Send Saxon to Juilliard

Saxon Pounds, an 11-year-old Tulsa opera singer and member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, recently auditioned for and was accepted into The Juilliard School’s Summer Performing Arts program in Geneva, Switzerland.


For her Juilliard audition , Saxon sang “For Good” from the Broadway musical “Wicked” and “Ave Maria" in Latin.

To be considered for the program, applicants must go through a rigorous audition process that includes submitting biographical and artistic background information, a teacher recommendation, a video interview and two solo performances that demonstrate technical and musical ability.

The two-week program for gifted performing artists ages 10-18 includes intensive training with world-renowned faculty from The Juilliard School in New York City. Juilliard consistently achieves a No. 1 ranking among the world’s top performing arts schools.

In 2017, the school’s summer program accepted the finest young performers from 33 countries.

Saxon, a soprano who can hit high notes in the “whistle register,” will major in vocal music and minor in drama as part of the Discovery track in Switzerland.

The program will be July 21 through Aug. 4, 2018, at the Collège du Léman, a boarding school near the shores of Lake Geneva. There, each student will receive private one-to-one instruction from the faculty and will have the opportunity to participate in seminars and workshops. 

Saxon is a first-year member of the Tulsa Youth Opera, directed by Aaron Beck, and a student at Preslar Music, where she studies piano, ukulele and voice with Ed Goggin.

Her Tulsa Youth Opera highlights include having sung the national anthem at an Oklahoma City Thunder game, having performed a pre-show in conjunction with Grammy-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre’s Tulsa performance and having entertained The Kennedy Center National Committee for the Performing Arts.

Saxon also studies with music teachers Alina Peterson and Tom Starnes at Marquette Catholic School. She is a two-time member of Oklahoma's Circle the State with Song choir ensemble. 

Saxon’s next local performance will be with the Tulsa Youth Opera’s production and U.S. debut of “Pinocchio.” She will play the role of a rabbit. Shows are at 2:30 and 7 p.m. June 16 and 2:30 p.m. June 17 at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.

Saxon is a fifth-grader at Marquette and will attend Cascia Hall Preparatory School in the fall. Her goal is to attend Harvard University and become a pediatric orthopedic surgeon.

Saxon is the daughter of David and Kristen Pounds, of Tulsa. She has a 4-year-old brother, Hap.

She is the granddaughter of Mike and Betsy Wright, of Claremore; Sherri and Kevin Lefler and Mike and Jeanie Pounds, of Owasso; and David and Carren Milligan, of Shawnee. She is the great-granddaughter of Dean Brannon McAfee, of Owasso; Norma and Lanny Nellis, of Norman; and Alice Farbro, of Claremore.

Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard offers three summer programs: the flagship program in Geneva, a voice program for high school students in Florida, and a strings program in Shanghai.
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Kristen Wright Pounds 
Tulsa, OK
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