By Nathan Hatcher, Associate Layout Editor and Susannah Waite, Associate Editor
Donning a glittered belt and clutching a Route 44 Sonic drink in hand, Kristin Chenoweth taught a master class at her OCU home.
Chenoweth instructed her “peeps,” as she referred to OCU students, at 11 a.m. today in Petree Recital Hall in Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center. The class was free and open to the OCU community.
Dean Mark Parker, of the Wanda L. Bass School of Music introduced Chenoweth to the stage. He and President Robert Henry presented Chenoweth with gifts at the beginning of the class.
Parker read aloud several questions students had submitted for Chenoweth to answer.
One question asked Chenoweth what mistakes aspiring performers make.
“The sense of entitlement,” Chenoweth said. “You have to be patient.
“Things don’t happen overnight.”
After Chenoweth answered student questions, students took the stage and sang songs for Chenoweth to critique.
Florence Birdwell, professor of music, said seven or eight students performed. Each music professor chose a student to sing for the master class, she said.
Chenoweth gave suggestions and asked students to sing the songs again, making various corrections.
Lauren Westlake, music theater/vocal performance junior, performed for Chenoweth.
“It was great,” she said. “She taught us all so much.”
Meredith Pyle, music theater graduate, also sang.
“It was surreal,” she said. “It was really encouraging.”
Chenoweth said the young talent she saw today inspired her. She said she saw a lot of stars today.
“The best part of today was the kids and the talent,” Chenoweth said. “It was such a great reminder of where I was 20 years ago.”
Chenoweth said she gives credit to Birdwell for keeping her grounded when she took master classes once a week. The Wednesday master class she took as an OCU student gave her inspiration and taught her a life lesson, she said.
“Never let me buy my own hype,” she said.
Chenoweth offered advice to students who have similar goals.
“Just keep working at it,” she said. “This is the time to learn and fail with grace.
“If you can’t see yourself doing something else, be happy.”
Following the master class, Chenoweth filmed a commercial for the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team.
Chenoweth also interviewed with Vince Orza, former Meinder’s School of Business dean and new president of Oklahoma City-based KSBI.
Chenoweth expressed her feelings toward Oklahoma.
“There’s no place like it,” she said. “You can’t take the Oklahoma out of the girl.”
During the interview, she said a country record is in the works.
Chenoweth will be inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame on Thursday. The ceremony will be hosted at the Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens.