Oklahoma City University | Focus on Music - 2024 Skip to content

Focus on Music - 2024

Alumnus and Professors Tour China

Edward Knight, director of music composition and founder of Project 21, and alumnus violinist Kyle Dillingham joined forces over the summer on a two-week tour of performances, presentations and masterclasses across China. In the remote Tibetan region of western China, the duo became the first-ever Western artists to perform and present at Gansu Minzu Normal University.

Dillingham returned to China with Peter Markes, associate professor of music and longtime member of his band Horseshoe Road, to represent the United States at the Sixth Annual Silk Road International Cultural Expo in Dunhuang, Gansu.

Man holding violin and man smiling
Kyle Dillingham, Peter Markes

Faculty Honors

Parthena Owens, associate director of flute and director of the OCU Flute Studio, is celebrating her 36th year on the OCU faculty while Dean Mark Parker and Larry Keller, associate professor of voice, are both beginning their 34th year.

Jeffrey Grogan, professor of music and director of orchestral activities, led the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras in their Carnegie Hall debut June 6 co-concert with the NYC All-City Orchestra and Staten Island’s Wagner High School, emceed by alumna Midge Woolsey.

Tony Gonzalez, associate director of choral activities, was a featured presenter over the summer at the 2023 Vocal Pedagogy Professional Workshop at Boston Conservatory.

A woman smiling; a man smiling and holding a conducting baton, and a man in white bowtie smiling
Parthena Owens, Jeffrey Grogan, Tony Gonzalez

2024 National Association of Teachers of Singing Musical Theatre Competition

Tony-winning alumnae Kelli O’Hara and Kristin Chenoweth joined forces in January for the gala finals of the 2024 National Association of Teachers of Singing Musical Theatre Competition, celebrating our own Professor Emerita Florence Birdwell. Chenoweth continues her tenure as an OCU artist in residence, having visited campus October 19 for a two-hour masterclass with performing arts students.

Two women with blonde hair smiling
Kelli O’Hara, Kristin Chenoweth

New Director of Choral Activities

Julie Yu was recently appointed as the new director of choral activities. Dean Mark Parker noted, “I am elated that Julie Yu is leading the choral program at Oklahoma City University. Together with our good partners Canterbury Voices, we have brought one of the nation’s finest choral directors to Oklahoma City. I know that she will create performances that will inspire, enrich and impact us all.”

Woman holding conducting baton and smiling
Julie Yu
Back to all blog
Back to Top