Ouachita Baptist University senior Rachel Harris won first place for her performance in the 15th annual Mary Shambarger Competition for Singers Feb. 19.
“As usual, the competition brought out the very best in our OBU voice principals,” said Dr. Jon Secrest, professor of music and coordinator of OBU’s Vocal Studies Program. “This event creates motivation, hard work and artistic energy among those who choose to be involved. I am continually amazed at the level of confidence and performance savvy demonstrated by our singers.”
Harris, a senior musical theatre and vocal performance major from Springdale, Ark., was awarded $500 for her first place finish. She performed “My Party Dress” from Henry and Mudge by Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk. Phyllis Walker, coordinator of staff accompanists, accompanied Harris’ performance.
“I consider winning to be a very humbling experience because I have great respect for the talents of each and every one of my peers who competed,” Harris said. “First place could have gone to any one of the other performers and it would have been well deserved. Winning the 15th annual Shambarger Competition is a wonderful way to begin my last semester as a Ouachitonian. In short, I feel very blessed.”
Second place and $300 was awarded to Caitlin Secrest, a junior vocal performance major from Arkadelphia, Ark., who performed “Glitter and Be Gay” from Candide by Leonard Bernstein. Phyllis Walker accompanied Secrest’s performance as well.
Third place and $200 was awarded to Nicole Mattson, a junior musical theatre major from Rowlett, Texas, who sang “Alto’s Lament” from The Marcy and Zina Show by Zina Goldrich. Louis Menendez, principle coach and artist-in-residence, accompanied Mattson’s performance.
Fourth place and $100 was awarded to Chad Burris, a sophomore musical theatre major from Van Buren, Ark., who performed “Last One Picked” from Whoop De Doo! by Howard Crabtree. Burris was accompanied by Phyllis Walker.
An honorable mention and $50 was awarded to Hannah Garner, a senior vocal performance major from Saginaw, Mich., who performed “I’ll Be Here” from Ordinary Days by Adam Gwon and was accompanied by Susan Monroe, staff accompanist.
The competition, which features rotating repertoires, is held in honor of Mary Shambarger, professor emerita of music at Ouachita who served as a faculty member for 32 years. This year’s repertoire included musical theatre selections, and 38 students competed. Adjudication was provided by Ouachita alumni Jessica Gartman Bubbus and Josh Shaw. In addition to Menendez, Monroe and Walker, accompanists for the competition included John Briggs and Terri Lucas.
For more information about the Mary Shambarger Competition, contact Dr. Jon Secrest at email@example.com or (870) 245-5134.
By Rachel Gregory