OBU-Shawnee Orchestra Announces Auditions

Auditions for the eighth season of the Oklahoma Baptist University-Shawnee Community Orchestra will be conducted in Raley Chapel on the OBU campus Monday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m., announced Dr. Jim Hansford, OBU's Burton Patterson professor of music and conductor of the orchestra.

The Sept. 8 audition date primarily is set for string players, but interested performers on wind and percussion instruments should contact Hansford at (405) 878-2307 for additional information. Musicians should come prepared to play an appropriate excerpt of a solo or an etude to demonstrate his or her skills. Each person auditioning also will be asked to sight-read a short excerpt of music. Returning wind and percussion players do not need to re-audition at this time.

"We currently have specific openings for oboe and French horn players," Hansford said.

String auditions will be conducted by members of the MacArthur Quartet, a graduate string quartet in joint residence at OBU and the University of Oklahoma. Members of the quartet serve as the principal string players in the OBU-Shawnee Community Orchestra and are available to teach OBU students and others who are members of the ensemble. Members of the quartet include Marty Dalton and Ching Wa Mong, violin; Ana Maria Wilson, viola; and Philip Guiliov, cello. These instrumentalists all are pursuing graduate music degrees in performance at the University of Oklahoma.

About half of the 50-plus member orchestra comes from Shawnee and the surrounding region including McLoud, Ada, Chandler, Norman, Oklahoma City, Tecumseh, Choctaw, Edmond, Muskogee, 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, and students ranging in age from 15 to 80 years," Hansford said. "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 Oklahoma Baptist University'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 OBU and the University of Oklahoma. 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 (room 104) in Raley Chapel. The first rehearsal will be Sept. 15. For more information, contact Hansford at jim.hansford@okbu.edu or at (405) 878-2307.