Written By: Blythe Freshwater
On September 24, the music of young performers filled the OKWU chapel building. Twenty-six homeschooled students from the Bartlesville area took the stage to share their hard work thus far this year. An audience of 80 people (families, parents, and grandparents) came to support these young musicians at OKWU’s 8th Annual Homeschool Recital. These musicians ranged in age from 3 to 18 and the repertoire varied from an adorable opening number, “Zip a Dee Doo Dah,” sung by a group of three-year-olds, to “Bagatelle Op. 5 #10” by Alexander Tcherepnin, performed on piano by a teenage girl. All the performers did exceptionally well for their ages, despite fluttering stomachs and some technical difficulties.
Each performer received an evaluation from a member of OKWU’s music faculty: Prof. Wade Daniel or Prof. Travis Dunlap. These evaluations from professional musicians who teach music at OKWU are intended to be helpful to these young students in honing their skills and encouraging growth.
Prof. Jennifer Cunningham led the event, announced each performer, and gave certificates to each child at the end of the night. Participating students included those from several local private studios, including the studios of Marilyn Bruce, Travis Dunlap, and D’Lynn Everett. Bruce had about fifteen students participate, Dunlap had two, and Everett had eight. In speaking of this performance opportunity for area homeschool students, Everett said, “Music is fun, no matter what the age! . . . [my students] felt very honored [to have] been invited to participate in OKWU’s concert. I think this is an opportunity for these students to see the wonderful facilities that OKWU has to offer, in case they want to come study here in the future.”
The Annual Homeschool Recital started back in the fall of 2011. Dr. Stewart, a music professor who began teaching full-time at OKWU in 2009, says, “Dr. Robert Myers, the OKWU Vice President of Academic Affairs at the time, approached me about the possibility of doing a recital specifically for homeschool students. Both of us were homeschooling our children at the time and Dr. Myers hosted a weekly gathering of area homeschool students in his home. Therefore, he knew there were a lot of homeschool students who were musically gifted and didn’t necessarily have an outlet to perform.” Over this past 8 years, this annual recital has been well-received and well-attended, often drawing 20, and sometimes more, young performers each year.
If you missed the Homeschool Recital, but are interested in other performances, the OKWU Music program has several concerts coming up. All recitals and concerts are held in the Lyon Chapel of Fine Arts Building and are free to attend. Concerts usually feature various music ensembles: Chorale, Jazz Ensemble, Relentless (a cappella group), and the Pep Band. Student recitals feature individual performances of the students are currently taking private applied lessons for credit.
OKWU Fall 2018 Performance Schedule
Fall Concert is Tuesday, October 9th, 7 pm.
Student Recital is Tuesday, October 16th, 7 pm.
Student Recital is Tuesday, November 13th, 7 pm.
Christmas Concert is Thursday, November 29th, 7 pm.
Christmas Chapel is Friday, November 30th, 10:10 am.
Hope to see you there!