Theatre department honors Buddy Arnold with special weekend performances

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One of Lipscomb’s theatre legends will be honored this weekend with a special production developed by the university theatre department.

On April 20-22 in Shamblin Theatre, Lipscomb’s musical theatre students will perform scenes from 10 musicals directed by the late Buddy Arnold (’48), known as one of Lipscomb’s most influential faculty members by generations of Lipscomb students..

The “Tribute to Buddy Arnold” includes scenes from “Fiddler on the Roof,” “1776,” “West Side Story,” “Shenendoah,” “Carnival,” “The Sound of Music,” “Brigadoon,” “Oklahoma,” “Carousel” and “The Music Man.” Brad Forrister will emcee the performance and weave stories about Arnold, his family and the department in between the musical scenes. 

The April 20-21 performances begin at 7 p.m. The April 22 performance begins at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15, faculty tickets $10 and student tickets $5. They may be purchased HERE or by calling the box office at 615.966.7075.

Henry O. “Buddy” Arnold taught music and led various choral groups at Lipscomb from 1948 to 1968. After 10 years as drama instructor at Hillwood High School, Arnold returned to Lipscomb in 1978 as professor of music and theater. He directed many of Lipscomb’s most ambitious drama productions until his retirement in 1989.

A rehearsal hall, adjacent to Willard Collins Alumni Auditorium, was dedicated in 2009 to both Arnold and his wife Bernie (’48), who was an active presence behind the scenes, often hosting new students in the Arnold home and providing invaluable support for Lipscomb productions and its students.

Outside the hall, adjacent to Willard Collins Alumni Auditorium, passers-by can now view a permanent exhibit illustrating the rich history and value of the performing arts at Lipscomb, including photographs of several generations of student plays and music groups and a reflection of the Arnold family’s influence through the years.

Buddy and Bernie Arnold also had a major influence on the arts community in Nashville. Buddy Arnold reviewed classical music for the The Tennessean and the Nashville Banner during its existence. He directed numerous productions for local school and community theaters, appeared as a soloist with the Nashville Symphony and performed lead roles in local community performances of “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Camelot,” “My Fair Lady” and many others.