McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

June 26, 2013

McAlester students study with famous artists

our attend Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain From submitted reports

Lone Wolf — Years of hard work and dedication have paid off for four McAlester High School students.

They’ve earned spots at the prestigious Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain, held June 15 – 30.  Jonathan Fryer, Brandi Hongell, Faith Skinner, and Cody Ward are studying orchestral music at OSAI.

The McAlester students are studying with nationally renowned artists from across the U.S.

 In conjunction with acceptance, McAlester students received full scholarships to the program, worth more than $2,500 each.

As an OSAI alumni, I have definitely noticed the impact that my experience at OSAI last year has had on me,” Fryer said. “No camp or clinic has taught me more about being an artist and an individual than OSAI.”

At OSAI, Oklahoma high school students spend at least six-hours each 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 that give them an appreciation of the arts outside of 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.

“This will be my second year to attend Quartz Mountain,” Ward said.

“I've made so many lasting friendships and enjoyed working with other dedicated students. Attending OSAI has given me opportunities beyond my expectations.”

This is the program’s thirty-seventh year, and since its inception, many famous artists have taught at OSAI.

 Former faculty artists include recipients of the Academy, Emmy, Grammy and Tony Awards.  This year's faculty includes A. Dean Irby from New York.

Irby’s television credits include The Cosby Show and Another World, and he also served as the acting coach for The Cosby Show.

McAlester students work closely with faculty artists, and long-term mentorships often result.

McAlester students were chosen to attend OSAI through competitive statewide auditions, with over 1,100 students auditioning for just 270 spots.

The McAlester students’ scholarships are provided by the Oklahoma State Department of Education, Clark and Wanda Bass Family Foundation Scholars Fund, Harris Foundation, and Public Service Company of Oklahoma Scholars Fund, with additional funding provided by the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, Sharna and Irvin Frank Foundation, and Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation.

OSAI culminates in On Stage Weekend, June 28 and June 29.

The weekend consists of concerts, performances, film screenings, and gallery exhibitions where every OSAI student has a chance to display their work.

 All On Stage events are free and open to the public.

 For a performance schedule or for more information visit oaiquartz.org. or  call 405-605-7500.

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