Ouachita Baptist University senior Jason Potts was named this year’s winner of the W. Francis and Mary McBeth Wind and Percussion Concerto Competition on Dec. 9. He also took home first place in the competition last year. The competition is sponsored by Mary McBeth in honor of her late husband, W. Francis McBeth, former Arkansas composer laureate and Ouachita faculty member.
“It is a huge honor to win two years in a row,” said Potts. “It’s nice to see all my work continue to pay off.”
“Competitions are an opportunity for participants to hone their skills,” said Justin Isenhour, assistant professor of music at Ouachita. “Students benefit from gearing up to play their best at competitions, but the outcome is not as important as the growth that happens during preparation, performance and reflection.”
Potts, a music major from Springdale, Ark., performed “Colors” by Bert Appermont on trombone.
“Being a great musician is definitely a difficult undertaking. The work is grueling and often demanding; every note has to be perfect,” Potts said. “It’s a very frustrating process, but there is no greater feeling than going on stage and nailing it. Plus, it’s a lot of fun playing great music.”
“Jason is a wonderful student,” Isenhour said. “I often say that I try to give my utmost best for every student that walks in my door. What they choose to do with that instruction is up to them. I can’t take credit for their success, because they did the work.
“Jason winning for the second year in a row is indicative of the amount of effort and intelligence he puts into his practice every day, every semester and every summer,” Isenhour added.
Morgan Taylor, a sophomore from Hot Springs, Ark., earned second place for her performance of “Dialogue” by Philip Parker on saxophone. Brandon Lovelady, a senior from Hot Springs, was awarded third place with his percussion piece, “Concerto for Percussion Solo” by Gary Ziek.
Accompanying the performers on piano were OBU staff accompanists Kristen LaMadrid, Susan Monroe and Allyson West. For more information about the competition, contact Kristin Grant at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5518.
By Stephanie Bell // Photos by Caroline Taylor
December 20, 2016