School of Fine Arts to host, livestream McBeth Recital Hall Gala tonight

Ouachita’s School of Fine Arts will present the W. Francis McBeth Recital Hall Gala on today, Sept. 10, at 7:30 p.m. The gala, which is free and open to the public, will feature a concert and reflective remarks in the newly renovated McBeth Recital Hall and a reception in Hammons Gallery, both in Ouachita’s Mabee Fine Arts Center.

“It has been 40 years since McBeth Recital Hall has see this type of renovation,” noted Dr. Gary Gerber, dean of OBU’s School of Fine Arts. “The new carpet, premier seating and upgraded lighting will give a fresh look to the hall for our performers and patrons.

“We hope our students, as well as the broader community, enjoys the updated look and increased comfort for concerts, recitals, lectures and classes,” Gerber added.

The celebration concert will feature members of Ouachita’s music faculty performing a variety of vocal, instrumental and keyboard selections.

Dr. Charles Wright, Ouachita’s interim president and former dean of the School of Music, as well as Dr. Scott Holsclaw, former dean of the School of Fine Arts, will deliver remarks reflecting on the significance of the recital hall and its renovation.

Following the concert, guests are invited to a reception in the adjacent Hammons Gallery.

McBeth Recital Hall is named in honor of Dr. W. Francis McBeth, internationally acclaimed composer and conductor and longtime professor of music at Ouachita. McBeth served as conductor of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in the early 1970s and was honored by the ASO as conductor emeritus. He served as Ouachita’s composer-in-residence, Lena Goodwin Trimble Professor of Music and chair of the theory/composition department. He also served as Arkansas’ composer laureate, the first composer laureate named in the U.S., and was a past president of the American Bandmasters Association.

For those off campus or who cannot make it tonight’s event, the gala will be live streamed and available here for viewing online. For more information about McBeth Recital Hall or Ouachita’s School of Fine Arts, visit or call (870) 245-5129.

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