Ouachita Baptist University music professors Jon and Glenda Secrest will carry on their tradition of a free faculty recital to open the new school year Monday, Aug. 30, at 7:30 p.m. in Mabee Fine Arts Center’s McBeth Recital Hall. Joining them this year are Dr. Ryan Lewis, assistant professor of percussion at Ouachita, and Susan Monroe, collaborative pianist at Ouachita.
“I am excited about the upcoming recital. It features some very entertaining repertoire, and I am collaborating with three amazingly talented colleagues,” Dr. Jon Secrest added. “Any time I can share my God-given passion for music, I feel blessed.”
The recital will feature selections in several languages with English translations provided in the program.
The Secrests—Jon is a tenor and Glenda a soprano—will open the recital with “La Serenata” from Gioacchino Rossini’s “Soirées Musicales, Volume II,” followed by four songs from Manuel de Falla’s “Siete Canciones populares Españolas.”
Lewis will assist Dr. Glenda Secrest on the vibraphone for the Manuel de Falla selections. Lewis’ vibraphone collaboration “will be a real treat!” Glenda Secrest said.
Dr. Jon Secrest will then perform five selections by Henri Duparc, including “Phidylé,” “L’invitation au voyage,” “Extase,” “Soupir” and “Le Manoir de Rosemonde.” Susan Monroe will serve as collaborative pianist for these and other selections throughout the recital.
“This is my first time to play for one of Jon and Glenda’s recitals,” Monroe noted. “I am excited about this opportunity, and I think the music they’ve chosen for the recital is wonderful.”
The recital will conclude with several English language selections.
“I will be performing a contemporary piece by Ben Moore titled ‘I Love Teaching Voice.’ This piece is hilarious,” Dr. Glenda Secrest said. “It takes an inside look at what really goes on in a voice lesson. I have added a few special touches which will make this piece even more entertaining.”
The Secrests will conclude the recital with three selections from Kurt Weill’s “Street Scene.”
A reception will be held in the Hammonds Gallery of Mabee Fine Arts Center immediately following the recital.
Dr. Glenda Secrest teaches applied voice and vocal diction at Ouachita and is co-director of OBU Opera Theatre. She holds performance degrees from Arizona State University and the University of Memphis. Some of her opera credits include leading roles in Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Barber of Seville, La Bohème, The Magic Flute and the Marriage of Figaro, and she has had performances televised nationally. Dr. Secrest has appeared with symphonies nationwide and was selected in 2004 through a competitive blind selection process to present her lecture recital, “Songs from Letters and Cowboy Songs by Libby Larsen: Two Different Approaches to Western Mythology and Western Mythological Figures,” at the National Convention of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). Her article of the same name was published in the September/October 2007 issue of the “Journal of Singing,” the official journal of NATS. She is also a past president of Arkansas NATS.
Dr. Jon Secrest serves as chair of Ouachita’s Applied Music Department, coordinator of vocal studies programs and co-director of opera and musical theatre workshops. He holds performance degrees from Friends University, Kansas State University and Arizona State University. His more recent study and pedagogical research has come through his involvement with the Richard Miller Institute of Vocal Performance and Pedagogy. Some of Secrest’s opera credentials include tenor leads in Madama Butterfly, Carmen, La Bohème, Falstaff and The Tales of Hoffmann. He has appeared with symphonies nationwide and is a past Arkansas Governor for the Southern Region of NATS.
Dr. Ryan C. Lewis serves as assistant professor of percussion at Ouachita, where he teaches applied percussion, percussion techniques and music history courses. He also directs the OBU Percussion Ensemble and Tiger Marching Band Drum Line. He previously served on music faculties at Claflin University, the University of South Carolina and Florida State University. Lewis holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in percussion performance from the University of South Carolina, a Master of Music in percussion performance from Florida State University and a Bachelor of Instrumental Music Education from Furman University. An avid chamber musician and collaborator, Lewis performs with his piano-percussion group Duo Matre and has appeared with So Percussion, composer-conductor John Harbison, Mannheim Steamroller, Afro-pop guitarist Habib Koité and Chinese zheng-master Haiqiong Deng in her Carnegie Hall debut.
Susan Monroe serves as accompanist and collaborative accompanist at Ouachita, where she earned Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music Education degrees. She has taught piano to various ages and has served as an adjunct instructor at Pulaski Technical College. Monroe currently accompanies vocal and instrumental students at Ouachita, as well as opera and musical theatre rehearsals and productions. She is the pianist at Park Hill Baptist Church and has accompanied various church, school and civic choirs.
The recital is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the School of Fine Arts at (870) 245-5129.
By Brooke Zimny, OBU Assistant Director of Communications