OBU Music Hosts 32nd Annual Concerto-Aria

Select musicians at Oklahoma Baptist University will enjoy a unique performance opportunity Feb. 20, as OBU hosts its 32nd Annual Concerto-Aria Concert. The concert, at 8:30 p.m. in OBU’s Potter Auditorium, will feature eight current students.

The Concerto-Aria series was born from the desire to allow OBU piano majors the opportunity to work with an orchestra. It gradually evolved into a university-wide event featuring both instrumentalists and vocalists. During the concert, the auditioned musicians will perform with an orchestra.

Four vocalists will be featured, including Emily Rose, a soprano and senior vocal music major from Edmond, Okla.; Michael Slaughter, a bass and senior church music major from Oklahoma City; Keri Burman, a coloratura soprano and senior vocal performance major from Edmond, Okla.; and Bethany Hailey, a soprano and senior vocal music major from Raleigh, N.C.

Two instrumentalists will perform, including Aaron Jameson, a trumpet player and senior church music major from Yakima, Wash.; and Hillary Anderson, a flute player and freshman music major from Oklahoma City.

A piece composed by Michael Ware, a senior theory and composition major from Oklahoma City, will be featured in the program, and pianist Stacey Miller, a senior piano performance major from Plains, Kan., also will perform.

A pre-concert lecture will be given by Dr. Kristen Todd, associate professor of music, and Elise Anderson, a senior music major from Tishomingo, Okla. The lecture will be in Raley Chapel, room 203, at 7:30 p.m. Conductors for this year’s performance will be Dr. David DeSeguirant, associate professor of music and director of choral activities, Dr. Jim Hansford, professor of music, and Dr. James Vernon, associate professor of music.

The inaugural event in 1974 featured four solo pianists and was the brainchild of former OBU piano faculty member Clair McGavern and Dr. Ron Lewis, OBU professor of music.

McGavern served as a member of the OBU faculty for several decades, working as a piano faculty member and as assistant dean of the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts. Lewis has been an OBU faculty member for 35 years.

This traditional series is part of Music Main Event, a day for potential music majors to visit campus and get a taste of what it is like to study and train at OBU. The prospective students spend the day visiting music classes and private lessons, participating in ensemble rehearsals and auditioning for music scholarships. They also have the opportunity to stay with music majors overnight in the OBU residence halls.

“Of the many musical events I remember as a student at OBU, the Concerto-Aria performances rank as one of the annual highlights for me,” said De Seguirant, who is a 1986 OBU graduate.

The Concerto-Aria Concert is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the Division of Music in the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts at music@okbu.edu or 405-878-2305.