Preparatory Department Faculty
Shawnee Honor Choir (grades 3-8)
- Brittni Bilyeu, director
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Claire Marquardt (piano), of Poteau, OK, started playing piano at age four. During her time as a piano major at East Central University, she won the collegiate division of the national Lynn Freeman Olson Composition Contest. After graduating with honors from ECU, Claire received a Master of Music in Piano Performance at the University of Oklahoma. While there, she studied with Dr. Stephen Beus and held a graduate assistantship in accompanying in the Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre. Claire then completed a Master of Music in Collaborative Piano from the University of Central Oklahoma, studying with Dr. Sallie Pollack. Claire helped organize and found the Chickasaw Nation School of Piano in Ada, OK, and taught all classes and lessons for the School for two years. She is currently the choir accompanist for Ada and Stratford schools and a staff accompanist for Oklahoma Baptist University.
Madison Webb (piano) is a sophomore at Oklahoma Baptist University pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance with an Emphasis in Pedagogy. During her senior year of high school, Webb worked alongside her piano teacher, helping the other students in her studio with theory, aural skills, and music history. During her internship, Webb worked closely with a few students and would occasionally teach their lessons. During high school, Webb was a member of the National Fraternity of Student Musicians for two years. She also auditioned for OMTA twice during high school. Madison is excited to share the gift and joy of music with her students.
Nathan Henager (voice) is pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance where he is entering his senior year under the instruction of Dr. Louima Lilite. At OBU, Nathan has performed with the Bison Glee Club, University Chorale, and in the division of Music’s production of Ned Rorem’s Three Sisters Who Are Not Sister and Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Last year, Nathan was honored to receive the “Most Outstanding Junior Class Voice Award” for the 2020-2021 academic year. After completing his bachelor’s degree, Nathan plans to pursue a masters in Vocal Performance. Nathan is excited to teach as a part of the OBU Music Preparatory Department and hopes to share his love, passion, and dedication for music to his students.
Dr. Rebekah Franklin (cello) is an adjunct instructor of music history at Oklahoma Baptist University. She earned a Ph.D. in Musicology, M.M. in Historical Musicology, and an Early Music Pedagogy Certificate from Florida State University. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.M. in Cello Performance from Wheaton College Conservatory of Music. Franklin is passionate about early music, whether digging through musicological archives or performing on Baroque cello. Her current musicological research explores J. S. Bach’s Passions in twenty-first century American festival contexts, and how performing these works creates spaces of community within which performers and audience members can engage with the works’ potentially polarizing religious topics. As a cellist, Franklin has performed across the Gulf Coast area, both as a soloist and in ensembles such as Sinfonia Gulf Coast, the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, and the Panama City Pops. She has also performed as a cellist in FSU’s Baroque Ensemble and as a viola da gamba player with FSU Viols. Her cello pedagogy experience includes teaching private lessons, coaching chamber music, adjudicating youth orchestra and all-state orchestra auditions, and conducting the Sinfonia Allegro ensemble of the Tallahassee Home School String Orchestra.
Thresa Swadley (cello) is an active teacher/performer in the state of Oklahoma and teaches cello through the Preparatory Program at Oklahoma Baptist University. She has a Bachelor of Musical Arts degree with an emphasis in cello from OBU and is a certified Suzuki cello teacher. Ms. Swadley was a founding member of Trio Antiqua and has performed with several Oklahoma regional orchestras including the Enid Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Smith Symphony Orchestra, the Lawton Philharmonic, the Tulsa Signature Symphony, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Edmond Chamber Orchestra, and the OBU/Shawnee Community Orchestra. Internationally, she has performed with the Sessionese Senese per la Musica e L’arte in Sienna Italy and the Orquesta Sinfonica de la Univesidad de Guanajuato, in Mexico. Ms. Swadley resides in Shawnee and teaches music at Jefferson Elementary.
Brittni Bilyeu is in her ninth year of teaching, currently as the Middle and High School Choral Director in Blanchard. She earned her Bachelors in Music Education from OBU in 2014, National Kodály certification in 2018, and Masters in Music Education from the University of Oklahoma in 2019. She is currently serving as treasurer for Oklahoma Kodály Educators and presents at local and state music education workshops. Brittni also serves as the MIOSM®/Advocacy Chair for OkMEA. She lives in Norman with her sweet dachshund, Hugo.