skip to main content

Jon Secrest

 

 

Dr. Jon Secrest - Tenor



  • Addie Mae Maddox Professor of Music

 

  • Coordinator, Vocal Studies Program/Scholarship Awards

 

  • Former Governor, Southern Region of National Association of Teachers of Singing



Professor Secrest began his  instruction at Ouachita Baptist University in 1994.  He serves as  Coordinator of the Vocal Studies Program,  and musical director for Ouachita Musical Theatre productions.  In addition to these responsibilities, he teaches vocal pedagogy, applied voice, and Rep Prep Intensive.  Prior to his appointment at Ouachita, Secrest held similar positions at Cameron University, Lawton, Oklahoma; Phoenix College, Phoenix, Arizona; Manhattan Christian College, Manhattan, Kansas; and Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, Arizona.

 

Dr. Secrest holds performance degrees from Friends University, where he studied with Leslie Meadow; Kansas State University, where he studied with Jerry Langenkamp; and Arizona State Univeristy, where he studied with Jerry Doan and Darleen Kliewer-Britton.  He also studied singing with American tenor Rico Serbo.  Secrest coached with Martial Singher, Gwendolyn Koldovsky, and Natalie Limonick at the Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara, California; Lois McCleod ( long time director of the coach accompanying program at Arizona State University), and Richard Miller of the Oberlin Conservatory.

 

Opera credits include tenor leads in Puccini's Madama Butterfly, Bizet's CarmenLa Traviata by Verdi, Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni, Puccini's La Bohème, Verdi's Falstaff, and Les contes d'Hoffmann by Jaques Offenbach.  He has also bowed as Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw, Albert in Albert Herring, Fenton in Niccolai's Merry Wives, and Ferrando in Così fan tutte by Mozart.

 

His music theatre performances include leads in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Once Upon a Mattress, South Pacific, Pacific Overtures, Oklahoma, The Student Prince, Music Man, How to Succeed in Business without really trying, El Capitan, and George M.

 

Dr. Secrest has performed major works with orchestra including the Messa di Gloria by Puccini, Schubert's Mass in G MajorChrist on the Mount of Olives by Beethoven, Messiah by Handel, Mozart's Requiem Mass,  Psalmus Hungaricus by Kodaly, and tenor solos in The Serenade to Music by Ralph Vaughan Williams.  Other works from this genre include the Mozart Coronation MassChandos Anthem: Psalm 42 by Handel, the Bach Magnificat, the Bruckner Te Deum, Orff's Carmina Burana, Bach's cantata 182, Welcome King of HeavenThe Bells by Rachmaninoff, In Memoriam Dylan Thomas by Igor Stravinsky, scenes fromWilbur by Randall Shinn, and the Mass of the Children by John Rutter.

 

He has appeared with orchestras in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas;  including the Phoenix Symphony, Mesa Symphony, Scottsdale Symphony, Nouveau West Chamber Orchestra, Lawton Philharmonic, Music Academy of the West, Shreveport Symphony, Lyric Opera of Arizona State University, the Arkansas Chamber Singers/Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the South Arkansas Symphony and The Texarkana Symphony.

 

His directing/conducting engagements include productions of Die Fledermaus, Don Giovanni, Gianni SchicchiThe Pirates of Penzance, Alice in WonderlandH.M.S. PinaforeAmahl and the Night VisitorsCosi fan tutteHansel and GretelMarriage of FigaroThe MikadoThe Ballad of Baby Doe, and The Magic Flute. He has served as musical director for performances of  The Drowsy Chaperone, Bye Bye Birdie, Seussical the Musical, Thoroughly Modern MillieOnce Upon a MattressChildren of EdenThe Sound of Music, Anything GoesShe Loves MeSouth PacificMy Fair LadyInto the WoodsGodspell,CarouselThe Fantasticks and Fiddler on the Roof.

 

An active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Secrest is a former Arkansas Governor, former Treasurer for the Arkansas Chapter, and currently serves as Governor for the Southern Region.  Dr. Secrest has performed numerous times as part of the recurring members recitals held during alternating years at the Southern Region Conference and Auditions.  His students have been NATS semi-finalists and finalists at both the state and regional level, and two of his former students, Jacob Watson and Stephen Ray are recipients of the Governors Award.

