Rogers County students attend OSAI | News

LONE WOLF — Eight Rogers County students will be attending the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute this summer to develop their individual talents and study with renowned faculty artists.

Luke Buzzelli from Claremore High School will be attending with a discipline in creative writing.

Danner McGarrah from Catoosa High School, Jonathan Menzel and Kaytlyn Eagleton from Inola High School and Rebekah Holland from Owasso High School will be attending with a discipline in chorus.

Hunter Blakestad and Ethan Turner from Owasso High School will be attending with a discipline in orchestra.

Kennedy Rutherford from Owasso High School will be attending with a discipline in photography.

Chosen through competitive auditions, over 250 students attending OSAI experience a unique creative interaction with peers from across the state.

The Institute provides world-class arts instruction to Oklahoma’s most talented high school students in a creatively-charged atmosphere.

Students study for six hours per day in one of eight disciplines in the literary, visual and performing arts. Evening performances, faculty showcases, demonstrations and electives allow students the opportunity to interact with each discipline.

“Our goal during these two weeks is to enrich and motivate many of our state’s most dedicated young artists and to expose students to the rigors, requirements and rewards associated with their respective arts discipline,” President and chief executive officer of the Oklahoma Arts Institute Rob Ward said.

Each student accepted to OSAI attends on full scholarship. This year, nearly 800 high school students auditioned for a coveted spot. Students study, reside, and build community during this two-week institute, creating lifelong friendships and setting students on a course for future engagement with the arts.

Past OSAI faculty artists have included winners of the Pulitzer Prize and the Academy, Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Awards. This summer, 34 faculty artists were chosen to teach students in the disciplines of acting, chorus, creative writing, dance, drawing & painting, film & video, orchestra, and photography.

Among this year’s OAI faculty are chorus conductor Dr. Jeffrey Allen Murdock and modern dance instructor Raquelle Chavis. Dr. Murdock currently serves as Director of Choral Activities at the University of Arkansas and was honored as the 2021 GRAMMY Music Educator of the Year.

Chavis was a seven-year principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and has directed, choreographed, and performed in productions worldwide.

The Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute culminates in ONSTAGE Weekend, a series of performances showcasing each student’s work at the Institute. Performances and gallery openings are open to the public with no charge for admission.

All students will be featured in final performances or presentations during ONSTAGE Weekend, June 24-25. A full public performance schedule can be found online at

Students’ scholarships are made possible through funding from the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the Hyman and Esther Krasne Foundation Scholars Fund. Additional program support is provided by the Oklahoma Arts Council, Inasmuch Foundation, Jerome Westheimer Family Foundation, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation and Zarrow Foundation. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.


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