Kurt Gwartney

Kurt began his radio career at 16 as weekend disc jockey at KOLS-AM/KKMA-FM (now KMYZ) in Pryor, Okla. He gradually began doing news work at his home town radio station. Kurt studied journalism at Oklahoma State University, serving two terms as managing editor of "The Daily O'Collegian." He returned to his radio roots while at Oklahoma State, working first as a part-time news producer, then as Morning Edition host at KOSU. Kurt left the station in 1990 returning to Pryor to be a part of a new business, ViaGrafix, that developed computer training videos. He eventually sold his business to attend seminary at The Iliff School of Theology in Denver and Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Okla. He served as minister of communications for St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City for five years before starting his own media business, Discuss Communications LLC.

In 2005, he once again returned to radio as the operations manager and Morning Edition anchor at KGOU, eventually transitioning to news director in 2009, where he also serves as editorial director for StateImpact Oklahoma.

Kurt is President of the Oklahoma Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and member of the Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI) board. He lives in Oklahoma City with his wife, the Rev. Charla Gwartney, and daughter, Elizabeth.

Arts & Culture
7:40 am
Wed May 13, 2015

Bixby High School Bypasses Band Contests In Favor of Further Music Education

Jeremy Parker rehearses the Bixby High School wind ensemble as the musicians prepare for their end of the school year concert.
Kurt Gwartney

Competition can be fierce in Oklahoma’s high school extracurricular activities. From athletic fields to performance halls, students take seriously the trophies they bring back to their schools. One award-winning Tulsa-area music program has decided to step away from a hallmark band contest to make the spring semester all about the music.

The Bixby High School marching band, better known as The Pride of Bixby, won its number one spot during marching season with a crazy kind of circus on the field. Unicyclers, tumblers, disappearing color guard members and rotating horn players spread across the gridiron, helping to make their show number one in the state in its class, 6A-2.

But the band intentionally fell silent for the spring state concert band contest. For the second year in a row, the Bixby High School band chose to pass on this contest.

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Music News
8:43 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Coming Home: The Woody Guthrie Center Opens In Tulsa

Outside the Woody Guthrie Center, there's a large mural of Guthrie holding his guitar bearing the phrase, "This Machine Kills Fascists."
Brett Deering WireImage

Woody Guthrie's relationship with his home state has always been complicated. The singer-songwriter left Oklahoma and traveled the nation, composing some of the best-known songs of his time and ours. But to many in the state, his progressive political views did not fit with a strong conservative streak during the Cold War period. His reputation there is now closer to a full restoration as Oklahoma opens his archives.

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