Auditions for the 2019-20 OBU Shawnee Community Orchestra Set for Aug. 26

August 7, 2019

Auditions for the 19th season of the OBU Shawnee Community Orchestra will be held Monday, Aug. 26, at 7 p.m. in Raley Chapel on OBU’s campus in Shawnee. The orchestra is under the direction of Dr. Teresa Purcell, assistant professor of music and director of bands. She takes over for Dr. Jim Hansford, founding conductor of the OBU SCO, who retired as conductor this spring. He served the group for 19 years.

“It is a pleasure to step into the role of conductor of the OBU Shawnee Community Orchestra to continue the meaningful work established by our past conductor, Jim Hansford,” Purcell said. “It is significant that our university and city so passionately support an organization such as this one. As we begin this new chapter in the life of the OBU-SCO, I especially look forward to the opportunity to further embed the orchestra within Shawnee’s bedrock.”

The audition date is primarily reserved for chair placement of string players but interested first-time performers on wind and percussion instruments should contact Purcell at (405) 585-4311 or teresa.purcell@okbu.edu for additional information and to schedule an audition.

Musicians should come prepared to play an appropriate excerpt of a solo or an etude to demonstrate their musical skills. Each auditioning player will also be asked to sight-read a short excerpt of music. Auditions are adjudicated by principal players of the string section, who are professional players from around the region. The audition environment is designed to be low pressure, allowing each performer to showcase their skills in order to best seat the ensemble. Returning wind and percussion players are not required to re-audition.   

Rehearsals for the OBU-SCO take place on Monday evenings throughout the fall and spring semesters, from 7 to 9 p.m. The first rehearsal takes place Monday, Sept. 9. The OBU-SCO performs two concerts each season. The Hanging of the Green, an annual collaboration between the OBU-SCO and the OBU Division of Music, is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m. The orchestra’s spring concert will be Tuesday, April 21, also at 7:30 p.m. All concerts are performed in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium.

The orchestra performs a mix of standard and emerging repertoire for the symphonic and string orchestra, blending light classical and popular music in its programming. Its aim is to expose musicians and audience members to standard repertoire while also engaging diverse audiences in the music-making experience.       

“My focus is three-fold: on the performance of standard and emerging music for the orchestra, providing engaging performances for a wide range of audience members, and collaborating with OBU and Shawnee community members to develop musical and artistic experiences that educate while reinforcing music as an expression of the human condition,” Purcell said.

All musicians, whether new to the orchestra or returning, can sign up for auditions and/or confirm participation in the 2019-2020 season by visiting the OBU-SCO webpage and completing the Membership/Audition Confirmation form.