Music Students Shine at State Competition

Thirteen students from Oklahoma Baptist University and two OBU Preparatory Department students traveled to Stillwater, Okla., to compete in the 2009 Oklahoma State National Association of Teachers of Singing, Inc., voice competition at Oklahoma State University on Saturday, April 18.

Ten Bison Hill college students and one youth student advanced to the finals in the competition. Two of OBU's college students, Morgan Gordon, a junior from Lexington, Okla., and Aaron Foshee, a senior from Jones, Okla., won first prize in their division.

"Doing well at events like this adds to a student's resume and can often lead to future performance engagements," said Dr. Mark McQuade, an OBU assistant professor of music. "These events allow students to see and hear what people in the professional world are seeking and can help them develop into professionals themselves."

Isabel Sanders, daughter of Glenn and Alice Sanders, won third prize in her youth division. Her father, Dr. Glenn Sanders, is a professor of history at OBU as well as the chair for the division of behavioral and social sciences.

"[Isabel's success] speaks to the important role played by the OBU Preparatory Department in developing young musicians," McQuade said.

Five current and former OBU faculty members accompanied the students and McQuade to Stillwater, and all five served as judges in the competition.

"Events like this allow teachers to reconnect with other members of the academic and singing community from across the state," McQuade said. "It also allows us to give OBU students a professional audition atmosphere, which aids greatly in their musical and artistic development."