Several students involved in Ouachita Baptist University’s choir and band programs were selected to perform in the Arkansas Intercollegiate Band and Choir at the recent Arkansas Music Educators Association meeting in Hot Springs, Ark.
“It is a wonderful way to showcase the outstanding talent in various Arkansas universities,” said Dr. Craig Hamilton, OBU director of bands and Lena Goodwin Trimble Professor of Music. “It is a wonderful opportunity for our students to share their talents with their counterparts from around the state to create a wonderful concert in a short amount of time.”
While the band has been involved in the showcase for several years now, this is the first time for the choir to be formed and to participate in the conference.
“It is exciting to have the same type of collegiate music ensemble for both the choir and the band students,” said Dr. Gary Gerber, chair of the division of music and director of choral activities at OBU. “It is good for these students to be a part of an ensemble of this quality and makeup.”
Members of the band audition to be selected for the group, while members of the choir are hand-selected from their choral programs.
“I am proud that we can be a part of this choir,” Gerber said. We’re sending our best singers that will represent our choral program and division of music well.”
Both the band and choir rehearsed several hours leading up to the concerts, working under conductors from across the country.
“We got to experience working under a different conductor, Robert Ponto, who is very energetic and fun, and he was able to bring many different ideas to the table,” said Elyse Senteney, a second-year member of the intercollegiate band on flute. “It’s a lot of work, learning some pretty difficult music in two days, but the process and the product are amazing.” Senteney is a senior instrumental music education major from Plano, Texas.
“The training and practicing was intense,” said Alyssa Koen, who was selected to sing in the intercollegiate choir. “After all the stress though, you got to see why it was so important. The choir and band came together so beautifully.” Koen is a senior choral music education major from White Hall, Ark.
In addition to Senteney, band participants from Ouachita included: Kelsey Bates, a senior instrumental music education major from Marion, Ark., on horn; Elizabeth Baker, a junior instrumental performance major from Grapevine, Texas, on flute; Deborah Caldwell, a senior instrumental music education major from Siloam Springs, Ark., on trumpet; Alex Goff, a senior instrumental music education major from Nashville, Ark., on saxophone; Megan Massey, a sophomore instrumental music education major from Weatherford, Texas, on bass clarinet; Andrew McCraw, a senior instrumental music education major from Fort Worth, Texas, on trombone; and Sara Walker, a sophomore music major from Sulphur Springs, Texas, on clarinet.
In addition to Koen, choir participants from Ouachita included: Kelli Caldwell, a senior choral music education major from Roanoke, Texas; Morgan Chunn, a freshman choral music education major from Hot Springs, Ark.; John Doss, a freshman theory/composition major from Rogers, Ark.; Maria Falcon, a freshman choral music education major from Bentonville, Ark.; Conner Goad, a sophomore choral music education major from Hot Springs, Ark.; DeCarl Jones, a sophomore vocal performance major from Garland, Texas; and Sarah Talley, a freshman choral music education major from Bella Vista, Ark.
For more information, contact OBU’s School of Fine Arts at (870) 245-5129.
By Breanne Goodrum