Special to The Hays Daily News

Sacred music composer Mark Hayes will be in concert at 7 p.m. Sunday at First United Methodist Church, 305 W. Seventh. There is no admission charge.

Hayes has written more than 700 pieces of sacred music during the past 32 years. He has produced and arranged more than 50 recordings for various artists and publishers, 47 keyboard folios, and 20 vocal solo collections.  

His music can be found in the music libraries of the finest churches and universities in the country, and he is in increasing demand for choral clinics and concerts.

He earned a bachelor of music degree in piano performance, magna cum laude, from Baylor University, but his degree was only a small part of what he gained from those four years. During his college years, his dream to become a composer and arranger of contemporary Christian and sacred music was born and nurtured.

Today, Hayes' vocal and instrumental writing is widely acclaimed and performed across the nation. He is well-known for his unique choral settings, which draw from such diverse styles such as gospel, jazz, pop, folk and classical to achieve a truly "American sound."

"Empowering church musicians has always been one of my goals," Hayes said.

He lives this out by regularly serving as a clinician at arranging, orchestration and piano improvisation workshops throughout the country.

To further educate and encourage new arrangers and composers, he has served as an adjunct composition instructor at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo. from 1991 to 1993.

Hayes is a recurring recipient of the Standard Award from ASCAP, and his album, "I've Just Seen Jesus," received the Dove Award, the equivalent to a Grammy in gospel music.