Published on August 29, 2022 by Ashley Smith  
Rodgers Withrow

Jonathan Rodgers and Christopher Withrow have joined the School of the Arts Division of Music.  “We are thrilled to have both incredible musicians and teachers help lead our Division of Music,” said Cindy St. Clair, interim chair of the Division of Music. “Jonathan has a great passion for teaching and leading students.  He desires to meet students where they are and help foster their God-given aspirations,” said St. Clair.  “Christopher taught as a part-time instructor with us in the previous academic year, and his work was outstanding.  He is excited to invest more fully in the lives of our students,” said St. Clair.

Rodgers joins the music faculty as assistant professor of music and worship.  Rodgers brings a wealth of experience and connections in this field, including academia and serving in ministry positions.  He comes to Samford after serving as the Minister of Worship Arts at Hunter Street Baptist Church. Prior to Hunter Street Baptist, he served on the faculty at Lee University for 5 years. Jonathan holds a DMA in Performance and Pedagogy with a concentration in Choral Conducting from the University of Southern Mississippi, and he holds a Master of Music in Church Music and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Samford.  “For the past year, Jonathan has done incredible work with our Worship Arts Ensemble and Samford Worship Team as a part-time instructor.  We are thrilled to have Jonathan join us full time and excited for what is to come in our Music and Worship area,” said St. Clair.

Baritone Christopher Withrow will serve as a visiting assistant professor of voice. He has been praised for “bringing masculine gravity both in voice and performance” to the stage. A native of Redding, California, Withrow has been seen in the title role in Gianni Schicchi, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Gabriel von Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, and James Agee in the world premiere of Joseph Lander’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. Concert works to his credit include Johannas Brahm’s Ein Deutches Requiem, Ralph Vaughan William’s Dona Nobis Pacem, Gabriel Faure’s Requiem, W. A. Mozart's Vesperae Solennes De Confessore, J. S. Bach's Coffee Cantata, Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Felix Mendelssohn's Psalm 42, and Robert Cohen’s Alzheimer’s Stories. Withrow holds a Bachelor of Music from California State University, Stanislaus, a Master of Music from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from The University of Alabama. Withrow was the 2019 Vann Vocal Institute winner as well as the recipient of a major scholarship from the McConnell Foundation.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.