Rob Ward PRESIDENT & CEO
Rob Ward, a native of McAlester, is the fifth president of the Oklahoma Arts Institute. He attended OSAI as a chorus student three times and has worked an additional 15 summers as a counselor, counselor coordinator, technical director, and faculty member, conducting the chorus in 2019. He is a career music educator, having taught middle school, high school, and university choirs in Texas and Kansas. Rob holds degrees in vocal music education and choral conducting from Oklahoma State University (B.M.Ed.), Southern Methodist University (M.M.Ed.), and the University of North Texas (D.M.A.). He comes from a family of educators and artists and is honored to be associated with Oklahoma’s Official School of the Arts. Rob, his wife, Lindsey, and their son, Karsten have long been supporters and visitors to the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain. Of his appointment Rob says, “The programs of the Oklahoma Arts Institute are one of a kind. The vision of Mary Frates and Mary Gordon Taft has been a model for arts education and has had a tremendous impact on the students and teachers of Oklahoma, myself included. I am incredibly humbled to be trusted with continuing these opportunities for Oklahoma’s incredible young artists and teachers.”
Emily Claudé VICE PRESIDENT & DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS
Emily was born and raised in Norman, Oklahoma and graduated from the University of Oklahoma. While she spent a few years in Boston after graduation, she still calls Norman her home. Emily’s artistic experience is well rounded, studying dance, film, photography, and acting at various times of her life. And she prides herself on a well-rounded employment history as well, having worked in retail, accounting, architecture, and healthcare. But she found her true calling when she began working at the Oklahoma Arts Institute in 2005. She delights in creating educational opportunities for Oklahoma’s artists and is gratified to see such tremendous talent each year. When not at Quartz Mountain, Emily loves traveling with her husband, doting on her two dogs, and embarking on new adventures with her daughter.
Shana Gibelyou VICE PRESIDENT & DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
A native of Ponca City, Shana Gibelyou holds a bachelor’s degree in dance management from Oklahoma City University, where she graduated magna cum laude and received the “Outstanding Graduating Senior in Dance Management” award. As a dancer, Shana is an experienced performer, teacher, choreographer, and adjudicator. She has performed at the Jazz Dance World Congress in Wiesbaden, Germany and has performed and taught ballroom, Latin, swing, and country dance at the largest ballroom studio in Oklahoma City. She is also experienced in aerial dance. Shana is the co-founder of a nonprofit organization that provides food, clothing, and medical care to over 200 orphans in Sierra Leone, West Africa, and she has visited the orphanage ten times since 2009. Shana enjoys spending time with her husband and their 7-year-old daughter, Elise Joy, who is already discovering her artistic talents in art, fashion, dance, and gymnastics. Shana attended the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain for three years as a modern dancer in high school. This year marks Shana’s 19th summer as a staff member of the Oklahoma Arts Institute.
Alyssa Andriotis ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS
From a young age, Alyssa has always been interested in the arts, especially music. She was a member of the local youth symphony and participated in many school musicals and plays. Alyssa went on to graduate summa cum laude from Ball State University with a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance. While completing her Master’s degree at Florida State University, Alyssa realized her passion for arts administration. She is now actively involved in the Oklahoma Flute Society and is a member of the Flute New Music Consortium. Alyssa enjoys performing new music (especially with her composer husband), baking, and gardening. She lives in Oklahoma City with her husband and their two cats: Tamino and Mr. Grey.
Sarah Helsley OFFICE MANAGER & PR/DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANT
Born and raised in Edmond, Sarah has lived in Oklahoma her whole life and is currently based in Oklahoma City. Sarah’s parents encouraged her to nurture her creativity from a young age, and she’s had a passion for the arts ever since. In 2018, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre. In addition to working on several plays, musicals, and operas during her time at OU, Sarah has worked as a professional dramaturg for Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park and the Neustadt Literary Festival. Sarah also enjoys writing and has been published in the Thornton Wilder Journal. In her free time, she enjoys visiting museums, watching arty movies, reading essays and novels, and exploring Oklahoma’s many hidden treasures.
Carson Misner DIRECTOR OF PROGRAM OPERATIONS
A lifelong resident of Oklahoma, Carson’s involvement with the arts has been long-lasting and diverse. In first grade, his colored pencil drawing titled “I Love My Mom” earned him first prize in a schoolwide competition. While attending high school, Carson was a percussionist and member of the drumline. Carson graduated college summa cum laude with honors and performed in a number of extracurricular stage productions, ranging from opera to sketch comedy. For two years, he was head script writer for campus activities board, where he helped produce four shows per year. His most recent artistic pursuits include singing with Canterbury Voices, performing with his friends at the Shawnee Little Theater, and trying his hardest to learn to tap dance. He likes to think his garden is a work of art, as well, and spends just about all his free time pulling weeds, battling pests, and enjoying the literal fruits & vegetables & flowers of his labor. Since 2014, Carson has had the privilege of working with OAI and witnessing firsthand the incredible artistic talent in our state!
Caleb Mitchum ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
Originally from Minco, Oklahoma, Caleb first experienced the magic of Quartz Mountain as a member of the flute section in the orchestra in 2009 and ’10. He studied music at Oklahoma City University, performing in orchestras, wind ensembles, chamber groups, and (most enjoyably) pit orchestras for numerous operas and musicals. Since then Caleb has played with various orchestras in the metro area, including the OKC Philharmonic and Painted Sky Opera, and maintained a studio of successful students. He also served four years as the Program Manager for the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras, of which he is also an alumnus. When not making music or helping others to do so, he enjoys reading, writing, painting, crafting, and board games with old friends.
Wren Pfahl PUBLIC RELATIONS & OUTREACH COORDINATOR
Wren Pfahl is a flutist and teacher originally from Hendersonville, Tennessee. She spontaneously moved to Oklahoma in 2016 to study music at Oklahoma City University where she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Flute Performance in 2018 and 2020, respectively. Wren developed a love for nonprofit work and arts administration in 2017 when she began as an intern at Oklahoma Youth Orchestras and continued on to serve as the Communications Director from 2020-2021. Additionally, she maintains a private flute studio and frequently performs in the OKC metro area. Outside of music and work, Wren enjoys thrifting, watching movies, reading, dancing, and being a helicopter mom to her two cats, Kitty and Atticus.