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Lilite to Perform First Faculty Recital

February 3, 2009

Lilite, a tenor, has served as assistant professor of music in voice, music theatre and fine arts at OBU since August 2008. His recital will feature nine selections including pieces by Purcell, Mozart, Wolf, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Browning, Finzi and Rorem.

"As a singer, I view myself as a storyteller," Lilite said. "Everyone loves stories and wants to relate to characters found in them. My job is to provide an opportunity for my listeners to meet those characters, and that is why I am performing this recital, my first at OBU. I love performing recitals because they allow me to interact with music in an intimate and vulnerable way.

"Recitals fuse the power of words with expressive music through storytelling," Lilite said. "They are especially rewarding when collaborating with artists who share a similar passion in life and in the arts.

Lilite earned a doctorate in voice performance and literature at Eastman School of Music, a master's degree in voice performance and pedagogy at Pennsylvania State University, and a bachelor's degree in voice and piano performance at Biola University. His performing credits include works from opera, oratorio, chamber music and the art song repertories. He has been featured three times with the Buffalo, N.Y., Philharmonic Orchestra.

He has sung in the Middle East, Haiti, and throughout the United States in concert and opera. His career has also guided his path to study with Carol Webber and perform for Dawn Upshaw, Benita Valente, Menahem Pressler, Brian Zeger, and Israeli contralto Mira Zakai.

Lilite will be accompanied by his wife, pianist Dephanie Lilite.

"My wife, Dephanie, is a superb musician and pianist who gives herself completely to the music. I could not imagine a better collaborator. We have experienced so much together as a unit that it makes it doubly fulfilling to work on this recital together."

Ms. Lilite has concertized extensively in London, Haiti, and across the United States as a soloist, accompanist, and chamber musician. She has performed in master classes conducted by Menahem Pressler, Béla Siki, Howard Karp, and Christopher Taylor. A southern California native, she graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in piano performance from the Conservatory of Music at Biola University. She pursued graduate studies under the tutelage of French pianist Marylène Dosse at Pennsylvania State University and earned a master's degree in piano performance and pedagogy in 2001. In addition to teaching private lessons and other ministry, she also accompanies the Shawnee Honor Choir.

"Another passion of ours is chamber music," Lilite said. "We will combine resources with flutist Jennifer Peck and cellist Thresa Swadley to perform Ravel's Chansons Madecasses, an important work that deals with human emotions and topics of intense grief and passion. As we tell stories through excellent music making, we aim to glorify God and invite all to join us in the celebration of the Creator of true art."

Peck is a native of Oklahoma City. She is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and completed a master's degree in flute performance from the Boston Conservatory. She is a freelance musician, performing occasionally with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic as well as a member of a flute and marimba duo. She currently is pursuing a doctorate in flute performance from the University of Oklahoma in addition to teaching middle school music in Oklahoma City.

Swadley earned a bachelor of musical arts degree with a cello emphasis from Oklahoma Baptist University. As an orchestra musician, she has performed with regional orchestras in Oklahoma and Arkansas, including the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and the Enid Symphony Orchestra. She has taught cello and strings through the OBU Preparatory program and frequently assists with recitals and choral performances on campus. Swadley is an avid performer in the Shawnee community and frequently plays for community events, churches and the Shawnee Little Theater.