Camp Staff

Kelly Pendergraft

President and Camp Director


Kelly Pendergraft has been an amateur theatre technician (techie), scenic designer and set builder in the southwest Oklahoma area for nearly 15 years.  Working with such diverse groups as summer camps, high schools and local community theatres he has developed skills in nearly all areas of technical theatre and as a herder of both student and adult volunteers.  Favorite past productions have included Jekyll and Hyde (MacArthur High School, technical director), Oliver! (Lawton Community Theatre, set design/construction), The Addams Family (Lawton Community Theatre, master carpenter), Footloose (MacArthur High School, technical director) and Circle Mirror Transformation (Blue Moon Productions, scenic design/construction and stage manager).

Dr. Hubert Bird

President Emeritus

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Dr. Hubert Bird is the composer of works performed annually in the United States and abroad.  Published by some of America's leading music publishers, his music includes solo songs, chamber music, choral compositions, works for wind ensemble, and orchestra.  Numerous commissions have resulted in compositions for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.; the U.S. Army Band in Washington, D.C.; many high schools, universities, professional ensembles, churches, civic organizations, the Sinfonica Naçional of Ecuador; and others.  A Pulitzer nominee, many of his works have been awarded prizes.  He is presently involved in a CD recording project with Lyricora of Boston, for release on the Naxos label.  Recognized by his students and colleagues for teaching excellence, he holds a Distinguished Professorship in the University of New Hampshire system.

Valerie Canon

Director, Choreographer, Musical Theater Curriculum

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Mrs. Canon's directing credits include: Roger’s & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma, The Music Man, Annie Get Your Gun, Children of Eden, Seussical the Musical, Once Upon a Mattress, Godspell, Heathers the Musical, Bat Boy the Musical. She has also conceived, written, and directed 3 musical reviews for Wayward Actor's Company in Louisville, KY. Valerie earned her BFA in ballet performance from the University of Oklahoma and has taught throughout the United States. Valerie has choreographed musicals to include: The Music Man, Evil Dead the Musical, 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee, Young Frankenstein, The Wedding Singer, Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens, and many others. She has performed in numerous productions such as: A Chorus Line, Man of La Mancha, Evil Dead the Musical, Gypsy, Bare, Into the Woods, Spamalot, and Little Shop of Horrors.

Dr. Jan Hanson

Music Director, Vocal Coach, Accompanist and Musical Theater Curriculum


Dr. Jan Hanson, Music Director, is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. She conducts the USAO Concert Choir and Chamber Ensemble, both noted for presenting innovative, creative and diverse programs.  Dr. Hanson teaches curriculum in music history and literature, conducting, music methods and research methods. She has conducted dozens of musical theatre performances for university, community and regional companies. Dr. Hanson is in demand as a guest conductor and choral clinician. She has served as a festival conductor for the Oklahoma Choral Directors Association and numerous honor choral events. Dr. Hanson is an adjudicator with the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Association, Oklahoma Choral Directors Association and the Oklahoma Arts Institute. She has adjudicated several conducting competitions at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. Hanson is a board member of the Oklahoma Choral Directors Association and the Oklahoma Arts Institute. She is a member of numerous professional organizations and serves on several community advisory boards as an advocate for the arts. In addition to her conducting activities,
Dr. Hanson is an accompanist for local schools and churches. She is the organist, pianist and accompanist
for First Christian Church in Chickasha, OK. 

Jacob Hiser

Violin Instructor, Violin I Sectionals, Chamber Music Coach, Piano Accompanist

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Jacob Hiser is a versatile pianist and violinist who performs and studies a variety of musical traditions. Originally from Missouri, where he graduated from Missouri State University with a bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies, he now lives and works in Boston, having recently completed a master’s degree program in Contemporary Improvisation at New England Conservatory. He is currently a part-time piano faculty member at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, an accompanist for Boston Children's Chorus and New England Conservatory Preparatory School choirs. He also freelances around the Boston area. During the month of June, he is a faculty member at the Missouri Fine Arts Academy, a three-week summer residential program for highly-motivated student artists
in visual arts, theatre, dance, creative writing, and music.

Jose Batty

Violin II Sectionals, Chamber Music Coach, Assistant to J. Waddelow, RA

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Jose Batty is excited to be a part of the inaugural year of the Next Generation Performing Arts Camp! Jose is currently the concertmaster of the University of Central Oklahoma Symphony and Chamber Orchestras as well as the teaching assistant and student conductor for the same groups. Outside of these groups Jose is a violin teacher at El Sistema Oklahoma, and a private teacher with students at the top of their respective ensembles. In the summers he has served as head counselor at the Southwestern Summer Music Festival in Winfield, Kansas and is also the personnel manager for the Oklahoma Haydn Festival. Jose knows that these kinds of camps are where students can discover their passion for music, create lifelong friendships, and fulfill and enrich their musical abilities, and he is happy to be a small part of their big adventures as young musicians.

Kane Hiser

Bass Instructor, Bass Sectionals, Chamber Music Coach

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Kane Hiser has been performing since the age of seven. Starting with piano, then taking up the bass when he was fourteen, he immediately fell in love with the instrument, going on to play in youth and college orchestras, spending time as principal chair in both.  Currently he has been studying under two bassists from the St. Louis symphony. He lives and performs in the St. Louis area playing many different styles of music.