 

In addition, Dr. Secrest's students have given acclaimed performances on the stages of Broadway Theatres in NYC, the Metropolitan Opera, Brevard Opera, Opera in the Ozarks, Opera Maya, Opera St. Louis, Shreveport Opera, Disney Cruise Lines, Branson Theatres, Sight and Sound Theatre, the Playhouse on the Square, The Great American Melodrama, and numerous other regional theatre companies.  Continuing their educational training, his students have successfully been admitted into graduate programs at Boston Conservatory, The University of North Texas, Wichita State University, Rice University, the Julliard School of Music, Texas Tech University, the University of Southern Mississippi, and the University of Memphis.  Competitions where his students have garnered significant awards include the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Kurt Weill Competition, the NATS National Music Theatre Competition, the Hal Leonard Vocal Competition, the Trinity Presents Collegiate Showcase, Southern Region NATS, Arkansas NATS, the THEA Foundation Scholarship Competition, the Phoenix Theatre Guild Competition, the National Federated Music Clubs Vocal Competition, the Diamond State Chorus Scholarship Competition, and OBU's own Mary Shambarger Competition for Singers.


HIGHLIGHTS and ACCOMPLISHMENTS of some of Dr. Secrest's students:

JACOB KEITH WATSON, www.jacobkeithwatson.com, Tenor, Bachelor of Arts in Music Theatre, 2011:


*Cast member, Lincoln Center production of Carousel with Rene Fleming, spring of 2018.
*Cast member, Broadway production of Amélie, spring of 2017 and LA production of Amélie, fall of 2016.
*Cast member, Broadway production of Phantom of the opera, fall 2016 and fall of 2017.
*Cast member, Broadway tour of Chicago, winter and spring of 2015.
*Cast member, Tony nominated Broadway production of Violet with Sutton Foster, 2014.
*Runner up, NYMF"S Next Broadway Sensation, 2013.
*February of 2013, Jacob was a featured musical theatre soloist at the Kurt Weill Festival in Dessau, Germany.
*First Place Winner ($5,000 Prize), 2012 innaugural NATIONAL NATS Music Theatre Competition, Orlando, FL
*Second Place Winner ($10,000 Prize), 2012 Lotte Lenya Competition sponsored by the Kurt Weill Foundation, NYC.
*Arkansas District Winner and Regional Stage Presence award, Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, 2012.
*Selected as Resident Young Artist with Shreveport Opera, 2012-2013 season.
*Selected for Brevard Opera Training Program, 2012.
*Three time award winner (2009, 2010, 2011), The Mary Shambarger Competition for Singers, Ouachita Baptist University.
*First Place Winner , Trinity Collegiate Showcase Competition,  Trinity Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR, 2011.
*Governor's Award, Southern Region NATS, 2010.
*Multiple year finalist in Classical and Musical Theatre categories at Arkansas and Southern Region NATS Conferences.

STEPHEN ANTHONY RAY, www.stephenray.com,  Baritone, Bachelor of Arts in Music, 2008:

*Master of Music in Voice Performance, Rice University, 2011.
*Death, Holst's Savitri, Rice University
*Baritone Soloist, L'heure Espagnole, Houston Symphony Orchestra
*Baritone Soloist, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra
*NATIONAL GRAND FINALIST ($5,000 Prize), Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, NYC, 2008.
*Governor's Award, Southern Region NATS Conference, 2007.
*Young Artist, Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara, CA, 2007.
*NATIONAL SEMI-FINALIST,  Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, NYC, 2006.
*Multiple year finalist in Classical and Music Theatre categories at Arkansas and Southern Region NATS.
*Second Place Winner  and First Place Winner, 2006, 2007 Mary Shambarger Competition, Ouachita Baptist University.

GRACE JOHNSON, Soprano, Bachelor of Music in Performance Degree, 2012:

*Candidate for Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance, University of North Texas
*Solo engagement with the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra, Abilene, TX., 2014.
*Adjunct professor of voice at Tyler Junior College, Tyler, TX.
*Candidate for Master of Music in Performance, University of North Texas, spring 2014.
*Finalist , 2012 Trinity Collegiate Showcase Competition, Trinity Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR.
*Second place award winner, 2012 Mary Shambarger Competition for Singers, Ouachita Baptist University.
*Multiple year finalist in Classical and Musical Theatre categories at Arkansas and Southern Region NATS Conferences.

