On an artistic journey - Mustang students earn scholarships to Quartz Mountain

By Carolyn Cole
Published on June 7, 2008

Five Mustang student artists will explore their talents in the two-week Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain.

Eight Mustang High School students were selected from more than 1,100 Oklahoma youth who auditioned to attend the institute, which is taught by world renowned artists. Two of those youth were selected as alternates, and one student declined the institute to attend another summer camp.

The camp will be held June 14 through June 29 and is offered to youth studying acting, creative writing, ballet, modern dance, orchestra, chorus, drawing and painting, photography, film and video. In addition to specialized instruction, students and faculty attend or participate in performances, gallery openings, poetry readings, and ballroom dance classes. All youth are given a full scholarship to attend.

Lindsay Schraad

Poet Lindsay Schraad will attend creative writing classes during the institute.

She said she’s always considered herself to be a writer and has journaled, written poetry and created short stories since she was a small child.

“I have a whole box at my house of all of these little cool stories I wrote,” she said. “My parents really liked it.”

Schraad is also involved in the MHS Drama Club and has performed in Stage Door Theater productions. She said she isn’t certain what she wants to do as an adult.

She is the daughter of Joe and Julie Schraad.

Elise and Elizabeth Wenzel

Twin sisters Elise and Elizabeth Wenzel will return to OSAI for their second summer to study harp.

Both musicians play the flute and harp. The sisters said they plan to major next fall in music at the University of Oklahoma.

Elizabeth Wenzel said they started playing the instrument after Elise was considering learning to play the violin. Elizabeth said she decided she wanted to be different and play the harp.

“I saw the 6-foot tall harp and changed my mind,” Elise Wenzel said.

Harpists are rare in Oklahoma, Elizabeth Wenzel said, but added the instrument’s uniqueness and difficulty are among the things they love about playing.

“All of the strings are natural to begin with, and you use your feet to do sharps and flats, so there are pedals,” she said. “It’s a very interactive instrument.”

The sisters are the daughters of Roger and Jane Wenzel.

Cory Johnson

Trumpeter Cory Johnson wants to become a professional musician.

He was named all-state principal trumpeter this year and performed with Oklahoma’s Centennial Band, which marched in the Rose Bowl Parade. He has performed in the MHS Nightriders and concert bands and was chosen for the Central Oklahoma Directors Association honor band for four years.

He is the son of Tony and Julie Johnson.

Devon Hannaford

Devon Hannaford has his heart set on singing and acting on Broadway.

“I would love to do that,” he said. “If that doesn’t work out I want to be a drama teacher.”

Hannaford auditioned for OASI’s drama and choral programs, and the baritone/bass was chosen for his vocal performance.

“I like the way you can make music with voices,” he said. “It’s really cool to make these weird chords ... I like how they clash; it’s fun.”

Hannaford has been involved with choirs since sixth-grade and is a member of MHS’ concert and jazz choirs. He performed a duet earlier this school year with classmate Alex Ford that brought them a superior rating at state contest. He received an excellent rating on his own solo but said he could have performed better.

“We accidentally brought the wrong book, and I had to sing it in a higher key,” he said.

Hannaford started acting when he was cast in the school musical “Oliver” in ninth-grade. This year he performed in the one-act play “Anatomy of Gray,” which won third place at a state contest.

He is the son of Tracy and Chris Hannaford.

Antonio Gloria

Tenor Antonio Gloria has always been a performer.

“Even as a very little kid, I wanted to be the center of attention, the star of the show,” he said.

Gloria was chosen as an alternate for OSAI’s choral program. He performs with the Oklahoma Children’s Acting Guild in Tuttle as well as singing in the MHS concert and jazz choirs.

“I want to be an actor on Broadway,” he said. “That is my life’s goal.”

If he doesn’t strike it big, Gloria said he has a back up plan — to teach music. Plan C is to be a chef.

The boy scout is also working on his Eagle project, building a bookshelf, entertainment center and desk for his church.

He is the son of Mia Gloria of Mustang and Dan Gloria of Moore. His grandparents are Becky and Ron Maddux.

Ty Fanning

Ty Fanning is shooting to be a star actor.

“It’s pretty ambitious, if all else fails — that’s what I want to do,” he said. “There is no failing. I guess that is pretty much plan A, no plan B.”

Fanning was chosen as an alternate for OSAI’s drama program. He was named as first-place all-star cast this school year for his performance in the one-act contest with “Anatomy of Gray.” His humorous duet with Hannaford at a speaking contest placed then third in the state.

“Becoming someone else is really interesting to me,” he said. “Making people laugh, making people cry, I kind of like that, just that experience — feeling with the audience, connecting with them like that.”

Fanning is also junior class vice president on the MHS Student Council. He is the son of Stacy and Larry Barnes.

Cory Dean

Cory Dean is declining a place in OSAI’s modern dance classes to attend OU’s Summer Wind Youth Dance Program.

Dean said he made the decision because he plans to major in dance performance and choreography at the school. In his 20s, he said he hopes to be a dancer traveling with a company. Then as he grows older, he plans to become a choreographer and open a studio.

“It is a great form of expression, and you can portray a lot of different things with dance,” he said. “You can have fun, be upbeat, just liking it because you like to do it, or you can actually have a meaning behind your dance.”

Dean started dancing ballet at age 3 in his mother’s dance studio and has branched out into modern dance, jazz, hip-hop and tap. He also sings in the varsity and jazz choir and plays marimba and keyboard instruments. Next fall, he will be a member of the Nightrider’s Color Guard.

“I’m a real artsy kind of kid,” he said.

Dean is the son of Darrin and Lisa Dean.

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