The American counter-tenor, composer, music pedagogue, and writer on music, Charles Michael Hawn, obtained his the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Wheaton College in Illinois (1970), and his Master of Church Music (1972) and Doctor of Musical Arts (1975) degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Additional study includes Florida State University (Orff Certification), Oberlin College Baroque Performance Institute, and Aston Magna Baroque Performance Institute. A counter-tenor, he has studied with Russell Oberlin and René Jacobs.
Michael Hawn, Professor of Sacred Music and Director, Master of Sacred Music Program at Perkins School of Theology, SMU, joined the faculty in the fall of 1992. Prior to this he was a professor of church music at two Baptist seminaries for a total of fifteen years. In addition to teaching, he has served churches in Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Texas as minister of music. He is a life member of Choristers Guild, having served as president of the board of directors (1990-1992, 2001-2003) and interim executive director (2002-2003), and the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada.
Michael Hawn is a frequent contributor to church music periodicals in the areas of church music education and hymnology, having published over 200 articles. Edited books include For the Living of These Days: Resources for Enriching Worship (Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys Pub., Inc., 1995) and a three-year children's choir resource, Stepping Stones: An Ecumenical Children's Choir Curriculum (Garland, TX: Choristers Guild, 1995, 1996, 1997). Beginning in September of 2004, he has written a weekly column for The United Methodist Reporter entitled "History of Hymns" and contributes a feature on a global (non-Western) hymn in the bi-monthly journal Worship Arts. He is a well-known clinician throughout the USA in the areas of children's choirs and worship. Hawn also founded and served as chair of the board of directors for the Children's Chorus of Greater Dallas (1996-1998).
Michael Hawn is also a student of global music and worship, having received a fellowship from The Association of Theological Schools in 1989 for study in Nigeria and Kenya. He also taught and studied church music in Cuba, Haiti, Mexico, and Nicaragua. During the summer of 1996, he was given a grant from Southern Methodist University for the purpose of studying Asian Christian worship and song, a trip that took him to Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, and Hong Kong. He received a sabbatical grant from the Louisville Institute in 1998. This research in Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Japan and Korea led to the publication of a global collection Halle Halle: We Sing the World Round (Choristers Guild, 1999) and Gather into One: Praying and Singing Globally (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2003). A grant from the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship (2000) provided the background for the text One Bread, One Body: Exploring Cultural Diversity in Worship (The Alban Institute, 2003).
In February 2006, Michael Hawn served as the music director of the IX Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Porto Alegre, Brazil. He has recently published four articles on Australian congregational song in The Hymn: A Journal of Congregational Song and has contributed 18 articles on sub-Saharan African hymnody to the forthcoming Cambridge Dictionary of Hymnology (2008). An edited volume in process, New Songs of Celebration Render (GIA Publications, Inc., anticipated 2007), explores the theological and musical developments in congregational song in North America since the Second Vatican Council.
His professional distinctions include: Regional winner and national finalist, National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Awards contest, 1974; Citation for Excellence in Teaching, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1988; grant from Association of Theological Schools for sabbatical study in Nigeria and Kenya, 1989; Chair, Board of Directors, Children's Chorus of Greater Dallas, 1996-1998; Louisville Institute Sabbatical Research Grant, Lilly Foundation, 1998-1999; Worship Renewal Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Grand Rapids, Michigan, with funds provided by Lilly Endowment, Inc., 2000; Choristers Guild, President of the Board of Directors, 1990-1992, 2001-2003; Elected Fellow of the Hymn Society (2008); ordained Baptist minister (1980)
Michael Hawn is married to Collyn Sanderson Hawn, a school psychologist for the Richardson Independent School District. They have adult two children, M. Aaron Hawn and Lindsay Hawn Barker, and two grandsons, Liam and Connor.