Oklahoma Baptist University

Recital to Feature Soprano, Cello, Piano Nov. 8

A trio of musicians, Dr. Jennifer McQuade, Thresa Swadley and Dr. Carol Ann Bell, will present a recital featuring music written for soprano, cello and piano at OBU Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 7:30 p.m. in Raley Chapel’s Yarborough Auditorium. The community is invited to attend the free performance.

A pre-recital lecture will be given at 7 p.m. in Yarborough Auditorium by Dr. James Vernon, professor of music at OBU, and Dr. Kristen Todd, chair of the Division of Music at OBU and professor of music and humanities.

A trio of musicians -- Dr. Carol Ann Bell (left), Dr. Jennifer McQuade and Thresa Swadley -- will present a recital featuring music written for soprano, cello and piano.

The recital will feature the world premiere of “The Thousand Tongues of Immortality,” written by Vernon. The program also will include “Vocalise” by André Previn (b. 1929); “Chanson d’Amour, Op. 21, No. 1” by Amy Marcy Cheney Beach (1867-1944); “Four Songs for Soprano, Cello and Piano: Mercy, Stones, Shelter, and the Lacemaker” by Previn, with words by Toni Morrison; and “Dream With Me” by Leonard Bernstein (1918-90).

The title of the concert, “I Don’t Need No Man,” reflects a line from one of the featured Previn songs.

“Jennifer and I had discussed collaborating together for a couple of years, and when Carol agreed to join us, we decided it would be fun to use the quote from ‘Stones’ by Andre Previn as the recital title since this was turning into a ‘girl’s’ project,” Swadley said. “Our title is rather ‘tongue in cheek’ because all but one of the pieces that we are performing are composed by men.

“I am especially excited and honored to be premiering a work composed by my long time friend and mentor, Jim Vernon. I have played several sacred arrangements that he has written for cello, but this one is by far the most interesting and challenging piece he has given to me.”

A Canadian lyric coloratura soprano, McQuade has credits in opera, oratorio and musical theatre including the title role in “The Ballad of Baby Doe,” Laetitia in “The Old Maid and The Thief,” Nella in “Gianni Schicchi,” Emma in “Jekyll and Hyde,” the baker’s wife and Cinderella in “Into the Woods” and Lilly in “The Secret Garden.” McQuade earned degrees from the University of Mississippi, McGill University, the University of Western Ontario and Mount Allison University. She serves as assistant professor of music at OBU.

Swadley, a cellist, is an active musician in the state of Oklahoma. She is a member of the Enid Symphony Orchestra and has spent recent summers playing for Sessione Senese per la Musica e l’Arte in Siena, Italy, and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Guanajuato in Mexico. Swadley also has performed with the Tulsa Signature Symphony, the Fort Smith Symphony and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. She graduated in 2003 with a bachelor of musical arts degree from OBU, and she was a student of Gregory Sauer. Prior to her current role at the University of Oklahoma, Swadley served in OBU’s Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts.

Bell, a pianist, recently retired after serving in the OBU Division of Music for 20 years. She was coordinator of class piano for 19 years and coordinator of keyboard studies from 2006-10. She continues as an adjunct private teacher and studio accompanist. Bell earned her bachelor of music degree from William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Miss. She completed her master’s degree and doctorate in piano performance from the University of Oklahoma. She has studied with John Sinclair, Lytle Powell, David Kaiserman, Georgy Sebok and Digby Bell.

At OBU, Vernon teaches courses in music composition, music theory and general music. He directs OBU’s Women’s Glee Club, The Bisonettes. He has written music for a variety of settings, organizations and groups, including works for choirs, large ensembles and chamber groups, and music for dramatic presentations. His principle teachers of composition were John Davye, William Mac Davis and Cindy McTee. Vernon’s most recent composition is “Magnificat,” to be premiered this fall by the Bisonette Glee Club. He is a member of the Society of Composers and his music is affiliated with Broadcast Music, Inc.

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