Auditions Remain Open for OBU Shawnee-Community Orchestra

Auditions for the seventh season of the OBU-Shawnee Community Orchestra are remaining open through September 10 for interested musicians.

The announcement was made by Dr. Jim Hansford, Burton Patterson professor of music at OBU and conductor of the orchestra since its inception.

Interested musicians should be prepared to play an appropriate excerpt of a solo or an etude to demonstrate his/her skills. Each participant also will be asked to sight-read a short excerpt of music.

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

Members of the MacArthur Quartet, a graduate string quartet in joint residence at the University of Oklahoma and OBU, will conduct the string auditions. Members of the quartet serve as the principle string players in the OBU-SCO.

The MacArthur Quartet includes Ana Maria Wilson, violin and viola; Tye Myers, violin and viola; and Celeste Powers, cello. All three are pursuing either master’s or doctoral degrees in performance at OU.

About half of the more than 50 orchestra members come from the surrounding region including McLoud, Ada, Chandler, Norman, Oklahoma City, Tecumseh, Choctaw, Edmond and Shawnee. Other 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 Hansford. “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. In recent years, corporate and private donors in the Shawnee area have supported the ensemble with generous gifts.

Regular rehearsals are scheduled on Monday evenings from 7-9 p.m. in the instrumental rehearsal hall, Raley Chapel 104. The first rehearsal will be September 10. For further information, contact Hansford at or at (405) 878-2307.