Ouachita Baptist University will hold its 12th annual Mary Shambarger Competition for Singers Feb. 23. The competition repertoire rotates annually among musical theatre, arias from opera and oratorio and art songs.
“This year’s repertoire will feature selections from the Broadway stage and other music theatre works,” said Dr. Jon Secrest, OBU professor of music. “This should prove to be a very popular contest among all our voice students, but especially with the musical theatre majors.”
The Shambarger Competition honors Mrs. Mary Shambarger, OBU professor emerita of music. Shambarger, who served on Ouachita’s music faculty for 32 years, was influential in forming the Ouachita-Tones, an all-girls singing ensemble, and later restructuring it into the Ouachita Sounds, a small mixed ensemble. She stays involved by helping judge the competition, but will not participate as an adjudicator this year because of recent shoulder surgery.
This year’s adjudicators are Dr. Lydia Evanson, a retired singing teacher from Henderson State University; David Stanley, a 2001 Ouachita graduate with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance degree; and Dr. Charles Wright, former dean of Ouachita’s School of Fine Arts.
The first-place winner of the competition will receive a $500 award; second place will win $300; third place will win $200; fourth place will win $100 and honorable mention will win $50.
“We expect there to be about 25-35 participants for this year’s competition,” Secrest said. “The generous prize monies are motivation for our students to work feverishly to prepare their selections in the most polished and professional way possible. Without Mrs. Shambarger’s generous support, these wonderful awards would not be possible.”
The competition is held the last Tuesday in February each year in W. Francis McBeth Recital Hall, located in Mabee Fine Arts Center on Ouachita’s campus. It is free and open to the public. OBU voice principals in their fourth semester of study or beyond are eligible to participate. For more information about the competition, contact Dr. Jon Secrest at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5134.
By Julie Hagar