CAITLIN SECREST
, Soprano, Bachelor of Music in Performance Degree, 2014:


*Cast Member, Echo Hollow Review, Silver Dollar City, Branson, MO, 2018 season.
*Cast Member, California Dreamin' (a tribute to the Surf Rock Era) and Thank You for the Music (a tribute to ABBA), Hamner Theatre, Branson, MO, 2017 season.
*Performer, Silver Dollar City Caroling Troupe, Branson, MO, fall 2016.
*Missoula Children's Theatre Tour, Resident Performer, 2015-2016 season
*Wildwood Center Educational Outreach, Bremen Town Musicians, spring 2015
*Performer, Silver Dollar City Saloon Show, fall 2014
*Finalist, 2014 NATS NATIONAL Music Theatre Competition.
*Honorable Mention Winner, 2014 Hal Leonard NATIONAL Collegiate Music Theatre Competition.
*Finalist, 2014 Hal Leonard NATIONAL Art Song Competition.
*Finalist, 2014 Trinity Presents Showcase, Trinity United Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR.
*First Place Winner, 2014 Mary Shambarger Aria Competition, Ouachita Baptist University.
*Finalist, 2014 Arkansas NATS, Senior Women Division and Upper Music Theatre Division.
*2014 Opera in the Ozarks at Inspiration Point Young Artist Program; role of Despina in Cosi fan tutte.
*Finalist, 2013 Southern Region NATS, Senior Women Division.
* 2013 Opera in the Ozarks at Inspiration Point Young Artist Program; role of Gianetta in L'elisir d'amore.
*2013 Presser Scholar, Ouachita Baptist University Division of Music.
*Finalist, 2013 Hal Leonard NATIONAL Art Song Competition.
*Finalist, 2013 Trinity Presents Showcase, Trinity United Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR.
*First Place Winner , 2013 Arkansas NFMC Collegiate Voice Competition Arkansas Division.
*First Place Winner, Junior Women Classification, 2013 Arkansas NATS Competition.
*Fourth Place Winner, Upper Division Music Theatre Classification, 2013 Arkansas NATS Competition.
*Second Place Winner , 2013 Mary Shambarger Music Theatre Competition for Singers, Ouachita Baptist University.
*2012 OBU Friends of Fine Arts Vocal Scholar, Ouachita Baptist University.
*Honorable Mention, 2012 Trinity Collegiate Showcase ,  Trinity Methodist Church, Little Rock AR.
*First Place  Winner, 2012 Mary Shambarger Art Song Competition for Singers, Ouachita Baptist University.
*2012 Festival South Young Artist Program (cover Zerlina in Don Giovanni), Hattiesburg, MS.
*2011 Emerging Artists Program, OPERA WORKS, Los Angeles, CA.
*Fourth Place Winner, 2010  THEA Foundation Performing Arts Scholarahip Competition.

JOEL ROGIER
, Baritone, Bachelor of Music in Performance Degree, 2014:


*Frank Maurrant, Weill's Street Scene, Brevard Opera
*Ascanio in Harold Blumenfeld's Borgia infamy, Winter Opera St. Louis
*Viscomte Cascada in The Merry Widow, Winter Opera St. Louis
*Mr. Gobineau, The Medium, Music on Site, Inc., Wichita, KS
*Ben, The Telephone, Music on Site, Inc. Wichita, KS
*King Melchior, Amahl and the Night Vistors, Music on Site, Inc., Wichita, KS
*Master of Music, Voice Performance, Wichita State University, 2016.
*Finalist, 2014 Arkansas NATS Competition, Upper Division Music Theatre.
*Honorable Mention Award, 2014 Mary Shambarger Aria Competition for Singers, Ouachita Baptist University.
*Finalist, 2013 Southern Region NATS auditions, Senior Men and Upper Division Music Theatre.
*Honorable Mention, 2013 Trinity Presents Showcase, Trinity United Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR.
*First Place Winner, Junior Men Classification, 2013 Arkansas NATS Competition.
*2012 OBU Friends of Fine Arts Vocal Scholar, Ouachita Baptist University.
*Honorable Mention, 2012 Trinity Collegiate Showcase, Trinity Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR.
*2012 Emerging Artists Program, OPERA WORKS, Los Angeles, CA.
*Multiple year finalist in Classical category at Arkansas NATS Conferences.

ANDREW MILLER, Baritone:

*Accepted for study at the Boston Conservatory beginning fall of 2012.
*Encouragement Award, 2011 Arkansas District Metropolitan Opera Auditions.
*Three time Honorable Mention Award winner, The Mary Shambarger Competition for Singers, Ouachita Baptist University.
*Multiple year finalist in Classical and Musical Theatre categories at Arkansas and Southern Region NATS Conferences.
*Multiple year participant in Brevard Opera Training program.

