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Mercer University Names David Keith Director of Townsend-McAfee Institute

May 17, 2010

Media Contact:
Billie Rampley
(478) 301-2933

MACON – Mercer University’s Townsend School of Music today announced the appointment of Dr. David Keith as the director of the Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Studies in Church Music, effective Aug. 1. For 27 years, Dr. Keith served as professor of conducting and church music at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s School of Church Music before assuming his present post as director of music and worship at Brentwood United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tenn.

Dr. Keith will also serve as graduate studies director for the School of Music and as an associate professor, teaching in the field of church and choral music. As director of the Townsend-McAfee Institute, Dr. Keith will bring together the McAfee School of Theology and the Townsend School of Music to help create a substantive and relevant graduate church music program for the 21st Century church.

“I have known David Keith as a colleague for more than 25 years,” said Dr. John Dickson, Townsend School of Music dean and professor of conducting. “Each of us, through our long tenures at Southwestern and Southern Baptist Theological Seminaries, has shared and shaped the vision of graduate church music through our conducting and teaching. I look forward to working with my colleague as he joins a team of faculty dedicated to the education of pastoral church musicians.”

Dr. Keith will support seminars and workshops for practicing church musicians, the development of a National Youth Choir in alliance with Polyphony, study abroad programs, church music mentor apprenticeships, as well as an innovative curriculum in worship studies for pastors and ministers of music through collaborations between the McAfee School of Theology and the Townsend School of Music.

“It is my desire that the Townsend-McAfee Institute for Church Music link with the McAfee Theology School and aggressively prepare our graduates to serve in the local church ministry,” Dr. Keith said. “Plans are already in the formative stages for the development of extensive and innovative workshops and internships that will give our students hands-on opportunities during their time at Mercer. It is our desire to equip these students in such areas as hymnology, conducting, worship, administration and service playing so that Mercer graduates can be models to help people know, find and communicate with God through the medium of music.”

Dr. Keith received Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. In addition to serving as director of music and worship at Brentwood United Methodist Church, Dr. Keith has also worked as an adjunct professor of music at Belmont University, chorus director for the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and director of choral activities at Howard Payne University.

About Townsend School of Music
Mercer is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music. Mercer’s Townsend School of Music and the Townsend-McAfee Institute Graduate Studies in Church Music offer undergraduate and graduate professional music studies in a comprehensive university environment. The School is nationally recognized for its outstanding faculty, award-winning students, performance ensembles and state-of-the-art facilities and is home to the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings.

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,000 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
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