Altus students study with famous artists; 7 Attend Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain
QUARTZ MOUNTAIN - For seven Altus students, it was a journey that began last winter. They applied, auditioned, and interviewed for the prestigious Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain (OSAI), held June 9 – 24. The Altus students are being taught by nationally renowned artists, including Grammy-nominated musician Don Byron. In conjunction with acceptance, Altus students received full scholarships to the program, worth over $2,500 each.
Recent Altus High School graduates Christin Fairchild and Andrew Hamilton are studying choral music at OSAI, Scott Johnson is studying acting, and Diego Quirino and Matt Wilhite are in the drawing/painting program. Altus High School student Madison McKenzie is studying photography, and Navajo High School student Bailey Pelletier is in the choral music program.
“I’ve learned more about music at OSAI than I have in my entire life,” Hamilton said. “It’s such a joy and a great experience, and it has helped prepare me for my future in music.”
At OSAI, Oklahoma high school students spend at least six hours a day studying one of nine artistic disciplines in the literary, visual, and performing arts. In the evenings, they attend a variety of performances, lectures, and demonstrations in order to learn about arts other than their chosen discipline. Students from different disciplines, towns, and backgrounds study, reside and eat meals together. With so many highly motivated and talented students working together in close quarters, lifelong friendships and career-enhancing collaborations often develop.
“Nowhere else will you find a place that not only focuses on your discipline, but also allows each student to learn about all the other disciplines,” said Fairchild. “OSAI has inspired me to go on with my vocal passion in college.”
This is the program’s thirty-sixth year, and since its inception, many famous artists have taught at OSAI. Former faculty include recipients of the Academy, Emmy, Grammy and Tony Awards. This year’s faculty artists include musician and bandleader Don Byron. Byron, a clarinetist and bandleader, is a Grammy nominee and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in composition. Based in New York, his music spans many genres. Byron, as well as San Francisco-based actor Regina Saisi, will perform on Fri., June 15 at 7 p.m. in the Robert M. Kerr Performing Arts Center at the Quartz Mountain Arts and Conference Center. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
“I am so excited to be able to work with such talented, dedicated students and clinicians,” Pelletier said. “Getting to work with such passionate people is easily one of the best things in the world.”
OSAI takes place inside Quartz Mountain state park. The facilities are secluded between Lake Altus-Lugert and the dry, cacti-dotted Quartz Mountains, creating an ideal location for total arts immersion. Students and faculty gain inspiration from the beautiful natural setting.
“During these two weeks of summer, Quartz Mountain is transformed into a place where creativity is encouraged and hundreds of aspects of art are created every day,” said Johnson.
Altus students were chosen to attend OSAI through competitive statewide auditions, with over 1,300 students auditioning for just 271 spots. In conjunction with acceptance, each student received a full scholarship to the program worth over $2,500. Altus students’ scholarships are provided by the Oklahoma State Department of Education, Helon Whiteside LaGree Scholarship Fund, Public Service Company of Oklahoma Scholars Fund, Richard W. Moore Memorial Scholars Fund, Jarrod Fergeson Scholarship Fund, Caltex Petroleum Scholars Fund, Melda Moore Scholarship Fund, and Public Service Company of Oklahoma Scholars Fund, with additional funding provided by the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, Kirkpatrick Family Fund, and the Goddard Foundation.
OSAI culminates in ONSTAGE Weekend, June 22 and 23. The weekend consists of concerts, performances, film screenings, and gallery exhibitions where every OSAI student has a chance to display their work. All events are free and open to the public, and a performance schedule is available at www.oaiquartz.org or (405) 605-7500.
Altus is represented on the OSAI board of directors by Nancy Cox, Jeff Greenlee, and Mary Kruska and emeritus members C. Kendric Fergeson, Helon LaGree, and Jeff Wilmes.
The Oklahoma Arts Institute is a private, non-profit organization developed in 1977, with a mission to provide exceptional multidisciplinary arts experiences that develop individual talent and inspire a lifelong passion for the arts. OAI administers a program for talented Oklahoma youth every June and a series of continuing education workshops for adults every fall.
2012 Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute
at Quartz Mountain, June 9 - 24
PLEASE NOTE: All listed performances are free and open to the public. Performances are subject to schedule and location changes. Please check the website (www.oaiquartz.org) for up-to-date info. All performances take place at the Quartz Mountain Arts & Conference Center in Lone Wolf, Oklahoma. PAC = Robert M. Kerr Performing Arts Center.
Saturday, June 16 7:00-8:30pm Institute Chorus and Orchestra / PAC
Paul Tucker and Jeff Grogan, Conductors
8:30-9:30pm Reception / PAC Deck
Sunday, June 17 10:00-11:00am Celebration of the Spirit / Amphitheater
Monday, June 18 7:00-8:00pm Percussion Performance / PAC
OSAI Percussion Students
Wednesday, June 20 7:00-8:30pm Eine Kleine Quartzmusik / PAC
Student Chamber Music
Friday, June 22 6:30-7:30pm Ballet & Modern Dance / PAC
7:30-8:00pm Reception / PAC Deck
8:00-9:00pm The Institute Chorus / PAC
Paul Tucker, Conductor
Saturday, June 23 10:00-11:00am Gallery Opening / Amphitheater
2:30-3:30pm Acting Performance / PAC
3:30-4:00pm Reception / PAC Deck
4:00-5:30pm Poetry Reading and
Film Screening / PAC
8:00-9:00pm The Institute Orchestra / PAC
Jeffrey Grogan, Conductor
Classes at Quartz Mountain are taught at a collegiate level.
Some performances could contain subject matter that may not be suitable for children.