KYLE HUEY, www.kylewhuey.com,  Tenor, Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre, 2010:

*Cast member, touring production of Beauty and the Beast, 2015-2016 season.
*Cast member, Sight and Sound production of Jonah, 2015.
*Resident Company, Disney Tokyo Big Band Show, 2014
*Buzz Lightyear in Disney Cruise production of Toy Story, 2013-2014.
*Resident Company, Sight and Sound Theatre, Pennsylvania, 2011-2012.
*Resident Company Member, Playhouse on the Square, Memphis, TN, 2011
*First Place Winner, 2010 Trinity Collegiate Showcase , Trinity Methodist Church, Little Rock, AR.
*Two time award winner (2009, 2010), The Mary Shambarger Competition for Singers, Ouachita Baptist University.
*Multiple year finalist in Musical Theatre category at Arkansas and Southern Region NATS Conferences.

VALERIE EVE WOODBURN, Soprano, Bachelor of Music in Theory Composition, 2007:

*Encouragement Award,  2007 Arkansas District Metropolitan Opera Auditions.
*Two time award winner (2006, 2007), The Mary Shambarger Competition for Singers, Ouachita Baptist University.
*Multiple year finalist in Classical Category at Arkansas and Southern Region NATS.

AARON HARP, www.aaronharp.com,  Baritone, Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance, 2007.

*National Performer of Early Music.
*Orpheus Chamber Singers.
*Featured Soloist with Dallas Bach Society, Boston Early Music Festival, and Berkeley Early Music Festival.
*Featured Soloist with Denton Bach Society, and American Bach Solists Festival.
*Master of Music in Vocal Performance, University of North Texas.
*Multiple year finalist in Classical Category at Arkansas NATS.

BONNIE MONTGOMERY, www.bonniemontgomerymusic.com, Mezzo Soprano, Bachelor of Music Education, 2002:

*Following the release of EPs “Cruel” (2012, Fast Weapons) and “Joy” (2013, Fast Weapons), Arkansas born and bred Bonnie Montgomery released her self-titled LP in July 2014 on Portland/Arkansas label Fast Weapons.

 

 *A classically trained singer whose southern roots run deep, Montgomery has taken her authentic spin on golden-era country/western music through the U.S. and Europe, headlining shows and also supporting Gossip, Shovels and Rope, Robert Ellis, Hayes Carll, Billy Joe Shaver, Turnpike Troubadours, Pokey LaFarge, and Wayne “the Train” Hancock.

 

 *Bonnie’s composition of the modern folk opera “Billy Blythe”, about the childhood of Bill Clinton, previewed in New York, and has earned her the attention of publications such as The New Yorker, The Economist, The Huffington Post and the London Daily Telegraph.

 

 *Upcoming tour dates will feature her supercharged Arkansas/Austin country rock band, featuring fellow White County native Nathan Howdeshell of Gossip on electric guitar, Jimmy Young on upright bass and Justin Collins on drums.


JOSHUA PAYNE, www.joshuapayne.com,  Baritone, Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance, 2000:

*American Baritone and Verve Recording Artist
*8 solo albums and 50 compilation records.
*Decca Classics label ranked Josh as one of the greatest baritones of our time.
*Broadway Regional award for role of Andy Lee in Broadway premiere of Part of the Plan (the Dan Folgelberg musical).
*Singer/Songwriter/Recording Artist, Nashville, TN, 2002 to present.
*Memphis Theatre Award Ostrander winner for Sweeney Todd.
*Master of Music in Voice Performance, University of Memphis, 2002.
*Multiple year finalist in Classical and Music Theatre Categories and Arkansas and Southern Region NATS.
*Award winner , 1999 Mary Shambarger Competition for Singers, Ouachita Baptist University

RAN and RICKY JACKSON , www.thedaylights.com,  THE DAYLIGHTS

*Grammy Award winning Indie Rock Artsists based in Southern California.

Dr. Secrest's students have also won competitions sponsored by the Hot Springs Music Club, and the Phoenix Theatre Guild.

He is a member of the music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha, and the music honor society Pi Kappa Lambda.  His doctoral dissertation is "An Annotated Bibliography of Thirty Twentieth-Century Works for Tenor Voice and Instruments."

In the years 2000, 2004, and 2006, Dr. Secrest was selected by his students for inclusion in Who's Who in America's Teachers.   He is also the recipient of numerous OBU Faculty Development and Enrichment awards for study at workshops sponsored by NATS.

Additional citations have come in the from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for "Excellence in Musical Direction" and "Excellence in Musical Performance"  for OBU's presentation of  Godspell. While teaching at Cameron, he was nominated by State Senator Butch Hooper for both the Oklahoma Governor's Arts Award and the Oklahoma Medal for Excellence in Teaching.

He resides in Arkadelphia, AR, with his lovely wife of thirty-nine years, Glenda.

E-mail: secrestj@obu.edu
Office Phone: (870) 245-5134

Next Steps

Top