Summer Institute Now Seeking Talented High School Students
Every winter, nearly a thousand high school students from all corners of the state crowd into auditoriums and line school hallways, dragging oversized instrument cases, rehearsing lines from Shakespeare monologues, clutching unwieldy artist portfolios, scribbling free flow thoughts into journals.
Some of the students are warming up their knees and feet with small prances, humming do-re-mis and nervously clasping tiny thumb drives that represent a year’s worth of photography or video work.
This year’s audition process sponsored by the Oklahoma Summer Institute at Quartz Mountain will look a little different for those vying for one of the 270 scholarships offered.
The scholarships are for a two-week residency program widely known as Oklahoma’s premier arts experience for high school students.
Auditions for the 2021 Institute are currently
underway and are being conducted entirely online due to the continued rise in coronavirus cases.
The program will still be held in person, but one month later than normal, from July 10-July 25.
To be considered, students must complete a brief online application and submit audition materials demonstrating their artistic ability. The submission requirements vary from discipline to discipline.
Performing artists and filmmakers will submit a video file. Writers and visual artists will submit a digital portfolio of their work.
The application portal is currently open at apply.oaiquartz.org, and all auditions must be submitted by early March.
As the state’s Official School of the Arts, the institute provides an experience far beyond that of an ordinary arts camp.
Renowned teaching artists from across the country travel to Quartz Mountain, where they provide advanced, college-level training and mentorship to the young artists in one of eight artistic disciplines.
The disciplines are acting, chorus, creative writing, dance, drawing & painting, film & video, orchestra or photography.
Its multidisciplinary structure sets the Institute apart, allowing students both intensive study in their chosen discipline and new exposure to unfamiliar art forms.
The institute environment is highly collaborative; students often create work with young artists in other disciplines and find inspiration in the Quartz Mountain landscape and surrounding communities.
The creative writing students hone their poetry in the Quartz Mountain lodge or on the hiking trails. Photography students might be found documenting an avant-garde dance performance on the mountainside or creating portraits of local residents.
Drawing and painting students take part in ple in classes by Lake Altus Lugert. The acting students make their screen debut in student films, and the music students often perform in local town squares and community centers.
Although the cost of an intensive arts residency program of this magnitude is steep, every student accepted to the Institute receives a full scholarship to attend. The State Department of Education, Oklahoma Arts Council and numerous private foundations underwrite the program costs to ensure that the experience is in reach of any talented student, regardless of their financial means.
Though the program brings together students of all backgrounds from many parts of Oklahoma, they all have one thing in common: a passion for their chosen art form. For many students, like Chandler resident Tate Radcliffe (Chorus ’19, ’20), it’s the first time they’ve encountered so many kindred spirits.
“Everyone at the institute understood whatever high-end music theory concept I mentioned, and the chorus was easily the most densely talented and knowledgeable group of musicians I had ever sung with,” said Mr. Radcliffe.
“Quartz showed me an entirely different demographic of people that I had never been in contact with: people like me. I felt at home there.”
Partial audition information for each discipline is listed below. Detailed application instructions are listed on the institute’s Website.
Applicants are also encouraged to follow the institute’s social media accounts (@oaiquartz) for tips and updates.
First, students must submit a general online application and then submit their discipline-specific audition materials by the deadline listed at oaiquartz.org/osai.
- Acting. Applicants must upload a video of themselves performing two contrasting monologues from published plays by March 15 at 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time. (One may see the full guidelines at oaiquartz.org/disciplines/acting.)
- Chorus. Applicants must upload a video of themselves singing two pieces listed on the institute’s Website by March 15 at 11:59 p.m. CST. (One may see the full guidelines at oaiquartz.org/disciplines/chorus).
- Creative writing. Applicants must submit creative writing samples online per the guidelines by March 15 at 11:59 p.m. CST. (One may see the full guidelines at oaiquartz.org/disciplines/creative-writing.)
- Dance. Applicants must submit a video of themselves performing eight required combinations and two prompted solos as demonstrated on the institute Website by March 15 at 11:59 p.m. CST. (One may see the full guidelines at oaiquartz.org/disciplines/dance.)
- Drawing and painting. Applicants must submit three portfolio pieces and one original still-life drawing per the guidelines by March 15 at 11:59 .m. CST. (One may see the full guidelines at oaiquartz.org/disciplines/drawing-painting.)
- Film and video. Applicants must submit an original film (maximum 5 minutes) and participate in a Zoom interview. Students must sign up for a Zoom interview on an available date, from Feb. 6 through March 9, and submit their film 24 hours before their interview. (One may see the full guidelines at oaiquartz.org/disciplines/film-video.)
- Orchestra. Applicants must submit a single, unedited video recording per the instrument-specific instructions by March 15 at 11:59 p.m. CST. (One may see the full guidelines at oaiquartz.org/disciplines/orchestra.)
- Photography. Applicants must submit six to eight original images and take part in a Zoom interview. Students must sign up for a Zoom interview on an available date, from Feb. 6 6 through March 9, and submit their film 24 hours before their interview. (One may see the full guidelines at oaiquartz.org/disciplines/photography.)