OBU-Shawnee Community Orchestra Schedules Auditions

Auditions for the fifth season of the OBU-Shawnee Community Orchestra (SCO) have been scheduled for Monday, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m., in the lower level of Raley Chapel at Oklahoma Baptist University.

Interested musicians should be prepared to play an appropriate excerpt of a solo or an etude. Sight-reading skills also will be evaluated.

Openings in all sections of the orchestra are available. String players are especially encouraged to audition. Returning wind and percussion players do not need to re-audition.

Members of the Red River Quartet, a graduate string quartet that is in joint residence at the University of Oklahoma and OBU, will conduct the string auditions. The members of the quartet serve as the principle string players in the SCO and are available to teach OBU students and others who are members of the ensemble.

The Red River Quartet includes Micah Gangwar and Ana Mario Wilson, violin; Wendy Clymer, viola; and Stephanie Fresonke, cello. All four are pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees in performance at OU.

About half of the 50-plus member ensemble comes from the surrounding region including McLoud, Ada, Chandler, Norman, Oklahoma City, Tecumseh, Choctaw, Edmond and Shawnee, while the remaining members are OBU students, including many music majors.

“The membership of the group is quite diverse including doctors, educators, homemakers, retired military, an auto mechanic and students ranging in age from 15 to 80 years,” said Dr. Jim Hansford, professor of music at OBU and conductor of the orchestra since its inception. “The beautiful thing about musical skill is that one can utilize and enjoy it for a lifetime.”

The community orchestra was organized in the fall of 2001 with the assistance of a grant from the Kirkpatrick Foundation in Oklahoma City. The grant became a reality through the work of Dr. Paul Hammond, dean of OBU’s Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts. The grant provided the funds necessary to form a graduate string quartet which is shared jointly by OU and OBU.

Regular rehearsals are scheduled on Monday evenings from 7-9 p.m. in the instrumental rehearsal hall (room 104) in Raley Chapel. The first rehearsal will be Sept. 12. Those wanting further information may contact Hansford at jim.hansford@okbu.edu or at (405) 878-2307.