Professors Lilite, Dean to Present ‘Favorite Things’ Recital

Dr. Louima Lilite, assistant professor of voice at Oklahoma Baptist University, and Michael Dean, assistant professor of music, will present a recital titled "My Favorite Things" on Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 7:30 p.m. in Raley Chapel's Yarborough Auditorium. The public is invited to attend the free performance, and donations will be accepted to benefit Mission Shawnee.

"The title of my program, ‘My Favorite Things,' stems from my commitment to living a life that exudes joy," said Lilite, a tenor. "From a very young age I discovered that joy does not come when gratitude is absent. Gratitude, in turn, is impossible to have unless the blessings granted to an individual are inventoried, celebrated and shared with others. I want to take some time on my birthday, Oct. 13, to literally ‘count my blessings' and disclose a bit of my story to my listeners.

"I have chosen to perform songs that have been my ‘friends' because they have spurred me on to become a better, more honest and more vulnerable singer. Most of them are gems from the musical theatre repertoire and popular songs that have survived the test of time."

The program includes songs from "The Sound of Music," "La Bonne Cuisine," "The Wizard of Oz," "Annie Get Your Gun" and other productions, representing the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Bernstein, Arlen, Berlin, Hundley, Miller, Britten, Sondheim, Gershwin, Shire and Schmidt.

"I am asking my audience members to bring along some donations to benefit Mission Shawnee," Lilite said. "Remembering my own modest upbringing in Haiti, I want to help bring joy to families who are struggling financially and emotionally in this time of economic crisis. It is my hope that during this Christmas season some of the kids in our area will be able to find clothing, toys, food, and hope because of my music. It is my way of telling the world that art has both beauty and purpose.

Lilite earned his bachelor's degree in voice and piano performance at Biola University, his master's degree in voice performance and pedagogy at Penn State, and his doctorate in voice performance and literature at the Eastman School of Music. His performing credits include works from opera, oratorio, chamber music and the art song repertories.

Having been featured several times with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, his interest in the oratorio and symphonic repertoires was sparked and nurtured by appearances with the Eastman-Rochester Chorus and Orchestra. He has been fortunate to sing in the Middle East, Haiti, and throughout the United States in concert and opera. His career has also guided his path to study with Carol Webber and perform for Dawn Upshaw, Benita Valente, Menahem Pressler, Brian Zeger and Israeli contralto Mira Zakai.

Dean joined the OBU piano faculty in 2006. His primary duties include teaching applied piano, class piano and piano pedagogy. He also maintains an active schedule as workshop clinician, adjudicator, solo performer, collaborative artist and faculty at summer music camps throughout the United States and Canada.

Dean previously taught at the Wheaton College Conservatory in Illinois. His principal teachers include Alan Chow, Edward Gates, Jane Magrath, Terri Manno and Gary Sipes, and he has performed in master classes with Angela Cheng, Joseph Kalichstein and Thomas Lanners. He holds degrees from Minnesota State University Moorhead and the University of Oklahoma.