Pascal Garoute

Stage Manager, RA


Pascal Garoute is a musician, composer, writer, actor, and stage manager. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Radio/Television Communication from Cameron University in Oklahoma. His artistic work spans a variety of different types including original songs, piano compositions, orchestral works, electronically produced music, an in-progress fully self-written musical, two in-progress fictional novels, an in-progress book of original fairy tales, and being the host and creator of an artist-revolved talk show. As well as working on his own individual endeavors, he has served as the Stage Manager for many theatrical productions, working with both youth and adult shows. Pascal loves to embrace collaboration with other artists, and it is his wish to always be a part of the worldwide artistic driving force that will continuously create a positive impact on the world. One of his greatest joys is knowing when artists are living out their passions and doing what they love.

Claude Garoute

Pit Musician, RA


Claude Garoute is a pianist, composer, and arranger currently studying Film Scoring and Contemporary Writing and Producing at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.  A pianist for fourteen years in a variety of settings both classical and contemporary, he has performed as a solo artist, participating in numerous ensembles, bands, and chamber groups. He has served as an accompanist at district and state solo/ensemble contests, high school choir concerts, community theatre productions, and various other functions. After having developed a passion for vocal music through participating in youth and community choirs, show choirs, and many musical productions during his elementary, middle, and high school years, he is often engrossed in the world of choral music and currently serves as the director of two student-run choirs at Berklee. 

Mara Brand

Assistant Choreographer, RA

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Mara grew up in Louisville, KY and started dancing at the age of three, and has never stopped. She began her dance journey in the world of competitions where she was a two-time national champion soloist and title-holder.  She attended the Youth Performing Arts School as a dance major, and DuPont Manual High School, where she was a member of The National Honor Society Dance Association and their NDA National Champion dance team.  Mara was also chosen to attend the Governer’s School for the Arts and received a full scholarship to Western Kentucky University.  She was a member of the Dance Company, a featured soloist, Cinderella in the annual ballet, and went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree. In 2014 she was invited to perform in a showcase at ACDFA (American College Dance Festival Association), where she advanced to the finals with her partnering duet, “Contratiempo,” a work choreographed by Eric Rivera, former company member with Ballet Hispanico.

Mara was offered a scholarship to Joffrey Ballet West in Los Angeles, and a performing apprentice position with Inaside Dance Chicago Company. Mara chose, however, to follow her heart and move to Orlando to be a Beauxbaton dancer at Universal Studios. During her time in Florida, she took on multiple other roles within the park including a dancer in the SuperStar Parade and an entertainer in Universal’s Mardi Gras Celebration. Her time away from Universal was filled with performing as a Cirque Magique Dancer at a local dinner theatre as well as leading Barre Fitness classes.

Mara is so excited, and can’t wait to share her love of dance and theatre with the team at Joplin, Missouri!

Aidan Seel

Accompanist, RA

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Aidan Seel is from Berryville, Arkansas and is currently studying Vocal Music Education at Arkansas Tech University.  Aidan is a very resourceful musician.  He sings, plays the saxophone, viola, and piano.  He has earned high marks at regional and state competitions including All Region, All State, and NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing). He also has had brief instruction in ballet, jazz dancing, and acting. He has had the opportunity to lead and conduct many musical ensembles including choirs, concert bands, and chamber orchestras.  He has been named drum major for his high school marching band.

    Aidan is very involved with theatre.  He has appeared in Annie, Seussical, Once Upon a Mattress, Footloose, Guys and Dolls, The Little Mermaid, Godspell, and Trial by Jury.  At college he participates in many activities including marching band, concert chorale, chamber choir, and opera workshop.  He is also a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America.

Cameron Lopez

Assistant Director, RA

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Cameron Lopez is looking forward to being a part of this summers Next Generation Performing Arts Camp. Cameron is a graduate of Missouri Southern State University and has acted and directed both at the collegiate and professional level. This coming Fall Cameron will attend the Savannah College of Arts and Design, pursuing his masters degree in acting in both theater and film. Cameron’s acting roles have ranged from contemporary to classical theater. Some of Cameron’s credits include appearing in the world premier of  A Great Wilderness, a play written by Drama Desk Award-winner Samuel D. Hunter, and acting alongside Tony award-winner Shirley Knight at the William Inge Festival.  He also performed in The Call at the William Inge House in Independence, Kansas. Other performances include: Escanaba in da Moonlight, The Trojan Women, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Glass Menagerie, Seussical, An Adult Show, Basement Dwellers, Christmas Bells, This Is Our Youth, The Secret Rapture, Along The Way, Carmen, Fiddler on the Roof, and Southern Company. Cameron is a team player who believes that collaboration is absolutely essential to the creation of theatrical work. Two-way conversations between writers, designers and directors are particularly useful because by understanding and observing their good work, it will in turn help you do good work. We are in this together, plain and simple!

Alexandra Baker

Accompanist, RA


Alexandra Baker, originally from Northwest Arkansas, graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the University of Oklahoma and is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano at the University of Central Oklahoma. Baker is the accompanist for Canterbury Youth Voices Central Chorale and recently worked with Deer Creek High School in Edmond, Oklahoma as the music director for their spring musical. Baker hopes to pursue a Doctoral degree in Collaborative Piano and to one day teach at a university.