[ Students & Alumni ]

In memoriam: composer and conductor Buryl Red, 77

April 4, 2013

Buryl Red ’61MM, a conductor, producer, and arranger known world-wide as the musical director of The Century Men and composer of the 1972 classic Celebrate Life, died April 1. Red, 77, was born in Little Rock, Ark., and studied at Baylor and Yale Universities.

Described by the Washington Post as “uncommonly creative,” Red’s extensive body of works includes more than 1,600 published compositions and award-winning arrangements. He was the conductor of the Century Men, an auditioned men’s chorus of professional musicians who perform in Baptist churches across the world. Greg Stahl, the executive director of the Century Men, described Red to ABP News as a “true giant” in the world of Baptist church music.

In 1972, Red wrote Celebrate Life, a musical collaboration with book and lyrics author Ragan Courtney, which has become a classic work for Southern Baptist youth choirs. The 1991 song “In Remembrance” is from the musical.

Stahl said, “I wonder if we will ever see another Buryl Red.”


Buryl and I shared the same music stand for some time as violists back at Baylor University in the late fifties. He was a man of dignity, a creative genius, and a person enriched with imagination, and vision for a world of music there to fore unknown. While giving concerts at St. George’s, Stuyvesant Square in NYC it was a joy to see Buryl there with his son on several occasions. Thank God for the gift he’s been to so many, many Christians throughout the world through the talents and skills God endowed in him.

April 7th, 2013 | cecilbdmims

I have loved the music of Celebrate Life since a teen.
My favorite song was “I Quietly Turned to You” I actually performed this song in a local university contest and won the opportunity to go forward in the competition.
Thank you Mr. Red for your great music and sensitive spirit.

September 6th, 2014 | D Watkins

Mr. Red was also the producer of a seemingly infinite number of recordings for the “Making Music” general music textbook series. His influence is felt in music classrooms across the nation.

November 7th, 2014 | Warren B.