James Harper has thoughtfully listened through this class lecture but now, it’s time for the class to share their homework and he is eager to go first.

He walks to the front of the room, making certain his guitar doesn’t bang against a desk along the way, and takes his spot at the front of the class.

Without another word, Harper, a music senior from Comanche, leans over his guitar and begins presenting his assignment. It’s a jaunty blues riff accompanied by lyrics tinged with surrealism.

Three minutes and some change later, the song is over and Harper’s smile beams out at the class as he is quizzed about the inspiration for his lyrics and some of the specifics of his chord choices.

No one complains about homework in songwriting class.

CHICKASHA -- In alternating strokes of the pen, Woody Guthrie is Oklahoma’s favorite son or one of her most dogged critics. To some, he was the voice of the oppressed — an eyewitness to Oklahoma’s darkest days and one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.

Others argue he drew unneeded attention to the poor treatment of the common laborer at the expense of American unity during the Great Depression.

Guthrie is the focus of an upcoming event at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma that will examine his legacy and his music through presentations and performance. 

A picture of Dr. Stephen Weber sitting at a piano.

Musician, composer and teacher Dr. Stephen Weber celebrates the rich history of hymns with a pipe organ concert scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. on May 5 at Epworth United Methodist Church in Chickasha.

The USAO Chamber Choir joined elite vocalists from all over the state to work with a master conductor earlier this month.

The Oklahoma Federation of Music Clubs (OFMC) district competition is scheduled to take place at the University of Science and Arts in Chickasha on Saturday.

The USAO Chamber Choir shows off its new members while preparing for upcoming performances. The choir is scheduled to perform on March 8,9 in Norman with the All-Collegiate Chorus, sponsored by the Oklahoma Choir Director Association. It will be featured in a spring concert beginning at 7:30 p.m. on April 9 in Te Ata Memorial Auditorium. The choir will also perform at USAO’s Commencement ceremony on April 19.

Two members of the concert band at the University of Science and Arts performed with the Oklahoma All-Collegiate Honor Band last month.

Olen Cox, a senior music major from Hugo, and junior Lindsay Robbins, a music major from Moore, were selected from applicants statewide for the ensemble, which is composed of the top collegiate musicians statewide.

With roots that stretch back before the written word, stories form the spine of the human experience as they entertain, educate and inform our experience of who we are and what we mean. This spring’s Festival of Arts and Ideas will explore Storytelling from a number of perspectives and academic disciplines beginning at 7:30 p.m. on March 11 and 12 in the Ballroom at the University of Science and Arts.

1964 The Tribute. Chinese Dragon acrobats. Celtic Spring. Jami Smith.

Over the past eleven years, the University of Science and Arts has played host to international superstars thanks to the Davis-Waldorf Performing Arts Series (DWPAS). Now, as the series is poised to open its twelfth season, DWPAS coordinator Dr. Ken Bohannon is as proud of the program’s past as he is enthusiastic about its future.

With a hint of spring chill in the morning air, more than 2200 people flocked to the USAO campus for the Spring Triad on April 5. Students from 74 high schools across Oklahoma visited Chickasha.