Durant ISD is proud to offer various performing and competitive fine arts programs in grades 5-12. Students in these activities perform all across the state and nation, representing our district. Be sure to visit the facebook pages and booster club pages to learn more about each group and how to be involved!
Art classes from 5th-12th grade are optional and open to all students. Students will focus their attention on art as a language by understanding the basic elements and principles of art, their use within artworks, and how artists, both past and present, use their works to communicate about a variety of themes, issues, and emotions. Students will explore their own purpose and goals for making art, grow their creativity, and develop communication and critical thinking skills through mastering techniques in a variety of media and by looking at, writing about and discussing artworks from various art styles. They will develop an increased visual awareness and sensitivity to surroundings, memory, imagination, and life experiences as a source for creating artworks. Students will express their thoughts and ideas creatively, while challenging their imaginations, fostering reflective thinking, and developing disciplined effort and problem-solving skills. Students will also develop skills in making informed judgments and evaluations through analysis of art language and through analyzing their own as well as others' works.
The DIS classes are composed of 5th and 6th grade students who prepare for their future in art by studying basic art history and art skills. Students incorporate styles and methods of master and current artists. DIS art students use a variety of mediums including: sculpture and clay projects, painting (with a variety of mediums), printmaking, sketching, collages, and a variety of school themed projects.
Students have several opportunities throughout the year to enter various art contests. Art students also have the opportunity to participate in a PSO fundraiser, Art with a Heart. Students’ artwork is displayed throughout the hallways and foyer at DIS for enjoyment.
The DMS classes are comprised of two classes: an Arts & Crafts class and an Art Appreciation class. Art Appreciation is a semester class which focuses on a general introduction to the visual arts where students use a variety of materials and tools in drawing, painting, and sculpture, focusing on mastering tools and basic techniques. Students will explore the elements and principles of design and understand how planning and organizing play a vital role in the art-making process. Arts and Crafts is a semester class which focuses on a hands-on approach to experimenting with a variety of art tools and materials, such as painting, drawing, weaving, printmaking, and sculpture. Students will create art as an expression of emotions and themes.
The DHS art classes are Art I, II, III, and IV. The DHS Visual Arts department offers students, 9th-12th grade, an opportunity to engage in relevant and authentic learning experiences. Students can empower their artistic voices and techniques by developing their creativity and critical thinking skills in our classes that include study in drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, Pen and Ink, weaving, paper mache, Elements and Principles or Art/Design, film, formal art criticism, art history and more. Students also display their work in our annual Festival of the Arts Exhibit and can participate in various art contests and audition for OSAI or CSAA (for those who qualify). We are introducing and strengthening techniques and concepts to emphasize ideas and growth to enhance lifelong learning and the love of the Arts.
Choir classes from 5th-12th grade are optional and open to all students. Students will focus on healthy vocal technique, fundamentals of music theory, history, sight-singing, and the rehearsal of music. Concerts are performed throughout the year by each choir. Choral music is an incredible avenue toward building better musicians and better people. Through teamwork, performance, music literacy and creativity, students are able to develop their self-esteem and ability to express themselves. Through exposure to many different musical styles and periods, they are more aware of history and the world cultures. They also begin to understand the impact that music can have in their lives and in the lives of others. Most importantly, students will develop self-discipline and learn to work cooperatively.
The DMS choir is comprised of the Boys Choir, Girls Choir & Appawse Show Choir. Students will focus on healthy vocal technique, rehearsal of choral literature, sight-singing and fundamentals of music theory. Most importantly, students will develop self-discipline and learn to work cooperatively. Students in the DMS choirs will perform 3-4 concerts, compete at the OSSAA District Choir and Vocal contest and are encouraged in opportunities for individual performance through out the school year.
The DHS choir is comprised of the Varsity Men's Choir, Varsity Women's Choir, Varsity Mixed Chorale, and Junior Varsity Choir. Class instruction includes the study of all classifications of choral literature and sight-reading. Rehearsals and public performances outside of class are mandatory parts of the course. In addition, individual performance is encouraged.
Optional opportunities for students interested in choir are:
- "Appawse" - Appawse is the DMS Show Choir. Students must audition for this select mixed ensemble. Audtions are held every March for the next school year. Commitment is essential to show choir competitions and other performance opportunities outside of school that arise throughout the year. Appawse members are expected to attend the Choir performance trip in May. Hard work and dedication will be expected
- All Choir Musicals - High School, Middle School and selected Elementary School students participate annually in an all choir musical. Participation is optional and require a large commitment. Performances are held at Durant High School and have traditionally sold out shows during the musical.
- All-OCDA JH Honor Choir - This choir is a more advanced choir than All-District. The audition requires three pieces of music, two of which are also All-District audition pieces. The audition fee is $10 and is the responsibility of the students.
- Broadway Lights -Broadway lights is a continuation of the musical theatre experience for the spring semester which includes solos, group and choreographed numbers from various Broadway shows. The audition process and the rehearsals are designed to develop the "triple threat" performer, which includes, acting, singing, and dancing. The performers are selected through an audition process. Performances are held at Durant High School.
- Circle the State with Song/OMEA Children’s Chorus - CTSWS is a 4th-8th grade honor choir that is selected based on auditions. A limited number of students meet on a Saturday in February at DMS and rehearses for 6 hours and then perform a concert. This choir is for treble voices only. Students selected to participate are responsible for their own registration fee of $45 as well as learning the music on their own. Students who participate in CTSWS can also submit an audition CD for selection to the All-State Children’s Chorus. If selected, the student will spend three days in Tulsa during the Oklahoma Music Educator’s Association’s state convention. Hotel and registration cost is the responsibility of the student.
- OU Young Men’s Vocal Workshop - This is a field trip that is available for all boys, grades 6-12, enrolled in choir. Students will learn 3 songs in class and will travel to OU in Norman and rehearse with boys from all over the state. All students will perform a concert of the music learned that afternoon. Music, lunch, and a t-shirt are provided.
- S.E. All-District Honor Choir - This choir is for those students willing to work outside of class to learn two pieces of music and then audition alone for judges in October. The audition fee is $10 and is the student’s responsibility.
DHS Choir Director
DMS Choir Director
DIS Choir Director
Students have many opportunities to sharpen their public speaking skills and basic theater understanding by the taking Speech and Theater. Or, if students are ready to take their skills to the next level, they are able to join the Speech and Debate team that encompasses a number of skills from public speaking, arguing, and acting. The Debate is part of the National Speech and Debate association which makes them eligible to not only compete at the state level but the national level as well.
Speech and Debate competes at 5 district tournaments each year, as well as Regionals and State and WestOk Districts and Nationals.
Students who are part of the Speech and Theater program or the Debate team are eligible to audition for the school play that occurs in the Spring.
The Durant ISD programs compete in Class 5A of the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association. OSSAA is the governing body that oversees rules, regulations, and information regarding school competitive activities in the state of Oklahoma.