St. Davids, PA, May 3, 2012: Professional recording producer and arranger Steven Ford, a sophomore composition/electronic music major at Eastern University, received a 2012 Dove Award from the Gospel Music Association (GMA) for his work on the CD Promises for gospel artist Richard Smallwood. Ford's work on this CD included producing, arranging, and composing. The CD won the Traditional Gospel Album of the Year award at the GMAâ€™s 43rd Annual Dove Awards ceremony on April 24 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Itâ€™s not the first time Ford has been recognized for his accomplishments in the music industry. The more than 80 Album/CD productions heâ€™s worked on over the years have led to numerous awards, including two Grammys (amid 12 Grammy nominations) and 10 Dove Awards. Heâ€™s worked with dozens of recording artists and groups, including Vickie Winans, T.D. Jakes, Shirley Caesar, and Vanessa Williams.
Ford was a student at Temple University more than two decades ago, but quit school to â€śgo proâ€ť in the music industry. About 20 years ago he met and was very impressed with Dr. Ron Matthews, who now chairs Easternâ€™s music department. Then, a couple of years ago, he spoke with a friend working at Palmer Seminary of Eastern University who advised him to consider Eastern. Steven took the advice, and now says, â€śItâ€™s the best move Iâ€™ve ever made.â€ť
Despite all he has accomplished in his career, Ford says his Eastern education is broadening his horizons, including in the area of music. â€śEasternâ€™s music program deserves to be recognized worldwide,â€ť he says. â€śIâ€™m connecting with Christian values. Iâ€™m learning to articulate the theory behind what Iâ€™ve been practicing. And my study of music history is helping me to connect with all the great artists, including Mozart and Beethoven.â€ť
Dr. Ron Matthews says, "Mr. Steven Ford has been a Godsend to our music department. In one sense, he has no need to come back to the Academy. He has already been established and recognized as a national resource inÂ Gospel Music. But his desire for continued personal development, service, and stewardship of his many, many gifts motivated him to, as he says "take care of some unfinished business." Mr. Ford demonstrates respect and humility in his participation in our department. He is a diligent student and despite the many demands on his schedule, manages to complete his assignments and go beyond expectation. It is a personal delight having known about Mr. Ford for many years to have the opportunity to work with him. My prayer is that his influence will be used by God to continue the expansion and impact of Eastern in every realm of human endeavor for the glory of God."
Steven Ford hopes that his return to the classroom will inspire young and gifted African American musicians to follow in his footsteps by getting an education. Among his goals is to give back by launching an institute that would provide music education to underprivileged youth.
About Eastern University
Eastern University is a Christian university that enrolls about 4,400 students in its undergraduate, graduate, Seminary, international, urban and professoinal degree programs. All education at Eastern University is rooted in its core values of faith, reason and justice.