Dr. Aaron Rice

Associate Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Music

Aaron M. Rice serves as Chair of the Department of Music and Associate Professor of Music at Gardner Webb University where he is also Coordinator of Music and Worship Studies. Prior to his appointment in Boiling Springs, he was Director of Choral Activities and Coordinator of Music and Worship Leadership in the Edith Lester Harbin Department of Music at Shorter University. Under his direction, the Shorter Chorale maintained a reputation for excellence, touring each year throughout the southeast. In 2017 Dr. Rice conducted the Chorale for a performance at the Baptist Church Music Conference Annual Meeting in Atlanta. He served as the conductor of the Shorter Masterworks on the Hill concert each spring; performances included, Pinkham Wedding Cantata, Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer, Corigliano’s Fern Hill, Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, and Handel’s Messiah. While completing his DMA, he served as Associate Conductor for the Southwestern Master Chorale, which routinely performed with the Fort Worth Symphony. Rice has prepared choirs for performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.

In the area of music and worship Rice focuses on helping young professionals explore their call to ministry while empowering them through educational opportunities and internship experiences. During his years at Shorter, he oversaw a music and worship curriculum revision focusing in philosophy of music ministry and mentoring. He has presented at regional and national conferences of the Baptist Church Music Conference and with the Georgia Baptist Convention.

A native of North Carolina, Rice received his Doctor of Musical Arts in Church Music and Choral Conducting at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas where he studied with David Thye. He earned the Master of Music degree in Sacred Music and Choral Conducting at East Carolina University as a student of Daniel Bara, and the Bachelor of Arts degree in both biblical studies and comprehensive music from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC.

As a member of American Choral Director’s Association, Rice has performed as a chorister on state and regional concert programs. He serves as the Exhibits Coordinator for the Southern Region. Rice has also served an executive board member of the Baptist Church Music Conference, and he is a member of the music honors society Pi Kappa Lambda.
Dr. Rice lives in Cherryville, NC with his wife, Lane, and their two children.