Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Music

First Advisor

Alan L. Spurgeon

Second Advisor

Donald L. Trott

Third Advisor

Michael V. Namorato

Relational Format



The Swinney Conservatory of Music at Central Methodist University in Fayette, Missouri has a long history of producing a significant number of the music educators. Even before the conservatory's founding in 1925, music and music education played an important role in the town of Fayette. Since the mid-nineteenth century there were two colleges in Fayette: Central College and Howard Female College. While both schools grew alongside each other, it was at Howard College (later renamed Howard-Payne College) where music was taught. When the two schools merged in 1923, Howard-Payne's music department was transferred to Central and in 1925 was reorganized into the Swinney Conservatory of Music. This study examines the history of music at Central Methodist University from the early ensembles and curriculum at both Central and Howard-Payne Colleges through the founding of the Swinney Conservatory in 1925 to the present day. The study focuses on the many people that helped establish Central Methodist's reputation along with the performing ensembles that have existed since the beginning of the twentieth century. Sources that were examined include course archival material (catalogues, yearbooks and student newspapers) from Central and Howard-Payne College, historical records in the state of Missouri and personal interviews and statements from Central alumni.


Music Education



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