May 6, 2010
Ten Oklahoma Baptist University music students placed in the finals of the statewide National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Conference and Competition on Saturday, April 10, with five of the 10 qualifiers earning top honors in the event.
Colleges and universities from across Oklahoma sent 225 students and 45 teachers to participate in the competition. OBU was represented by faculty members Dr. Louima Lilite, assistant professor of music, tenor; Dr. Jennifer McQuade, assistant professor of music, soprano; Dr. Mark McQuade, assistant professor of music, baritone, and coordinator of vocal studies; Norma Partridge, associate professor of music, soprano; and Dr. Don Clark, professor emeritus of music.
Of the 14 OBU students attending, 10 advanced to the finals. Five of the 10 finalists earned first- and second-place honors. The participants included Sean Muzljakovich, a student from Bartlesville, Okla., representing the studio of Mark McQuade, who placed first in the Sophomore Men's Division; Griffin Maxwell, a student from Enid, Okla., representing the studio of Jennifer McQuade, who placed second in Sophomore Men; Courtney Bryant, a student from Moore, Okla., representing the studio of Lilite, who placed second in Sophomore Women; Casey Flynt, a student from Turpin, Okla., representing the studio of Mark McQuade, who placed second in Junior Men; and Morgan Gordon, a student from Lexington, Okla., representing the studio of Lilite, who placed second in Senior Women.
Other finalists included Micah Reinhart, a student of Partridge from Mooreland, Okla.; Melissa Argo, a student of Jennifer McQuade from Gallup, N.M.; Sarah Stephens, a student of Jennifer McQuade from Tulsa, Okla.; Alice Putnam, a student of Lilite from Oklahoma City; and Elizabeth Youngblood, a student of Mark McQuade from Midwest City, Okla.
The National Association of Teachers of Singing is a professional organization dedicated to the advancement of the vocal art and particularly the teaching of that art. The USA is divided into 10 regions. The Texoma region, of which Oklahoma is a part, is one of the strongest and most competitive in the nation. The OBU Division of Music consistently makes a strong showing in the state NATS competition.