December 1, 2003
Oklahoma Baptist University placed two music students in the finals of the Texoma region session of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Conference and Student Auditions recently.
Three members of the Oklahoma Baptist University voice faculty, 10 students, and two accompanists recently attended the Texoma region session at Abilene Christian University in Texas along with 582 students, 130 teachers and 107 accompanists from Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma in this years annual three day conference/competition.
Of the ten OBU students attending, four advanced to the semi-final round. Bethany Hailey, freshmen women's division, from the studio of Norma Partridge; Michael Ware, freshmen men's division, from the studio of Jack Pearson; Michael Slaughter, junior men's division, from the studio of Norma Partridge; Jilian Russell, senior women's division, from the studio of Rhetta Hudson all reached the semifinal round. Slaughter and his accompanist, Jill Rother, and Russell and her accompanist, Keith Whitmore, advanced to the final round, meaning they were among the top five in their respective divisions. Slaughter placed second in the junior men's division and Russell placed fifth in the senior women's division.
The National Association of Teachers of Singing is a professional organization dedicated to the advancement of the vocal art and particularly the teaching of that art. The USA is divided into 10 regions. The Texoma region, of which Oklahoma is a part, is one of the strongest and most competitive in the nation. The OBU Division of Music consistently makes a strong showing in this event.