Sara Gray Baker
Sara Gray Baker, of Gran-bury, Texas, passed away peacefully and enveloped in God’s love on Tuesday, January 29, 2019. She was 89 years old.
She was born Sara Elizabeth Gray to Floyd Edmon Gray and Vollie Viola Love Gray on July 10, 1929 in Albertville, Alabama. Sara Gray graduated from Albertville High School in 1947 and was an active member of First Baptist Church, Albertville during her youth and young adulthood.
She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Judson College in Marion, Alabama in 1951 and began graduate studies at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey before accepting the position of Choral Director at First Baptist Church in Scottsboro, Alabama. There she met George Baker from Boston, Massachusetts, who was serving as band director in the Scottsboro school district and playing trumpet professionally with the Birmingham Symphony. They were united in marriage on December 23rd, 1955.
In 1962, George and Sara Baker accepted Administrative and Teaching positions in the Music Department at Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas and began their respective 37-year tenure as HPU faculty members.
Mrs. Sara Baker completed a Master of Music degree at Howard Payne University in 1969 with a Secondary Public School Certification in English and Music. She served as Associate Professor of Music at Howard Payne, teaching Voice, Vocal Pedagogy, Italian Diction, and as director of the Heritage Singers and Chorus Director of Musicals. She was awarded the HPU Medal of Service Honor in 2003 and the HPU Yellow Rose Award in 2007 for her dedication and exemplary leadership.
Mrs. Baker also served as Minister of Music in several churches, organizing and directing children’s, youth and adult choirs and Christmas and Easter musicals. Furthermore, she was highly sought-after as a soloist for performances in Classical and Sacred Concerts, Recitals and Musicals for her beautiful soprano voice.