By Kendra Johnson, Arts Editor (Courtesy Photo)
Marc Webster will give a free vocal performance with Oklahoma Baptist University associate professor of voice and coordinator of voice studies Dr. Louima Lilite on piano. The performance will be Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. in Raley Chapel’s Yarborough Auditorium.
Webster will offer a masterclass in Yarborough Auditorium Feb. 16 from 3:00-5:00 p.m.
The masterclass, like the performance, is free and open to the public.
Webster is an assistant professor of performance studies at Ithaca College in New York.
According to Ithaca College’s website, he has studied music at Eastman School of Music, Julliard School and Ithaca College.
“He is a kind soul I was privileged to meet and befriend during our grad school days at the prestigious Eastman School of Music,” Lilite said. “Marc has since sung celebrated performances in various places.”
Webster has performed with the Syracuse Opera multiple times, and has also performed with Seattle Opera Studio, Julliard Opera Center and Florida Grand Opera Studio.
The concert will offer various pieces for bass in multiple European languages.
“We will be presenting great works for the bass voice by Mozart, Wolf, Santoliquido, and Ibert but also some crowd pleasers in the English language,” Lilite said.
The pieces of music to be performed were chosen for their imaginative and delightful qualities.
“In crafting this program, we wanted to offer to the concert-goers the gift of joy as Marc’s voice touches their souls and transports them to imaginary lands,” Lilite said. “He is a masterful artist and a captivating performer; we wanted pieces that would readily convey those traits to the audience.”
The performance is part of OBU’s Vocal Studies Area’s efforts to bring an annual guest artist to campus.
“Every year, the Voice Studies Area seeks to bring one artist/teacher to OBU for a two-day campus stay—performing for the community the first night, then teaching selected students of ours the next day in a masterclass setting and/or in one-on-one sessions,” Lilite said.
Webster and Lilite will have a limited time available to rehearse the music together before performing together on Thursday night.
“Marc and I will have but one rehearsal (Wednesday night) once his plane lands, one rehearsal amidst myriad other rehearsals for the upcoming Concerto-Aria event the College of Fine Arts is putting on this same week,” Lilite said. “To put it in context, our students spend long months preparing to present something like this. It’s nothing short of a miracle.”
However, the performance offers Lilite the opportunity to collaborate with a friend and to share their music with OBU’s students.
“I feel privileged to be able to make music with a friend I have known for a long while,” Lilite said. “But more importantly, I am overjoyed to know what a great treat this performance will be for those who come—especially the students. There will be nothing quite like it.”
The performance will be on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m., and the masterclass will be the following day, Friday, Feb. 16 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. Both events are free and open to all.
“I hope it will teach students and non-students alike to be more vulnerable and genuine in their approach to life,” Lilite said. “I also hope it will rekindle the light of hope in their hearts.”