In 1984 Dr. Newby earned a bachelor of arts in vocal music education and flute performance from Madonna College in Livonia, Michigan. In 1987 he earned a master of music in jazz composition and arranging from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where he did his studies in composition under Robert Sutton, Frederick Tillis, Jeff Holmes, and Robert Stern. Returning to Michigan, he completed his doctorate of musical arts in composition in 1994 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. There he studied with William Albright, Michael Daugherty, George Wilson, Fred Lerdahl, and Pulitzer Prize winners William Bolcom and Leslie Bassett.
In addition to directing the Center for Worship, Dr. Newby serves as director of the SPU Gospel Choir and the Worship Arts Ensemble, and leads men’s ministry on campus. He has served as a worship pastor for more than 25 years in Michigan, Massachusetts, Washington, and California, and leads new worship music programs at Seattle Pacific University.
Dr. Newby’s awards and grants include the National Endowment of the Arts 2005 St. Paul, Minnesota, Continental Harmony Grant; the King County Arts Commission of Washington Grant; The Rackham School Fellowship for Ethno-musicological Research in Dakar, Senegal; and the John Wesley Work III National Composers’ Award.