BPC Alumnus Nominated for Dove Award
By Lauren Moye
BPC Staff Writer
MOUNT VERNON— While Jeff Bumgardner was a student at Brewton-Parker College, he dreamed of being a songwriter but never expected that opportunity to come to him. So when he was recently nominated for a GMA Dove Award, he was stunned. “It’s surreal,” he said, “It’s something that I always imagined happened to other people…it feels like a dream.”
GMA, the Gospel Music Association, is holding the 44th annual Dove Awards on Tuesday, Oct. 15 in Nashville, Tennessee. According to their website, the Dove Awards strive “to honor outstanding excellence and achievement in Gospel music.” These Awards are presented to individuals over a variety of genres within the Christian music industry.
Bumgardner, a ’97 BPC alumnus, was nominated for “Musical of the Year,” for an Easter musical entitled “Christ the Redeemer.” He wrote the musical with friends Joel Lindsey and Daniel Semsen. Bumgardner said, “The musical takes a little different look at Christ, the redeemer, and sets more of a traditional stage.” They used a modern-day hymn they wrote, and weaved it throughout the musical to thread it together.
“My time at BPC was life-changing,” Bumgardner said. “While I was there, all I wanted to do was to be finished with my degree and move on to what I wanted to do in life. But looking back it’s clear to me how important my relationships there were…I treasure my time there now.” While he was a student, Bumgardner met his wife. They were both students in the music program.
Dr. Hildegard Stanley became a major influence on his life. He said, “All those years of Benward ear training…I hated her for making me do it, but now it was something completely dependent on while writing this musical.”
To students who desire a career in the music industry, he shares the following advice: “Dream big. Without dreams and without vision and without goals you accomplish very little. Don’t give up.” After graduating, Bumgardner wanted to be a songwriter but was also called into ministry. He didn’t know anybody in the music industry, but he still did what he was passionate about by writing music.
His advice continues with, “Pursue those relationships with people in the music industry. Get a mentor that will help you learn what it means to write on that level.”
Brewton-Parker College is the only accredited four-year Christian college south of Macon and north of Jacksonville, FL. The mission of Brewton-Parker College, a Georgia Baptist college, is to develop the whole student through the application of Biblically-centered truth to a liberal arts curriculum in a community of shared Christian values.
Visit Brewton-Parker College online at www.bpc.edu.