Artistic high school students to gather at Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute this week
LONE WOLF — Oklahoma high school students will get a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to work with award-winning and nationally acclaimed artists starting this weekend at the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute.
Surrounded by the serene natural beauty of Quartz Mountain near Lone Wolf, 270 students will receive instruction in one of nine artistic disciplines including acting, writing and dance from Saturday through June 27. The annual program has brought Oklahoma students to the Quartz Mountain Arts and Conference Center since 1978.
The program, which offers all attending students a full scholarship, features faculty from across the country. This year, John Stevenson, the Academy Award-nominated director of “Kung Fu Panda,” Grammy Award winner Jerry Blackstone and Emmy Award winner Vincent Dowling are among the instructors.
Besides offering students instruction in their own discipline, the program introduces them to a range of other art forms and like-minded peers, said Annina Collier, spokeswoman for the arts institute, which receives funding from the state and donations.
“This may be the first time that they’re around other artists,” Collier said.
The program looks to reach students from across the state, holding auditions in a dozen cities and towns. More than 1,400 students auditioned this year.
“Our goal is to make it as accessible as possible,” Collier said.
Throughout the program, students and faculty will present free public performances, enabled by the rigorous training they receive. Many of the musicians will never have played together before but will assemble for a large orchestra concert in one of the public performances.
“Every year, we’re amazed at what the students are able to achieve,” Collier said. “They work very hard while they’re at Quartz Mountain.”
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