Local Piano Students Take Top Honors at OMTA, to Play in OBU Recital Nov. 14

November 11, 2015

The Oklahoma Music Teachers Association Junior Piano Competition was held Oct. 31 on the OBU campus. Area piano students earned top honors and were selected to perform in the Winners Recitals at the OMTA East District Conference that will be held Saturday, Nov. 14, at 11 a.m. at OBU. Nineteen students from the Shawnee area in grades three through eight participated in the festival.

Conchita Hansford, director of the OBU Music Preparatory Department and assistant professor of music, coordinated the event.

Estelle Lilite, daughter of Dr. Louima and Dephanie Lilite, was the winner of the Third and Fourth Grade Division. She is from the studio of Dephanie Lilite. Caitlin Love, daughter of Steve and Beverly Love, is the alternate. She is from the studio of Dr. Ron Lewis.

Emma Poyer, daughter of Reid and Tammy Poyer, and Kaitlyn Duran, daughter of Robert and Kellie Duran, were the winners for the Fifth and Sixth Grade Division. Both students are from the studio of Kaye Shields. Esther and Abi Laiming, daughters of Paul and Melissa Laiming, are the alternates and are from the studio of Dephanie Lilite. Honorable Mention went to Devin Love, son of Steve and Beverly Love. He is from the studio of Deanna Dang.

Noah Drew, son of Dr. Brian and Becky Drew, and Abigail Lilite, daughter of Dr. Louima and Dephanie Lilite, were the winners for the Seventh and Eighth Grade Division. Drew is from the studio of Dr. Ron Lewis while Lilite is from the studio of Dephanie Lilite. Alternates are Brennan Golden, son of Nathan and April Golden, and Catherine Burgess, daughter of Jonathan and Heather Burgess. Golden is from the studio of Bonita Blackburn in Ada, while Burgess is from the studio of Dephanie Lilite.

W.T. Skye Garcia, instructor of music at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, served as the competition’s judge. He teaches music theory, sacred music, piano pedagogy, composition and piano. His catalogue of compositions includes more than 80 published works. He was the OMTA 2005 Commissioned Composer, and in 2006, his Oklahoma Centennial Suite for Band was designated an Official Centennial Project by the State of Oklahoma. In March 2010 he was honored as an MTNA Foundation Fellow. Additionally, he was chosen as a 2014 DaVinci Fellow in recognition of his creative and innovative teaching approaches in higher education. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Colorado State University, a Master of Church Music from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Master of Music from Hardin-Simmons University.