Young Singers Opens Auditions

Young Singers of Central Oklahoma, a community-based choral music program through Oklahoma Baptist University, is offering vocal instruction and performance opportunities for singers ages 7-18. Students in the Shawnee area are invited to audition for the program.

In weekly rehearsals on OBU's campus, the department offers five choirs for students of various ages and ability levels. The program is designed to provide diverse, challenging and quality singing experiences which enhance the musical and personal growth of each singer and provide enrichment to the community.

Young Singers of Central Oklahoma (YSCO) is dedicated to comprehensive musical instruction within each choir. The group seeks to promote a deep appreciation for the art of choral music from the singers as well as the audiences for whom they perform. As a unique feature of the program, YSCO partners with the OBU music education degree program by providing university students with opportunities to serve as student conductors, accompanists and assistants for each choir.

The five choirs in the YSCO program serve more than 150 singers from the central Oklahoma area. Dr. Darla Eshelman, OBU professor and music education coordinator, serves as the group's director.

Audition dates for the 2008-09 school year are Aug. 21-22 from 3:30-5:30 p.m.; Aug. 28-29 from 5-6 p.m.; or by appointment.

Auditions will be conducted in Raley Chapel on the OBU campus, and singers will audition in order of their arrival. Each audition will consist of:

  • singing "Happy Birthday," "America the Beautiful," or "My Country ‘Tis of Thee"
  • echoing short melodic phrases
  • vocal exercises for identifying range
  • evaluating each singer's potential for musical growth, teamwork and commitment
The cost for group members is $60 per semester plus the cost of performance outfits (approximately $25-$45, depending on the choir). All choirs will rehearse on Tuesdays in Raley Chapel beginning Sept. 2. Following is specific information about each choir:

Discovery Singer: Meets at 3:45-4:45 p.m. and is conducted by Celesta Dalrymple. Discovery Singer is designed for non-auditioned singers beginning at age 7 providing beginning level instruction and singing experiences.

Shawnee Honor Choir: Meets at 3:30-5:15 p.m. and is conducted by Conchita Hansford. Shawnee Honor Choir is for auditioned treble voices and provides intermediate level instruction for upper elementary and middle school singers.

Concert Choir: Meets at 4:30-6:30 p.m. and is conducted by Darla Eshelman. Concert Choir is for auditioned treble voices and provides advanced level instruction for upper elementary and middle school singers.

Select Girls Chorus: Meets at 5-6:30 p.m. and is conducted by Mindy Beeson. Select Girls Choir is for auditioned high school girls voices and provides advanced level instruction.

Youth Chorale: Meets at 6:40-7:40 p.m. and is conducted by Suzanne Morrison. Youth Chorale is for auditioned SATB mixed voices and provides advanced level instruction.

For more information or to set up an audition time, please contact Dr. Darla Eshelman, YSCO program director, at (405) 878-2314 or