Singing is in Maggie Wall’s blood. The 17-year-old Owasso vocalist is the daughter of Robin Wall, the current choir director at the Owasso 6th Grade Center, who helped instill a love of singing from an early age.
“I've been in choir since about roughly nine months before I was born,” Maggie says with a laugh. “As I've grown up in church and in school, music has been a big part of my life. I love it so much.”
As a fifth-grade student at Barnes Elementary School, singing in the choir led by her mother grew Maggie's love of music while simultaneously bringing her people closer together. “Music has really united a lot of my family and it’s something that we can connect and bond over. My grandpa is a music minister, and everyone in my family sings,” she says. “People call us the Von Trapp Family sometimes. Music is a big thing for us.”
Maggie expanded her sense of family in 2019 when she first attended the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute. “I was really nervous walking in and not knowing people, but the students were really, really welcoming,” she says. “It was just nothing but fun. There was no judgment, anywhere. I remember feeling really welcomed.”
“Being around all the like-minded people [at OSAI] really helped me get out of my comfort zone. Now the place that used to be out of my comfort zone is my comfort zone.”
- Maggie Wall, Chorus '19
That sense of belonging and community felt something like the Christmases spent caroling at nursing homes with her family as a kid, when Maggie first beheld the transformative power of the arts. “I just remember the joy that it brought to those people,” she says. “It's been in those moments where I've really grown to love music, and the impact that songs can have on people.”
As Maggie gears up to return to the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute on July 10, she reflects on how attending OSAI 2019 grew her confidence not only in singing, but also in herself. “It helped me see that I'm not the only person who's an absolute nerd. Being around all the like-minded people really helped me get out of my comfort zone,” she says. “And now the place that used to be out of my comfort zone is my comfort zone.”
With another life-changing summer right around the corner, Maggie says she can’t wait to continue pushing her boundaries and forming new connections.
“I'm really looking forward to getting to know new people and being able to get out of my shell, more than I was able to back when I went in 2019,” she says. “Because I'm more confident of a person now. I'm just excited to build relationships with people.”
For a complete list of OSAI 2021 attending students, click here.
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