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Ouachita Baptist University
Vocal Studies

Dr. Jon Secrest – Tenor

  • Professor of Music
  • Coordinator, Vocal Studies Program

Professor Secrest began his  instruction at Ouachita Baptist University in 1994.  He serves as Chair of the Applied Music Department, Coordinator of the Vocal Studies Program, co-director of the OBU Opera Theatre and musical director for Ouachita Musical Theatre productions.  In addition to these responsibilities, he teaches vocal pedagogy and applied voice.  Prior to his appointment at Ouachita, Secrest held positions at Cameron University, Lawton, Oklahoma; Phoenix College, Phoenix, Arizona; Manhattan Christian College, Manhattan, Kansas; and Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona.

Dr. Secrest holds performance degrees from Friends University, where he studied with Leslie Meadow; Kansas State University, where he studied with Jerry Langenkamp; and Arizona State Univeristy, where he studied with Jerry Doan and Darleen Kliewer-Britton.  He also studied singing with American tenor Rico Serbo.  Secrest coached with Martial Singher, Gwendolyn Koldovsky, and Natalie Limonick at the Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara, California; Lois McCleod, long time director of the coach accompanying program at Arizona State University; and Richard Miller of the Oberlin Conservatory.

His opera credits include tenor leads in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Bizet’sCarmenLa Traviata by Verdi, Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni, Puccini’sLa Bohème, Verdi’s Falstaff, and Les contes d’Hoffmann by Jaques Offenbach.  He has also sung Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw, Albert in Albert Herring, Fenton in Niccolai’s Merry Wives, and Ferrando in Così fan tutte by Mozart.

Performances of works with orchestra include  the Messa di Gloria by Puccini, Schubert’s Mass in G MajorChrist on the Mount of Olives by Beethoven, Messiah by Handel, Mozart’s Requiem Mass,  Psalmus Hungaricus by Kodaly, and tenor solos inThe Serenade to Music by Ralph Vaughan Williams.  Other works from this genre include the Mozart Coronation MassChandos Anthem: Psalm 42 by Handel, the Bach Magnificat, the Bruckner Te Deum, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Bach’s cantata 182, Welcome King of HeavenThe Bells by Rachmaninoff, In Memoriam Dylan Thomas by Igor Stravinsky, scenes fromWilbur by Randall Shinn, and the Mass of the Children by John Rutter.

Dr. Secrest has appeared with orchestras in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.  These include the Phoenix Symphony, Mesa Symphony, Scottsdale Symphony, Nouveau West Orchestra, Lawton Philharmonic, Music Academy of the West, Shreveport Symphony, Lyric Opera of Arizona State University, the Arkansas Chamber Singers/Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, and The Texarkana Symphony.

His directing/conducting credits include productions of Die Fledermaus, Don Giovanni, Gianni SchicchiThe Pirates of PenzanceAlice in WonderlandH.M.S. PinaforeAmahl and the Night VisitorsCosi fan tutteHansel and GretelMarriage of FigaroThe MikadoThe Ballad of Baby Doe, and TheMagic Flute. He has served as musical director for performances of  The Drowsy Chaperone, Bye Bye Birdie, Seussical the Musical, Thoroughly Modern MillieOnce Upon a MattressChildren of EdenThe Sound of Music, Anything GoesShe Loves MeSouth PacificMy Fair LadyInto the WoodsGodspell,CarouselThe Fantasticks and Fiddler on the Roof.

An active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Secrest is a former Arkansas Governor, former Treasurer for the Arkansas Chapter, and serves currently as Governor for the Southern Region.  Dr. Secrest has performed numerous times as part of the recurring members recitals held during alternating years at the Southern Region Conference and Auditions.  His students have been NATS semi-finalists and finalists at both the state and regional level, and two of his former students, Jacob Watson and Stephen Ray are recipients of the Governors Award. 

