Ouachita Baptist University student Kyle Huey, a senior musical theatre major from Grapevine, Texas, was declared the winner of the third annual Trinity Presents Collegiate Performance Showcase held recently at Trinity United Methodist Church in Little Rock.
Of the four Trinity finalists, two were Ouachita voice principles. The other two finalists were instrumentalists from Arkansas State University and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Elisabeth Hipp, a junior vocal performance major from Memphis, Tenn., was the other Ouachita finalist. She is a student of Dr. Glenda Secrest, OBU professor of music. Dr. Jon Secrest, OBU professor of music said Hipp “presented an exquisite program of songs and arias, representing OBU splendidly.”
Huey said he appreciated the support and encouragement from Hipp. “It was a lot of fun to go through this process with another Ouachita student,” Huey said. “Elisabeth helped make it easier and more comfortable.”
Huey delivered a 20-minute program including “I am Aldolpho” from The Drowsy Chaperone, “You’re Still You” by Linda Thompson, “Empty Chairs and Empty Tables” from Les Miserables, “Make Them Hear You” from Ragtime, and “Betrayed” from The Producers.
“Dr. Jon Secrest, my teacher, helped me prepare, and Linda Thompson, my accompanist, met with me extra to worked on the songs with me,” Huey said. “I could not have done this without either one of them, and I am so thankful for the time and effort they both put in to this.”
The judging panel included: Martha Ann Edwards, Trinity Presents board member, pianist and piano teacher; Robert Hupp, producing artistic director of the Arkansas Repertory Theatre; Andrew Irvin, co-concertmaster of the Arkansas Symphony; Diane Kesling, dramatic mezzo-soprano with the Metropolitan Opera of New York City; and Bernard Turgeon, lyric baritone, solo artist and lead cantor at Christ the King Catholic Church in Little Rock.
“I was genuinely surprised when my name was called as the winner,” Huey said. “I did not expect to win. I just went up on stage and did my best, and it paid off.”
Each performer was awarded $500 for making it to final round of the competition. Huey received an additional $1,000 for being named the overall winner.
“Winning this competition helped me immediately because it gave me the funds to fly to New York and audition,” Huey said. “In the long run, it helped me by making contacts and getting to know some of the judges.”
Three other OBU voice principals earned honorable mention honors earlier in the competition. They are Leslyn Ichter, a senior choral music education major from Conway, Ark.; Jacob Watson, a junior musical theatre major from Wynne, Ark.; and James Wood, a freshman church music major from Overland Park, Kan. Ichter and Wood are students of Dr. Glenda Secrest, and Watson is a student of Dr. Jon Secrest.
For more information about the Collegiate Performance Showcase, visit www.tumclr.org. For more information about Ouachita’s vocal studies program, contact Dr. Jon Secrest at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5134.
By Meg Gosser