Summer Singers, an Oklahoma Christian University student group, is sharing their love for the university with potential students through performing across the country.
The Summer Singers are a group of student musicians from Oklahoma Christian who dedicate their summer vacation to touring church camps and youth rallies. According to Aaron Askew, faculty director for Summer Singers, the members of Summer Singers create arrangements of contemporary songs and use their talents to connect with potential college students and market for Oklahoma Christian.
“The main purpose for the Summer Singers is to promote the university,” Askew said. “All of their performances are in front of prospective students, to show them a good time, and to get them interested in OC and to get our name out there. Even I saw the Summer Singers when I was a kid at my church camp.”
Askew said he is currently looking for new members who will benefit the group with both their musical capabilities and positive attitudes.
“Obviously, musical talent is important, whether that be instrumentally or vocally,” Askew said. “But we’re also looking to create a group that will mesh personality-wise as well as musically. We want people who are going to work together, who are willing to compromise, easy to work with and very good at adjusting to things.”
The group’s lead male vocalist, Christian Reyes, first heard about Summer Singers during his freshman year at Oklahoma Christian.
“I saw the group perform my freshman year down at the Myriad Gardens,” Reyes said. “I thought, ‘That’s really cool, how do I get involved?’ My hub group leader was actually the best friend of the female lead singer, Kennedy McAlister. She told me if I was interested in joining, she could help set me up in trying out.”
Reyes said he is motivated to participate again this summer because Summer Singers encourages youth across the country. He said being a member of Summer Singers has allowed him to reach out to high school students and try to embolden their investment in Oklahoma Christian.
“I noticed when we go to camps, the kids get super excited,” Reyes said. “You get up there and these kids look up to you, so you know you have to perform super well for them. When you make those connections, it makes those kids feel more like they’re a part of what we’re doing here.”
McAlister, who performed keys and vocals for Summer Singers last summer, said she believes the group helped her grow as a person and as a musician.
“I feel like I’ve learned to deal with a lot of different personality types,” McAlister said. “I’ve learned to be in really small spaces with a variety of people. I’ve also learned how to improvise, and how to figure out what key a song is in, stuff like that.”
McAlister said the group’s performances have inspired potential students to visit the campus.
“Summer Singers is like a bridge to the outside community, specifically prospective students,” McAlister said. “I feel like it’s a good representation for what OC is like, and everyone loves music so it’s easy to connect with people through it. I met so many students who were so pumped to actually talk to a college kid and to learn what college is all about. I’ve had a few kids even come tour OC because we had a conversation. So that’s really cool.”