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Florence Gillam Birdwell is an Americanmarker educator, musician, and singer, who has taught musical theater and opera singing to thousands of Oklahomamarker students over a five decade career, continuing today as professor emeritus at Oklahoma City University (OCU).

Born in Arizonamarker, Birdwell was raised in Santa Fe, New Mexicomarker but studied voice under Inez Silberg at OCU, completing undergraduate and graduate degrees at that institution. After additional instruction, Birdwell returned to OCU where she joined the School of Music as professor of voice.

Among other honors, Birdwell received the Governor's Arts Award in 1985 from Oklahoma governor George Nigh, and has watched students like Kristin Chenoweth, Kelli O'Hara, Lara Teeter and 1981 Miss America Susan Powell on the American Musical Stage. Birdwell also taught the acclaimed dramatic soprano, Marquita Lister, who sings roles ranging from Aida to Bess at opera houses across the globe. In 1990, OCU established the Florence Birdwell Vocal Scholarship Fund to honor the educator.

In March, 2007, many of her students and fans honored Birdwell with "Starry Night," a musical tribute to her lengthy teaching career and a fund raising event to fund an endowed chair in Birdwell's name at the university.


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