Oklahoma Panhandle State University
OPSU Music Department Places Four State Band Members Submitted by Charla Lewis on 03/05/2014 Goodwell, Okla. — Four of OPSU's concert band members were selected to participate in this year's Oklahoma Intercollegiate Honor Band during the Oklahoma Music Educators Association's convention in Tulsa, January 15-18. Kassie Betterton (Guymon, sophomore), Caitlyn Christie (Guymon, freshman), Kassidi Partida (Guymon, sophomore), and Tyler Stephens (Fowler, Colo., junior) represented OPSU during approximately twelve hours of rehearsal stretched out over Wednesday afternoon and evening, and Thursday morning and afternoon before their concert at 3 p.m. that same afternoon. There were around 100 students representing 15 universities across the state in the honor band conducted by Richard Clary, Senior Band Conductor at Florida State University.
This is the best representation that OPSU has had in the honor band in recent memory. "I hope that this is a sign of things to come for OPSU's music program. Since I'm an alumnus as well as the band director, I'd really like to see the band program take off again. My hope is that when the community sees that great things are happening at OPSU and more specifically in the band program, they won't hesitate to send their kids here to be a part of it and more than that—that the kids will say 'I want to be a part of that OPSU band,'" says Charla Lewis, OPSU Director of Bands.
Ty Stephens confirmed, "What an honor it was to represent OPSU through music. It was an incredible experience, and I'm so glad I was able to participate!"
Also representing the university at the convention were OPSU's collegiate National Association for Music Education (NAfME) members which included Jake Barnes (senior), Kassie Cannon (sophomore), Jasmine Brown-Jutras (freshman), Felipe Gonzalez (sophomore), Jose Hernandez (freshman), Virginia Leitner (sophomore), David Peebles (sophomore), and Danny Stoops (senior).
When asked about his experience at the convention, Gonzalez said, "It was a great experience! I really enjoyed meeting all kinds of different people and getting advice from experienced teachers. The best advice was don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.'" Gonzalez is from Hermitage, Ark., and is working on his music education degree.
Under the guidance of Joel Garber, OPSU Director of Vocal Music, OPSU's collegiate chapter of NAfME has been growing and holding regular meetings with guest speakers. So far this year, NAfME has hosted two veteran teachers with ties to the university to share their experiences with public school education, Dr. Christi Roach and Dr. Wayne Stewart.