Ron Staton is among the most respected high school choral directors in Oklahoma. He has both conducted and performed at Carnegie Hall as well as for President George Bush. His choirs traveled the world performing at the International Youth Festival in Vienna, Austria, and numerous competitions from New York to Honolulu, Hawaii. Staton Rehearsal Hall at Del City High School is a testament to the impact his 35 years as Vocal Music Teacher had on the school. In 2003, Ron was named the Fine Arts Teacher of the
Jonathan Shames is Music Director and Conductor of the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra, as well as Artistic Director of the University of Oklahoma Opera Theater and Director of Orchestral Studies at the OU School of Music. Shames was previously Associate Director of Orchestras at the University of Michigan where he received a Grammy Award for his work on the recent recording of William Bolcom's Songs of Innocence and Experience.
As a pianist, he has appeared as soloist with the Boston Pops orchestra. Since winning a finalist diploma in the 1982 Moscow International Tchaikovsky Competition, Shames has performed in France, Finland, South Korea and the former Soviet Union, as well as across the United States. He has recorded with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra and the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, toured with the Radio and Television Orchestra of Belgrade. Together with his wife, pianist Stephanie Leon Shames, he founded and served as artistic director of The Boston Players, a chamber music ensemble that performed from 1992 to 1997.
He holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Yale University and graduate degrees from the University of Michigan
Ms. Clara O'Brien
Mezzo Soprano Clara O'Brien's European career began with the 1st International Coloratura Competition, Sylvia Geszty when she was awarded the Sonderpreis des Badischen Staatstheaters; a solo contract with the State Theater of Baden, Germany. Before coming to Europe, she had sung in the United States with the Chicago Lyric Opera Center for American Artists, the Aspen Music Festival and various regional musical organizations. She has appeared on the stages of many European cities including Berlin, Luxembourg, Strasbourg, Dresden and Frankfurt. Her performances have been noted in Opernwelt as Best Performances in both the Emerging and Established Artist categories. Other awards include 1st Prize, Erika Köth Meisterkurs and Finalist in the International Belvedere Competition. Clara O'Brien is also a recitalist and has won the Grand Prix Paul Derenne, International Concours de chant de Paris for her interpretation of Impressionist and post-Impressionist French mélodie.
Her recording of Schönberg's Das Buch der hängenden Gärten is planned for release in 2007. Other recordings include releases on the Bella Musica and Albany Records labels and she has been recorded and broadcast on Southwest German Radio and Television.
Ms O'Brien studied at the Eastman School of Music (M.M., Performance Certificate) and the Dana School of Music (B.M., Summa cum laude) and completed her stage training at the Curtis Institute of Music. She was a Fulbright Scholar and was awarded a fellowship to the Münchener Singschul'. She has also taught at the American Institute for Musical Studies in Graz, Austria and gives masterclasses throughout the United States.
Bradley Williams is one of opera's most sought after tenors in the bel canto repertoire. A regular guest of theaters around the world, he has appeared throughout Europe, Australia, and North America. He has appeared with many notable conductors and has recorded for the Teldec label. He is also a recording artist for MusAcom and is a recipient of a major grant from the Sullivan Foundation.
Donna Cox, soprano, is an instructor of voice at the University of Oklhaoma in Norman, where she teaches applied voice at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She received her B.M. and M.M. degrees in Vocal Performance from Eastman School of Music. She has performed throughout the United States and Germany in recitals focusing on Mozart, opera, oratorio, and Lied.
Dr. Robert Greenlee
Dr. Greenlee's choirs have toured South America and Europe and have performed with the Portland symphony. Dr. Greenlee has been a vocal performer at Alice Tully Hall, the Pepsico Summerfare, the Cambridge Early Music Society, and has recorded on the Harmonia Mundi Label. He has published articles in various scholarly journals on performance practice and conducting.
Year by NFIMA and was nominated for the Director of Distinction Award by the Oklahoma Choral Directors Association. He has directed honor choirs, guest conducted at the University of Arkansas and in 2004 was named Professor of Music at Oklahoma City Community College.
