Ouachita Baptist University’s Division of Music will host the 20th annual Mary Shambarger Competition for Singers on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 2 p.m. In honor of the anniversary, a special recital featuring former winners of the competition will be held later that evening at 8 p.m. Both performances, which are free and open to the public, will be held in Mabee Fine Arts Center’s McBeth Recital Hall.
The Mary Shambarger Competition for Singers was created in honor of Mary Shambarger, professor emerita of music at Ouachita. Shambarger served on the music faculty for 32 years as a classroom teacher, voice instructor and choir director. She formed an all girls ensemble called the Ouachi-Tones, which she later restructured into a mixed ensemble and formed The Ouachita Sounds. She and her husband, Dr. Jake Shambarger, professor emeritus of education, started the competition after they retired.
“This year’s competition marks a 20-year history of commitment by the Shambarger family to enriching the lives of Ouachita voice principal students and rewarding their artistic development,” said Dr. Jon Secrest, Addie Mae Maddox Professor of Music and coordinator of Ouachita’s vocal studies program. “This is an incredible opportunity for Ouachita students.”
The competition is open to Ouachita voice principals in at least their fourth semester of study. The competition features a rotating repertoire between music theatre selections, arias and art songs. The competition this year will feature art songs. There are cash awards that range from $50 to $500.
Along with Mary Shambarger, this year’s panel of judges will feature Marjorie Halbert, Shambarger’s sister and a longtime voice professional at Belmont University, and Susan Shambarger Goss, Shambarger’s daughter and a Ouachita alumna.
“This competition is an incredibly worthwhile thing to celebrate and honor,” Secrest said. “We hope that the entire community embraces and supports the activities surrounding this year’s anniversary.”
The anniversary recital at 8 p.m. will feature the following former winners of the Shambarger Competition:
A celebration banquet will be held prior to the anniversary recital at 5:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church; tickets are $20. Purchase tickets for the banquet and recital at tinyurl.com/sc20banquet. To reserve free tickets for the anniversary recital only, visit tinyurl.com/sc20recital. To reserve free tickets for the competition, visit tinyurl.com/sc20comp.
For more information on Ouachita’s vocal studies program or the Shambarger Competition, contact Dr. Jon Secrest at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5134.