Alpha Chi Omega - Starting Conversations

The official blog of Alpha Chi Omega
0 comments

Celebrating MacDowell Month & Our Sisters in the Arts, Part Two

By Liz Ragland, Gamma Tau

The second post profiling sisters in the arts features Irish step dancer, Kelsey O’Connor and music teacher, Katie Wonderly.
-Liz


Katie_WonderlySpotlight Member:
Katie Wonderly, Gamma Tau

How are you involved in the arts?
I recently graduated from Oklahoma City University with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. I now work as an elementary music teacher in Oklahoma City Public Schools and the El Sistema Oklahoma orchestra program.

How did you first get interested in your art form?
I have spent my whole life loving music! My parents took me to Kindermusik classes as a toddler, and I had several incredible elementary music teachers that were huge influences in my life. I loved getting to sing and play instruments, but even more so, I was always eager to help my music teachers during class! One of my favorite childhood keepsakes is my All About Me page from when I was 6. When asked what I thought I was good at, I answered: “Singing and helping little kids!” (Who did I even consider little kids? Two-year-olds?)  I think I’ve always known that I wanted to pursue music education, and I was lucky enough to have teachers that encouraged me every step of the way.

How do you “Strike on the lyre of the universe, only the notes of happiness, of joy, of peace”?
This quote is by far my favorite part of our Symphony, and one that I’m not sure I truly appreciated until I began teaching. As an elementary music teacher, I have the unique opportunity of getting to see the same children in my class year-after-year. Throughout their time in my class, these students will learn about many things: counting rhythms, playing recorders, musical vocabulary, orchestra families…the list goes on. The most important aspect of my teaching, however, is not creating perfect musicians. My primary goal throughout each year is teaching students how to be happy, joyful, peaceful human beings, and for me, that just happens to be through music! When I look back at all of my favorite educators, I don’t remember individual lessons or the exact words that were said. I remember the overall effect they had on my life and my eventual choice to follow the same career path. I know that not all of my students will wish to be a teacher or have a career in music. Instead, I simply hope to impart to them the happiness, joy, and peace that making music together can bring. I get the opportunity to strike notes of happiness, joy, and peace every day, and I can only hope that my students are learning to do the same.

What’s your favorite Alpha Chi moment/memory?
My favorite moment by FAR was the Bid Day when my biological little sister joined Alpha Chi Omega! I had been eyeing her during all of the parties and had talked with her some throughout the recruitment process, but I knew she didn’t have her heart set on a certain house and was trying to keep an open mind through it all. The morning of Bid Day, basically the entire house tried to trick me into thinking she wasn’t on our Bid List, and that she had chosen another house. I didn’t want to believe them, but there was definitely still a bit of doubt in my mind. The moment I saw her running across the quad wearing her first AXO shirt was one of the happiest moments of my life! I ran out to meet her halfway, tears streaming down my face, and gave her the biggest hug ever! My little sister was finally HOME, and I’ve loved getting to spend the last two and a half years watching her thrive in this sisterhood and love it as much as I have!

Kelsey_OConnorSpotlight Member: Kelsey O’Connor, Beta Rho
How are you involved in the arts?
I am involved with the arts with dancing. It is something that means a lot to me and I get to share that passion and interest with other people who are some of my closest friends.

How did you first get interested in your art form?
When I was four years old, my parents thought it would be a good idea for me to take an Irish dance class to learn about my family history and their culture (as I am third generation Irish-American on my father’s side). Ever since then my life has revolved around dance and I would have it no other way.

How do you “Strike on the lyre of the universe, only the notes of happiness, of joy, of peace”?
In relation to dance, I strike the lyre of the universe when I dance. Dancing has the extraordinary ability to make me happy and fill me with joy every time I dance. Even if I go into a class after a bad day, I always leave in a happier mood. Dancing never stops making me feel beautiful and confident. It brings me happiness and that is also why I love it so much.

What’s your favorite Alpha Chi moment/memory: Even though I have been a member of Alpha Chi for just a few weeks, my favorite memory has to be bid night. Opening my bid to find it was Alpha Chi and then running across the gym to meet the other girls was an incredible feeling. In general it was a special and unforgettable night because my mom, my recruitment counselor, and some of my friends I met during my first semester became my sisters and it was the best feeling in the world.

 

Comments are closed.