Mr. Lawlor made his Carnegie Hall debut, conducting Mozart's Mass in C major. He has prepared choirs to sing for several United States Presidents, the Bob Hope Show, and the Kenney Rogers Holiday Tour. His choirs have recorded with New York City Opera soprano Rosemarie Freni, and have sung for Lincoln Center Special Events Programming, as well as the Fox Television Network. Mr. Lawlor held the position of Choral Conductor at the United States Military Academy at West Point for eight years, conducting six of the
choirs, traveling extensively throughout the United States and Canada. Mark has performed with numerous orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the Academia Vivaldiana (Italy), and the Orchestra Sinfonica Nova Amadeus (Italy). Mark also performed with the internationally renowned Robert Shaw.
Mark is an active member of the American Choral Directors Associations, the American Guild of Organists, and the Music Educators National Conference.
Mrs. Suzanne Morrison
In 2004, Mrs. Morrison was chosen to lead the vibrant choral program at Del City High School. Her enthusiasm is infectious and she has continued to lead it in an upward direction. Through her contact with elementary and middle school students, her High school program continues to grow. Part of the excitement is her choir's regular community performances as well as high profile opportunities for the "Del Airs", a group comprised of her best students.
In March 2006, Mrs. Morrison led the Del Aires to New York City's Carnegie Hall to perform under the direction of Dr. Anton Armstrong, and is currently collaborating with Mr. Raymond Hughes, Chorus Master from the Metropolitan Opera, to perform Mozart's Requiem in April 2008 in Carnegie Hall. She is an active member of the Oklahoma divisions of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and the National Association for Music Education (MENC).
Mike Plunkett is the chairman of the music committee of The National Federation of High Schools (NFHS). Under his leadership, a partnership has been established between the NFHS, the National Association of Music Educators (MENC) and the Walt Disney Company to establish the National Center for Assessment and Adjudication of Musical Performances (NCAAMP). The formation of the NCAAMP is a major development in establishing a high level of professionalism in the assessment and training of musical education/adjudication.
Mike's vision and passion for music in America comes from more than twenty-five years of success conducting and adjudicating musical groups all across America at both the secondary and college levels, where his impact has been profound. Mike continues to be involved on a local level and is the music chairman for the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association (OSSAA).
The National Football League's Teacher of the year award recipient was Charlotte Gagliardi because of the profound impact she had on twelve-time NFL All-Pro, Will Shields of the Kansas City Chiefs during his choir days at Lawton High. She was presented with the award in Honolulu, Hawaii during the Pro Bowl. Her choral groups have sung for Major League Baseball, Oklahoma's Governor Keating, and the American Choral Director's Association. Her former students excel in many areas of life, including the world of music, including a former student now singing with Aretha Franklin. She was Lawton High Schools teacher of the year twice and nominated for many other awards, including the Disney Teacher of the Year. She has conducted numerous vocal workshops for a variety of choral organizations and is a highly sought-after private voice teacher.
Secondary School Advisor
Currently the principal at Norman North High School, Jerry Winkle is noted for his firm and compassionate leadership as a public school administrator. His focus on challenging teachers to excel in the classroom is a reflection of his heart for seeing his students develop into successful adults. His leadership has brought him 34 years of administrative success and he has served as chairman of the board of directors of the National Association of Secondary School Administrators. His enthusiasm for the All American Singer project stems from his passion to nurture our young people as well as his own musical background. He has a degree in music, composed, sang, and recorded with "The Noblemen" for six years, has conducted choirs and served as clinician and guest conductor for various high school bands. He is passionate about the positive impact musical education has on the lives of all students.
CEO of Varsity Contractors, Inc, Arlo helped found the company in 1957. In 1978, he became president and CEO of the company, which then generated $8 million in sales. Today, under his leadership, the company generates in excess of $250 million in sales and operates in 48 states. Varsity Contractors is one of the most trusted names in the facility services industry. He has served three terms on the board of directors Building Service Contractors Association Inc. (BSCAI), and was its president in 1997.
He is founder of Valley Pride, a civic beautification program, and co-chair of the Idaho International Choral Fesival., and a member of the Idaho State University FOUNDATION board of directors. This year, he has been named "Idaho Business Leader of the Year" by the Delta Upsilon Chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi, the professional business fraternity at Idaho State University. He is the 45th recipient of the award.