Twenty-two students from Ouachita Baptist University’s band and choir programs participated last week in the annual Arkansas Intercollegiate Band and Choir at the Arkansas All-State Convention in Hot Springs. These students, nominated by their band or choir director to take part in the event, joined students from 12 other universities to prepare and present a full concert.
“In less than 24 hours after meeting each other and seeing the music for the first time, they present the concert,” explained Dr. Craig Hamilton, Ouachita’s Lena Goodwin Trimble Professor of Music and director of bands.
“Rehearsing and performing with the Arkansas Intercollegiate Band allows college musicians all over Arkansas the opportunity to work together towards the common goal of producing the best product possible,” said Brent Nessler, a returning participant on tenor saxophone and senior instrumental performance major from Rowlett, Texas. “It was a real treat.”
“It was a special opportunity getting to know students from other universities and having the opportunity to sing with them;” added Anna Moxley, a junior worship arts major from Bluefield, Va.
In addition to learning new music and working with students from other universities, the band and choir were each led by a respected director chosen by the Arkansas college band and choir directors. This year, the band conductor was Dr. Eric Wilson, director of bands at Baylor University. The choir clinician was Dr. Greg Fuller, director of choral activities at the University of Southern Mississippi.
“This event gives our students an opportunity to be under the direction of an outstanding choral director from a collegiate program outside the state of Arkansas,” said Dr. Gary Gerber, chair of Ouachita’s Division of Music.
In addition to Nessler, band participants included: Drew Ervin, a senior music and computer science major from Springdale, Ark., on percussion; Chris Hogan, a senior instrumental music education major from Bartlesville, Okla., on percussion; Allison King, a senior music major from Fort Worth, Texas, on bass clarinet; Crista Riggs, a senior chemistry and biology major from Edmond, Okla., on clarinet; Bret Steed, a senior instrumental performance major from Idabel, Okla., on trombone; Chelsea Villanueva, a senior instrumental music education major from Rogers, Ark., on clarinet; and Lauren West, a senior music major from Little Rock, Ark., on clarinet.
In addition to Moxley, choir participants included: T.J. Bailey, a senior worship arts major from Fort Smith, Ark.; Morgan Chunn, a junior choral education major from Hot Springs, Ark.; Tori Clark, a junior choral music education major from Bonnerdale, Ark.; Stephen Curry, a junior worship arts major from Little Rock, Ark.; John Doss, a senior music major from Rogers, Ark.; Maria Falcon, a junior choral music education major from Bentonville, Ark.; Tanner Fritsche, a freshman choral music education major from Booneville, Ark.; Aaden Jones, a freshman choral music education major from North Little Rock, Ark.; Van O’Rorke, a freshman instrumental music education major from Hot Springs, Ark.; Will Richey, a senior music major from Benton, Ark.; Seth Russell, a sophomore vocal performance major from Crossett, Ark.; Mollie Taylor, a sophomore early childhood education major from Russellville, Ark.; and Josh Wayne, a senior choral music education major from Nixa, Mo.
“Joining forces with students from colleges and universities around the state is always a good way of showing the strengths of the choral programs in Arkansas universities,” Gerber said.
Reflecting on the event, Hamilton said, “I am very proud of our students who participated and the outstanding way they represented Ouachita.”
For more information, contact OBU’s School of Fine Arts at (870) 245-5129.
By McKenzie Cranford