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Music students compete, McQuade named district governor

December 30, 2008

Four Oklahoma Baptist University students recently competed in the semi-final round of the TEXOMA Regional National Association of Teachers of Singing competition, qualifying for the competition among more than 700 students from Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico Nov. 6-8. Also during the event, Dr. Mark McQuade, OBU associate professor of music, was nominated and named as the organization's Oklahoma district governor.

The four students included seniors Katie Overturf from Fort Smith, Ark., and Aaron Foshee from Jones, Okla.; junior Morgan Gordon from Lexington, Okla.; and freshmen Courtney Bryant from Moore, Okla. The competing vocalists initially were chosen for the competition by private voice teachers. Once nominated, they were required to sing three pieces from their repertoire including an opera aria and at least one song in a foreign language.

During the preliminary rounds, conducted Nov. 7 at Oklahoma City University, students were required to receive at least two out of three scores at 90 percent or better to advance in the competition. Students were judged on their vocal quality, vocal technique, musicianship and artistry.

"My education at OBU has allowed me to grow musically and vocally," Gordon said. "[My professors'] instruction has brought me where I am today in my music career, and was the main reason for my success at this competition."

McQuade was nominated to the position of Oklahoma district governor by current NATS members and was appointed by the TEXOMA regional governor, Diana Allen. As Oklahoma district governor, McQuade's responsibilities will include organizing the state NATS conference, tracking district finances, distributing a semi-annual news letter and representing the Oklahoma district at TEXOMA regional board meetings.

"This position will allow me to make contact with many other teachers in Oklahoma, as well as Texas and New Mexico," McQuade said. "This, in turn, will help OBU's visibility within the state and the region."

The National Associationof Teachers of Singing, Inc. (NATS) was founded in 1944 to encourage the highest standards of the vocal art and of ethical principles in the teaching of singing, and to promote vocal education and research as all levels, both for the enrichment of the general public and for the professional advancement of the talented. NATS is the largest association of teachers of singing in the world with more than 6,500 members in the United States, Canada, and more than 25 other countries around the world.