OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — If you are a performer like Desiree Dillon or Kyle Dillingham, or just-graduated tenor Corbin Hall, your very livelihood depends on spotlights and packed houses which remain impossible in these days of quarantine and social distance.
Dillon says, “It’s crazy to think that some kind of powerful force could actually take away those opportunities that you thought would never go away.”
Desiree was on a nationwide tour of ‘Finding Neverland’ that cancelled in Canada.
She’s been back home in Miami, OK keeping her voice tuned on the Coleman Theater stage.
“It turned out being a little bit longer of a vacation than I thought,” she chuckles.
Dillingham’s gigs with his group Horseshoe Road also cancelled.
He filled his spring with social media and inventive videos.
“I’ve turned into more of a mini-film maker,” he says.
Corbin’s whole senior year cancelled.
We found him doing yard work at his parent’s house in Purcell.
“Were you really looking forward to going,” asks his visitor?
“Yeah,” he says. “I pencil it in on my calendar before I even know I make it.”
At one time, during their high school years all three of these artists attended the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute, learning their craft in a gathering like no other.
Institute Director Julie Cohen and her staff wanted to shout (or sing) to the world that they were still here even if they couldn’t meet in person.
“The real idea,” she argues, “Is that we may be separate but we can all come together as a community through song.”
The song is called ‘One Voice.’
Kyle and his Horseshoe Road partner Peter Markus laid down the track.
Former institute participants from 45 years of workshops sent in their parts to complete the video.
The Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute didn’t cancel for 2020.
They actually hired more people to administer an at home experience.
One Voice reaches out beyond the velvet seats in the back row to an audience they know is still there, waiting for the chance to come back to Quartz Mountain in the years to come.
This year’s OSAI at home workshop is scheduled for June 14 -19.