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Ouachita Baptist University
Instrumental Music

Kevin Crowder

Grad. Year:  1987

Degree:  Church Music

Update: I live and work in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where I am the Director of the Pastoral Care Department at Mary Washington Hospital.  My wife (the former Toni Hall – an HSU grad) and I have been here since 1994.  Our daughter, Aubrey, made her debut in 2000.

I don’t think I’ve played a note on a saxophone or drum since leaving OBU, but I remain a fairly serious violinist. I play in two orchestras, the Lynchburg Symphony and the Rappahannock Pops Orchestra. I was appointed the Concertmaster of the RPO a few years ago. I also do a little free-lance work in a string quartet I founded with some friends.

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Pam Estes

Grad. Year:  1974

Degree:  Music Education

Update: Dear Tigers, Always glad to hear good news about OBU. One of my parishioners will be attending OBU next year as a piano major, I think. Joe Anderson is extremely talented—get him in the band!

I came to Hot Springs in June 2006 and was delighted to find Kathie White, OBU 1973 music major is the choir director. This is the second time I’ve had another Tiger on staff in a United Methodist Church! [Last time was the Rev. John Fimple in Blytheville.] I sing in the choir; play the piano when needed, and play the flute whenever I can.

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Patrick and Misty Faircloth

Grad. Year:  1997/1999

Degree:  Music Education

Update:  Patrick is beginning his third year as Band Director at Rice Schools in Rice, TX, where he teaches the 5th grade beginning band, 6th grade band, and the high school band which consists of 7th through 12th grades.

Misty has just resigned her position of five years as head band director at Collins Middle School in Corsicana, TX to become Patrick’s assistant at Rice.  Patrick is also Worship Leader at Memorial Baptist Church in Corsicana.

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Joyce Stalnaker French

Grad. Year:  1976

Degree:  Elementary Education

Update:  I am the fiscal officer for the Administrative Officeof the Courts in Little Rock and have been employed there for 22 years.  I am married to Jack French and live in Cabot, Arkansas.  I have one son, Mitchell Duran, who is a senior and will be attending Henderson State University next year, participating in their aviation program.

I have not been back for a homecoming game since I graduated, but will probably make it to the 2007 “battle of the ravine” and look forward to seeing the marching band perform.

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Ross Grant

Grad. Year:  1977

Degree:  Music Education

Update: I am in my 4th year at Azle High School in Azle, TX. Our 240-member band just returned from a 6-day trip to Orlando, where we won Best-In-Class at the Musicfest Competition.

During 2006-2007 Azle placed 60 students in All-Region, 12 students in All-Area, and 3 students in the AAAA TX All-State Band. Recent repertoire includes Rimsky-Korsakov’sCapriccio Espagnole, Respighi’sThe Pines of Rome, Holst’s Jupiter, and Weinberger’s Polka & Fugue.

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Bradley Harper

Grad. Year:  1973

Degree:  History and Spanish

Update: Currently I am the Commander, US Army Health Center, Vicenza Italy.  I still sing in the chapel choir, so my musical intrests have survived.

I depart here in July to assume my final post as a US Army Officer, as the Chief, Department of Pathology, Womack Army Hospital, Ft Bragg,
North Carolina.

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Grant Meacham

Grad. Year:   2005

Degree:   Music Education

Update:  I am currently the band director at Lonoke Middle School, in Lonoke, AR.

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Michael R. Reed

Grad. Year:   2005

Degree:   Music Theory/Composition

Update:  I am working on my MDiv in Chrisitian Education at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and working as children’s minister at a local church.  I am also working as a recruiter to Baptist Colleges for the seminary (recruiting at OBU 11/1/07)  I am still taking piano and composition lessons, as well as teaching pre-school music at my church.

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Michael Lusk

Grad. Year:  2001

Degree:  Biblical Studies

Update: Kati and I have now been in Marion, AR for 2 years.  I am the student minister at FBC Marion.  Kati teaches piano lessons, directs the middle school worship arts team at church, and leads worship for the students.  She interviewed for the high school and the junior high choir position this past week…so we’re praying she will get one of those positions.

We are expecting our first child in July.  It’s a girl…her name will be Liliahna Nicole Lusk.   My tuba stays up at the church…I haven’t played in quite a while…but the students use it to play at church on Sunday.

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Christopher Montgomery

Grad. Year:  2007

Degree:  Music

Update:  I’m currently serving a congregation in PA as the Associate Pastor for Worship, overseeing all the music, drama, and visual art programs. I’m also pursuing my Master of Divinity from Biblical Theological Seminary closeby. I miss performing with the Wind Ensemble; those were good times!

