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Star Alumni Host New Grads in Broadway Showcase
Three Oklahoma City University alumni who have starred on Broadway introdued 14 newly graduated OCU singers to New York in the school’s first Music Theater Showcase, held in Manhattan’s Theater District. “We are proud to present members of the Class of 2008 in this showcase for agents,” said Mark Parker, dean of the Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University. “We know the importance of students getting with a great agent as they make this move from school to the New York professional scene.” Alumni Kelli O’Hara, Ron Raines, and Destan Owens emceed the showcase, which spotlighted fellow OCU graduates singing works ranging from Amy Winehouse to Cole Porter. Performances were 2 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. May 22 at the Westside Theatre Upstairs, 407 W 43rd Street. “As always, our alumni have responded to our call for assistance in helping the next generation. Kelli, Destan and Ron -- along with the entire OCU New York alum community -- have done so much to make this first showcase special,” Parker said. “There are many paths for talented, well-trained, hard-working graduates to make a career and we continue to try assist our students as they reach for the stars.” The 14 new alumni were selected from a pool of graduating performance majors by a panel of four music theater professionals: agents Nancy Carson and Mark Redanty, music director Lawrence Yurman, and stage director Bob Durkin. Featured in OCU’s Broadway showcase wereTraci Bair, Chance Blakeley, Danielle Estes, Austin Green, Brian Hamilton, Keith Hines, Hayley Hoffmeister, Ashley James, Stephanie Joiner, Kendra Kimball, Jason Poorboy, Sarita Scherpereel, Abby Smith, and Amanda Wertz. “The presentation is for the industry representatives: directors, agents, casting directors, but alums are also welcome,” said David Herendeen, OCU’s director of music theater. “This will represent the skills of our graduates in the current performance market. We feel very confident about our students.” Jan McDaniel is the showcase’s head vocal coach and music director. Arnold Mungioli, president of the casting agency Mungioli Theatricals, is artistic director. For more information about a music theater degree from Oklahoma City University, contact Parker’s office at (405) 208-5474 or visit www.okcu.edu/music.