Auditions Scheduled for Orchestra’s Ninth Season

Auditions for the ninth season of the OBU-Shawnee Community Orchestra will be conducted in Raley Chapel on the campus of Oklahoma Baptist University on Monday, Aug. 31, at 7 p.m. The orchestra is conducted by Dr. Jim Hansford, OBU Burton Patterson professor of music, who has directed the group since its inception.

This particular audition date is primarily for string players, but interested performers on wind and percussion instruments should contact Hansford at 878-2307 for additional information. Musicians should come prepared to play an appropriate excerpt of a solo or an etude to demonstrate his/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.

"In addition to string players, 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. The members of the quartet serve as the principal string players in the 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 Nan Lu, violin; Maria Canabarro, viola; and Philipp Guiliov, cello. They all are pursuing graduate music degrees in string performance at the University of Oklahoma.

About half of the 50-plus member ensemble comes from Shawnee and the surrounding region including McLoud, Ada, Chandler, Norman, Oklahoma City, Tecumseh, Choctaw, Edmond and 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 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 the University of Oklahoma and OBU. In recent years, corporate and private donors in the Shawnee area have stepped in and 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 on Sept. 14. For more information, e-mail Hansford at or call 878-2307.