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Rachel Nowell

Grad. Year: 2002

Degree:  Early Childhood Education

Update:  After I graduated from Ouachita, I served with the IMB for 2 1/2 years as a Journeyman in Mexico City, Mexico.  I taught elementary aged children at a school for Missionary Kids.

I am currently finishing my M.Div. at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  I will graduate in May ’08.  I am still waiting on God to show me the plans He has for me after graduation.

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Brad and Stephanie (Risker) Purtle

Grad. Year:  1999

Degree:  Mathematics

Update: Currently, my husband Brad and I live in DeSoto, Texas (Dallas area).  He teaches PreAP Algebra 2 at a local high school and I am a stay at home mom.  We have two boys, Jackson 18 months and Simon 3 months.  Jackson loves listening to music, and he dances all the time.  Simon is the sweetest baby and so happy.  We are very proud of them.

We are very happy here and I couldn’t be happier to be a mom.  We are active in our church, Brad runs the sound and I am a part of the choir, media team, and nursery.  I also work on the church website.

I really miss being apart of the OBU Band and Wind Ensemble.  Being apart of that program was the best band experience I had.  Unfortunately right now, I do not play percussion, but maybe in the future I will.

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Melissa Smith

Grad. Year:  2006

Degree:  Music and Spanish

Update:   I was teaching English and an elementary school in China during the 06-07 school year.  I just started my first semester at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and am pursuing an M.Div. degree in International Church Planting.

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Wade Totty

Grad. Year:  1991

Degree:  Ministry

Update:  I am currently pastoring Rison Baptist Church, Rison, Arkansas.  I’m married to the former Rebecca Boyd.  We have two children:  Kathryn (5) and Noah (9 months).  I am currently in the Doctor of Ministry program at New Orleans Seminary.

I would love to have a group from OBU come over to perform some time.  I’m glad to hear of the progress being made in the instrumental programs.  Keep me posted.

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Derrel Watkins

Grad. Year:  1957

Degree:  Sociology

Update: I joined the band in the fall of 1953 when Mr. Putt was the director.  We were using some old navy officer’s uniforms and some military instruments.  I think there were about 30 of us.

Dr. Herbert Cecil came the next year and was able to raise the money to get the band some new band uniforms and add to the scholarships.  Then Dr. Luck took over the music department and directed the band.

Mr. Francis McBeth was the last director I served under.  I borrowed a trumpet that I played during my first year.  During the second year, Dr. Cecil asked if anyone would like to learn to play trombone.  We had 17 trumpet players and only two trombone players.  He offered free lessons so I took him up on it.  I truly enjoyed playing the trombone (I had played a baritone horn one year in high school—treble clef).  I also played in the ROTC band and traveled with the basketball teams with a voluntary pep-band.  About a dozen of us formed a stage band that played “big band” music (Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, etc.).

I continue to engage in research and writing, specializing in issues involving the spiritual development of older persons.  Two of my books are in the Ouachita library (Christian Social Ministry and A Practical Theology For Aging.  My latest book, The Spiritual Formation of Older Persons will go to the publisher by the end of this month.  I am also working with some other writers on two new books: one on grandparenting and the other on the role of siblings in our personality development.

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Bennett Weidemann

Grad. Year:  Left in 2001

Degree:  Music Education

Update:  I am still quite happy living and preforming in Boston with the Air Force Band.  I have been here almost six years now ad I am coming up on my 10 year high school reunion next year.  I’m still in the Air Force Rock (which is called Afterburner now).  I am the tour manager for the band – so when I’m not busy rehearsing or practicing, I’m on the phone booking all the gigs.  Recently we had the pleasure of opening up for the “Charlie Daniels Band” and “The Commodores.”  Also, I am just about to release my second recording with my band.

I still have it in my mind that I will eventually come back to OBU to finish my degree (just a bachelor in music).  But I have had so much success with the band that it is hard to take a break for a year to wrap it up.  I’ve been promoted to Staff Seargent (last March) and I have a ton of responsibility.  Oh yeah – I had the honor of playing late President Ford’s funeral in Grand Rapids Michigan – that was pretty cool.

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Joe G. Williams

Grad. Year:  1968

Degree:  Church Music

Update:  I would like to share with you that I am in my 22nd year on staff at First Baptist Church, Yukon, Oklahoma. I am serving as Minister of Music/Associate Pastor.

My wife Margaret works at the Mothers Day Out Program of our church and we have been married for 38 years. Our son, Joe II, attended Oklahoma Baptist University and graduated with a Music Education degree, then received his Masters in Performance at Oklahoma City University. He is presently head band director at Las Vagas High School, Las Vegas, Nevada.