HIGHLIGHTS and ACCOMPLISHMENTS of some of Dr. Secrest’s students:

JACOB KEITH WATSON, www.jacobkeithwatson.com, Tenor, Bachelor of Arts in Music Theatre, 2011:

*Cast member for upcoming Broadway production of Violet with Sutton Foster, March 2014.
*Runner up, NYMF”S Next Broadway Sensation, 2013.
*In February of 2013, Jacob was a featured musical theatre soloist at the Kurt Weill Festival in Dessau, Germany.
*First Place Winner ($5,000 Prize), 2012 innaugural NATIONAL NATS Music Theatre Competition, Orlando, FL 
*Second Place Winner ($10,000 Prize), 2012 Lotte Lenya Competition sponsored by the Kurt Weill Foundation, NYC.
*Arkansas District Winner and Regional Stage Presence award, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, 2012.
*Selected as Resident Young Artist with Shreveport Opera, 2012-2013 season.
*Selected for Brevard Opera Training Program, 2012.
*Three time award winner (2009, 2010, 2011), The Mary Shambarger Competition for Singers, Ouachita Baptist University. 
*First Place Winner ($1,500 Prize), Trinity Collegiate Showcase Competition,  Trinity Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR, 2011.
*Governor’s Award, Southern Region NATS, 2010.
*Multiple year finalist in Classical and Musical Theatre categories at Arkansas and Southern Region NATS Conferences.

STEPHEN ANTHONY RAY, www.stephenray.com,  Baritone, Bachelor of Arts in Music, 2008:

*Master of Music in Voice Performance, Rice University, 2011.
*NATIONAL GRAND FINALIST ($5,000 Prize), Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, NYC, 2008.
*Governor’s Award, Southern Region NATS Conference, 2007.
*NATIONAL SEMI-FINALIST,  Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, NYC, 2006.
*Multiple year finalist in Classical and Music Theatre categories at Arkansas and Southern Region NATS.
*Second Place Winner ($300 Prize) and First Place Winner ($500 Prize) 2006, 2007 Mary Shambarger Competition, Ouachita Baptist University.

GRACE JOHNSON, Soprano, Bachelor of Music in Performance Degree, 2012:

*Solo engagement with the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra, Abilene, TX., 2014.
*Adjunct professor of voice at Tyler Junior College, Tyler, TX.
*Candidate for Master of Music in Performance, University of North Texas, spring 2014.
*Finalist ($500 Prize), Trinity Collegiate Showcase Competition, Trinity Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR, 2012.
*Second place award winner ($300 Prize), 2012 Mary Shambarger Competition for Singers, Ouachita Baptist University.
*Multiple year finalist in Classical and Musical Theatre categories at Arkansas and Southern Region NATS Conferences.

CAITLIN SECREST
, Soprano, Bachelor of Music in Performance Degree, 2014:

*Finalist ($500 Prize), 2014 Trinity Presents Showcase, Trinity United Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR.
*First Place Winner ($500 Award), 2014 Mary Shambarger Aria Competition, Ouachita Baptist University.
*Finalist, 2014 Arkansas NATS, Senior Women Division and Upper Music Theatre Division.
*2014 Opera in the Ozarks at Inspiration Point Young Artist Program; role of Despina in Cosi fan tutte.
*Finalist, 2013 Southern Region NATS, Senior Women Division.
* 2013 Opera in the Ozarks at Inspiration Point Young Artist Program; role of Gianetta in L’elisir d’amore.
*2013 Presser Scholar ($4,000 Scholarship), Ouachita Baptist University Division of Music.
*Finalist ($500 Prize), 2013 Trinity Presents Showcase, Trinity United Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR.
*Winner ($200 Prize), 2013 Arkansas NFMC Collegiate Voice Competition Arkansas Division.
*First Place Winner, Junior Women Classification, 2013 Arkansas NATS Competition.
*Fourth Place Winner, Upper Division Music Theatre Classification, 2013 Arkansas NATS Competition.
*Second Place Winner ($300 Prize), 2013 Mary Shambarger Music Theatre Competition for Singers, Ouachita Baptist University.
*2012 OBU Friends of Fine Arts Vocal Scholar ($1,000), Ouachita Baptist University. 
*Honorable Mention, 2012 Trinity Collegiate Showcase ,  Trinity Methodist Church, Little Rock AR.
*First Place  Winner ($500 Prize), 2012 Mary Shambarger Art Song Competition for Singers, Ouachita Baptist University.
*Selected for 2012 Festival South Young Artist Program (cover Zerlina in Don Giovanni), Hattiesburg, MS.
*2011 Emerging Artists Program, OPERA WORKS, Los Angeles, CA.
*2010 Fourth Place Winner ($2,500 Scholarship) THEA Foundation.

