Florence Birdwell

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Florence Gillam Birdwell is an American educator, musician, and singer. She has taught musical theater and opera singing for more than six decades. She is currently professor of voice at the Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University.

Born in Arizona, Birdwell was raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico and studied voice under Inez Silberg at OCU, where she earned undergraduate and graduate degrees. After additional instruction, Birdwell returned to OCU where she joined the voice faculty.[2]

Birdwell received the Governor's Arts Award in 1985 from Oklahoma governor George Nigh, In 1990, OCU established the Florence Birdwell Vocal Scholarship Fund in her honor. In 2004, she was honored as a Member Laureate of Sigma Alpha Iota, an international music fraternity for women.[3] In March 2007, "Starry Night," a musical tribute to her lengthy teaching career, was held as a fundraising event to fund an endowed chair in Birdwell's name at the university.[2][4][5]

Birdwell's students have included Kristin Chenoweth,[6] Kelli O'Hara,[6] Lara Teeter[2] and Miss America 1981 Susan Powell.[6]


  1. ^ Roberts, Michael J. (August 3, 2009). "Interview with Kristin Chenoweth". ChicagoPride.com. GoPride.com. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "Famous Oklahoma City University Alumni Perform". The Campus Online. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: OCU Student Publications. February 11, 2007. Archived from the original on July 19, 2008. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  3. ^ "SAI Member Laureate". Retrieved 18 February 2013. 
  4. ^ di Molina, Tirso (March 31, 2007). "Report: Chenoweth and O'Hara in Oklahoma City!". BroadwayWorld.com. Wisdom Digital Media. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  5. ^ Rogers, Rick (March 25, 2007). "Students to honor professor". The Oklahoman. Retrieved 2013-05-13. 
  6. ^ a b c Kellow, Brian (October 2010). "On the Beat". Opera News. New York City, New York: Opera News Inc. 75 (4). Retrieved July 12, 2011. 

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