The Edmond Sun

January 24, 2014

OMEA honors OC music students, professor

The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Oklahoma Christian University’s music students and faculty were recognized as some of the best in the state recently in Tulsa.

OC’s Chorale, led by music professor Kyle Pullen, performed at the Oklahoma Music Educators Association Conference at the Holy Family Cathedral in downtown Tulsa. Later that evening, OC’s Jazz Ensemble performed as part of the OMEA event just a few blocks away at the Doubletree Hotel.

“Being chosen to perform at the state convention is quite an honor,” said Kathy Thompson, OC’s department chair and professor of music. “We are excited that our students were among just a few schools asked to share their talents in these honor performances.”

OC’s Chorale, which includes more than 65 singers, has been performing and touring since 1950. OMEA is the state affiliate of The National Affiliation for Music Education, which is among the world’s largest arts education organizations.

OC’s music department received yet another honor in Tulsa as Heath Jones was recognized as Oklahoma’s Jazz Educator of the Year for the second time in four years. Jones, a professor of music, directs OC’s Jazz Ensemble.

“I am especially proud of Heath for being recognized for his excellent work, as well as helping make OC’s music program more visible in the state,” Thompson said.

Jones received his honor from the Oklahoma Jazz Educators, a chapter of the International Association of Jazz Educators. OJE, which met during the OMEA convention, exists to promote awareness of jazz and encourages the academic exploration of jazz in schools.

A few weeks ago, Jones directed the Jazz Ensemble in its performance at the Jazz Educators Conference in Dallas. He also teaches applied saxophone, music education, music technology and jazz improvisation at Oklahoma Christian.

An accomplished musician, he has performed with The Temptations, The Four Tops, Leslie Gore, Jim Neighbors, Natalie Cole and other road show artists. Jones also performs with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Lyric Theatre and the Pollard Theatre. He serves as a Cannonball Saxophone Artist and has given master classes, lectures and recitals in China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.