The School of Performing Arts at Bellevue Baptist Church as a Model of the Church-Based Arts Academy
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SubjectBellevue Baptist Church (Cordova, Tenn.). School of Performing Arts.
Music--Instruction and study--Religious aspects--Christianity.
ABSTRACT THE SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTS AT BELLEVUE BAPTIST CHURCH AS A MODEL OF THE CHURCH-BASED ARTS ACADEMY Hae Eun Kim, D.M.A. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2014 Chair: Dr. Esther R. Crookshank The School of Performing Arts founded at Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tennessee is one of most successful examples of a church-related music academy in a Protestant or evangelical church in the United States. This dissertation is a study of its history and development from its founding in 1984 through the present in order to understand how a church-based music academy may be successfully operated. The methodology draws on interviews of prominent individuals in the School of Performing Arts and primary source documents related to the operation of the school since its founding. Chapter 1 establishes the historical background of the Academy in the larger context of church music education in the United States since the nineteenth century and specifically in Southern Baptist church life after 1941, when the denomination's Church Music Department was created. This chapter gives an overview of the leaders, philosophies, and objectives of church music education in the Southern Baptist Convention by decade. Chapter 2 documents the origins, philosophy, and development of the overall music ministry of Bellevue Baptist Church and the rise of its tradition of excellence in music education and performance. Since its founding, the School of Performing Arts has advanced the goals of family-based church ministry through the intentionally intergenerational nature of its ensembles. Chapter 3 traces the history of the School of Performing Arts in two periods: 1984-2004 and 2005 through the present, corresponding with the school's changes of name. From Performing Arts Center (1984-2005) to School of Performing Arts (2005-present), the name was changed in order to reflect more accurately the mission and goals of the applied music program at BBC: teaching people to praise God with instruments and voice. The conclusion, chapter 4, seeks to identify key factors and principles in the school's success and longevity despite the shift in recent years away from orchestral worship music in many Southern Baptist churches. This chapter also addresses possible applications of the Bellevue model to evangelical churches in Korea, many of which have extensive church music programs but lack educational programs, especially for instrumental music instruction, found in the American Southern Baptist model.