Vocal music teacher enjoys first year at Shawnee High School

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star

Music lover and singer Blake Watson joined the Shawnee High School staff as its newest vocal music teacher this year and so far has enjoyed his first semester.

"It feels amazing to be an educator at (Shawnee Public Schools). The teachers and administration have been welcoming and helpful," Watson said.

Originally from Claremore, Watson graduated from Claremore High School in 2009.

He was a six-year all state choir member and a four-year state qualifier in tennis.

After high school, Watson attended Oklahoma State University and earned his vocal music education degree in 2019.

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Blake Watson is the new vocal music teacher at Shawnee High School.

"I was a member of the Oklahoma State Concert Chorale and Chamber Choir under the direction of Dr. Z. Randall Stroope. I sang in the opera program at OSU for two years," he said.

He explained he has wanted to be a music teacher for as long as he can remember.

"Both my parents were teachers and my dad was a choir director in Oklahoma for 46 years, so it runs in the family," Watson said.

For Watson, the best aspect of being a music educator is showing and teaching students his passion for music.

"Music is a part of our lives every day even when you don't think it is," he said. "You can find music in nature, in a quiet classroom and at loud stadiums. I love the wide variety of music we have."

While he loves his job, Watson explained it's not without its challenges as it can be difficult to encourage students to willingly work to their full potential.

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The educator hopes he is making a positive impact on his students and helping them see the joy of music.

"I want them to be able to enjoy music or choir and to make them feel welcome in my classroom," Watson said.

Going forward Watson would like his choirs to compete in state, regional and national competitions and bring awards back to SHS.

The first choir concert of 2021 is Thursday, Oct. 21 at the Performing Art and Athletic Center beginning at 7 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.

Elisabeth Slay is a Reporter with The Shawnee News-Star. She can be reached at (405) 214-3926 or eslay@news-star.com. Support the work of Shawnee News-Star journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today at news-star.com/subscribe.