Just yesterday, Putnam City Schools hosted its second Men’s Day of Singing. More than 115 young men from sixth grade through seniors took a break from their studies to lift their voices in song together. Started by a few of our vocal teachers, the goal of the day is to encourage boys to get involved with the music programs in Putnam City by allowing the younger ones to see older boys still involved in choir. Having boys in choir makes the chorus sound robust and it is more fun for the students to sing together.
This program is one of many examples that explain why Putnam City Schools is the 2018 recipient of the Governor’s Arts Award for Arts in Education. The Oklahoma Arts Council gave this award to only one school district this year. According to the Arts Council website, the award “recognizes a school for their outstanding leadership and service in the arts benefitting youth and/or arts in education.”
From my research, I didn’t find another public school district who had won this award in the past 10 years. During this era of shrinking budgets and program cuts, Putnam City has held on to its strong arts focus and still has over 100 fine arts teachers.
Putnam City’s teachers do have a bit of history with this award as well. Anne Guevara was an orchestra teacher in the West part of Putnam City who just retired last year, and won this award in 2011. The year before that, another Putnam City orchestra teacher, Dorothy Hays, won the award.
We still have much to be proud of in Putnam City! Should your schedule allow, please join us at the presentation ceremony February 28, at 4:00 p.m. in the 4th floor rotunda of the Oklahoma State Capitol. I’ll be proud to say I am a product of the great arts training I got right here.