JOEL ROGIER
, Baritone, Bachelor of Music in Performance Degree, 2014:

*Finalist, 2014 Arkansas NATS Competition, Upper Division Music Theatre.
*Honorable Mention Award, 2014 Mary Shambarger Aria Competition for Singers, Ouachita Baptist University.
*Finalist, 2013 Southern Region NATS auditions, Senior Men and Upper Division Music Theatre.
*Honorable Mention, 2013 Trinity Presents Showcase, Trinity United Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR.
*First Place Winner, Junior Men Classification, 2013 Arkansas NATS Competition.
*2012 OBU Friends of Fine Arts Vocal Scholar ($1,000), Ouachita Baptist University.
*Honorable Mention, 2012 Trinity Collegiate Showcase, Trinity Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR.
*2012 Emerging Artists Program, OPERA WORKS, Los Angeles, CA.
*Multiple year finalist in Classical category at Arkansas NATS Conferences.

ANDREW MILLER, Baritone:

*Accepted for study at the Boston Conservatory beginning fall of 2012.
*Encouragement Award, 2011 Arkansas District Metropolitan Opera Auditions.
*Three time Honorable Mention Award winner, The Mary Shambarger Competition for Singers, Ouachita Baptist University.
*Multiple year finalist in Classical and Musical Theatre categories at Arkansas and Southern Region NATS Conferences.
*Multiple year participant in Brevard Opera Training program.

KYLE HUEY, www.kylewhuey.com,  Tenor, Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre, 2010:

*Buzz Lightyear in Disney Cruise production of Toy Story, 2013-2014.
*Resident Company, Sight and Sound Theatre, Pennsylvania, 2011-2012.
*Resident Company Member, Playhouse on the Square, Memphis, TN, 2011
*First Place Winner ($1,500 Prize), 2010 Trinity Collegiate Showcase , Trinity Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR.
*Two time award winner (2009, 2010), The Mary Shambarger Competition for Singers, Ouachita Baptist University.
*Multiple year finalist in Musical Theatre category at Arkansas and Southern Region NATS Conferences.

VALERIE EVE WOODBURN, Soprano, Bachelor of Music in Theory Composition, 2007:

*Encouragement Award,  2007 Arkansas District Metropolitan Opera Auditions.
*Two time award winner (2006, 2007), The Mary Shambarger Competition for Singers, Ouachita Baptist University.
*Multiple year finalist in Classical Category at Arkansas and Southern Region NATS.

AARON HARP, www.aaronharp.com,  Baritone, Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance, 2007.

*National Performer of Early Music.
*Orpheus Chamber Singers.
*Featured Soloist with Dallas Bach Society, Boston Early Music Festival, and Berkeley Early Music Festival. 
*Featured Soloist with Denton Bach Society, and American Bach Solists Festival.
*Master of Music in Vocal Performance, University of North Texas.
*Multiple year finalist in Classical Category at Arkansas NATS.

JOSHUA PAYNE, www.joshuapayne.com,  Baritone, Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance, 2000:

*Singer/Songwriter/Recording Artist, Nashville, TN, 2002 to present.
*Master of Music in Voice Performance, University of Memphis, 2002.
*Multiple year finalist in Classical and Music Theatre Categories and Arkansas and Southern Region NATS.
*Award winner (1999), The Mary Shambarger Competition for Singers, Ouachita Baptist University

RAN and RICKY JACKSON, www.thedaylights.com,  THE DAYLIGHTS

Indie Rock Artsists based in Southern California.

Dr. Secrest’s students have also won competitions sponsored by the Hot Springs Music Club, and the Phoenix Theatre Guild.

He is a member of the music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha, and the music honor society Pi Kappa Lambda.  His doctoral dissertation is “An Annotated Bibliography of Thirty Twentieth-Century Works for Tenor Voice and Instruments.”

In the years 2000, 2004, and 2006, Dr. Secrest was selected by his students for inclusion in Who’s Who in America’s Teachers.   He is also the recipient of numerous OBU Faculty Development and Enrichment awards for study at workshops sponsored by NATS.

Additional citations have come in the from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for “Excellence in Musical Direction” and “Excellence in Musical Performance”  for OBU’s presentation of Godspell. While teaching at Cameron, he was nominated by State Senator Butch Hooper for both the Oklahoma Governor’s Arts Award and the Oklahoma Medal for Excellence in Teaching.

He resides in Arkadelphia, AR, with his lovely wife of thirty-three years, Glenda, and their daughter Caitlin.

 E-mail: secrestj@obu.edu
Office Phone: (870) 245-5134