OBU Music Students Take Center Stage with Orchestra
February 9, 2001Oklahoma Baptist University's 27th annual Concerto-Aria concert will combine the music of 10 students and more than 30 professional musicians to provide a classical music gala, Feb. 19, at 8:30 p.m., in the university's Yarborough Auditorium. This year's featured students were selected from more than 125 music majors by the OBU music faculty. The orchestra is comprised of members of the Oklahoma Symphony and the Oklahoma City Musician's Union and OBU students and faculty. Works to be performed include opera arias by Gounod, Offenbach, and Donizetti, piano concertos by Poulenc and Mozart, and instrumental works by Faure, Larsson, and Creston. Representing vocalists are soprano Aubrey Billingsley, junior vocal performance major from Norman; soprano Amy Powell, junior music education major from Borger, Texas; tenor Randall Umstead, senior vocal performance major from Olathe, Kan.; and soprano Michelle Thompson, junior vocal performance major from Fort Worth, Texas. Trombonist Dustin Higgins, junior music education major from Tecumseh; cellist Theresa Swadley, sophomore musical arts major from Shawnee; and percussionist Jessica Winderweedle, senior musical arts major from Vinita are featured instrumentalists. Caleb Harris, junior piano performance major form Gruver, Texas; Kathy Cripps, senior music education major from Ponca City; and June Sky Chaddick, junior musical arts major from Amarillo, Texas, are the piano performers. OBU music faculty members Jack Pearson, associate professor of music, and Dr. James Vernon, associate professor of music, will conduct the orchestra. A pre-concert lecture, led by Dr. Kristen Stauffer, assistant professor music and humanities, will be at 7:30 in Raley Chapel 203. There will be a reception for friends and family of the performers immediately following the concert. Concerto-Aria originated under the guidance of Dr. Ron Lewis, OBU professor of piano and chair of the piano department, to give students the opportunity to work with a professional orchestra. The concert is free and open to the public. For more information contact the OBU Fine Arts Office at (405) 878-2305 or visit the OBU web site at www2.okbu.edu and access the division of music home page.