Oliver Price Gibbs has been awarded the Patricia Young Henry Scholarship for 2021. The scholarship was established in 2008 to provide a one-time $500 scholarship to a student involved in music and enrolled in continuing education. The scholarship is awarded each year in honor of Pontotoc piano teacher Patricia Young Henry who has taught countless students since she was a student herself.
Gibbs said his introduction to musical instruments came at the age of five, when he was enrolled in piano lessons. A couple of years later, Gibbs started learning the violin.
He said he started playing violin for the youth praise band/worship team at First Baptist Church as an eighth grader, and the experience led to other opportunities at the church, including playing and singing on the worship team for their contemporary Sunday worship service First Day. He also added guitar to his list of instruments played at that time.
Gibbs said he later started to understand the importance of the time he was spending on the worship team. “I had been considering what my plans would be after graduation, and I had only recently added majoring in music to that list of considerations. On a visit to Mississippi College, I began to feel God calling me into music ministry.”
Looking back over his years of studying music, Gibbs said he realized how impactful his music teachers were on his life. “I didn’t see this when I was younger, but my life would not be the same if I had not studied under two great teachers: Patricia Henry and Dr. Christopher Thompson. Mrs. Henry and Dr. Thompson have poured into me knowledge and wisdom of more than just music. It’s hard to put into words all that I owe to them. They have made me a better person.”
Thompson said Gibbs was a gifted student who learned violin technique and music reading quickly. “Oliver’s outstanding leadership skills as a musician, his scholarship and his commitment to his own spiritual development as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ all strongly indicate great potential for his success at any academic institution.”
Gibbs plans to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Worship Leadership at Mississippi College in the fall and then attend seminary. His primary instruments of study will be violin, piano, and vocal performance.
He said he is thankful for the blessing of music in his life. “I love playing it, listening to it, and studying music. I’m truly grateful for the opportunities that music has afforded me and how God will continue to use music to work in and through me.”