of the Asheville Lyric Opera and a Choral Scholar at the Biltmore United Methodist and Central United Methodist churches in Asheville. He has been a member of the Southern Appalachian Chamber Singers since 2012. His ability to be an exemplary role model and leader is evidenced by his being asked to speak as a representative of the Vocal Division at the Choral Festival two years in a row.

In addition, Pardue was crowned the 2013-14 MHU Homecoming King and was the featured "Editor's Choice" writer for MHU's literary magazine, Cadenza in the 2012-13 edition. He has been a resident advisor in Turner and Bailey dormitories, for three years and was voted “Best Singer on campus” in the Residential Life Survey in 2013.

Pardue was self-taught on the piano prior to coming to Mars Hill. For the past four years, he has studied under Dr. Teresa Sumpter, assistant professor of music. She said: “Brett has the soul of a poet, the heart of an artist, and the intellect of a scholar. He belongs in the world of music and I hope he never leaves it. Not only is he a gifted musician, writer, and student, he is also a compassionate and sensitive human being. It has been an honor to help him grow as a musician these last four years.”

(MHU Office of Communications / May 2, 2014)