Wade, Mary Helen Scrogin 2007

Mary Helen Scrogin Wade has spent her life enriching lives with music. The 1936 OCW music alumna taught music at OCW and OCLA, and she directed church choirs for more than 50 years. A member of the National Guild of Piano Teachers, Wade received the American College of Musicians’ highest honor in the Guild Teacher National Hall of Fame and several other national awards.

She earned Texas Women’s University’s first degree in piano pedagogy in 1976 and taught music in public schools and piano camps for junior high and high school students. She also taught as an adjunct professor at OCLA and Cameron University in Lawton. From 1936-89, Wade served as choir director for Methodist churches, first in Ryan, then in Duncan.

Today, the East Walnut Hills Historic District has grown to include more than 160 homes built between 1890-1925, populated mostly by young professional families. The Burnses gained national attention in 1988 when they were featured in “Historic Preservation” magazine.

For 13 consecutive years, Wade won the Guild Teacher National Honor Roll award by preparing her students for entry in national piano performance auditions.

Wade’s greatest achievements came, perhaps, not from herself, but the students to whom she devoted herself.Wade’s greatest achievements came, perhaps, not from herself, but the students to whom she devoted herself.

David Hooten, a renowned trumpet soloist who has played for the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial Service, for Pope John Paul II and for President Bush, attributed his success to his former tutor.
“I believe a person’s life work should not be measured in what they own or have accomplished, but rather in this: did they help a child believe that child could make the world a better place?” Hooten said. “I believe that due to Mrs. Wade, I have made the world a better place, and in turn have handed it down to many children. If the whole world did this, one child at a time, maybe we could find world peace. You’ve just got to believe.”

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