Cami Stinson
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Cami Stinson

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"600+ At New Year's Party"

Cami and the Riot played for Ponca Townsite's New Year's Eve party, where more than 600 guests danced, dined and enjoyed the music. - Ponca City News


"Fiddler on the campus"

Cami Stinson, public relations junior, stays busy attending school, leading her band and working on her album. The singer and fiddle player has been interested in music since an early age.

By Tanay Bapat
Staff Writer

Grant Bivens/O’Collegian
Cami Stinson, public relations junior, stays busy attending school, leading her band and working on her album. The singer and fiddle player has been interested in music since an early age.
Cami Stinson, a public relations junior, is the lead vocalist of Cami Stinson and the ’Round-Town Riot.

“I have always loved music for as long as I can remember,” Stinson said.

Stinson, who was raised in Sulphur, acknowledges her parents as the biggest influences in her life. Stinson first started playing the piano at 6.

“Me and (childhood friend) Ross (Chitwood) just fed off each other,” Stinson said.

Chitwood, a classical musician, attributes Stinson’s success to her hard work and sincerity.

“She has a real desire to succeed, in addition to having the heart to give it all,” Chitwood said.

Chitwood, a vocal performance senior at the Julliard School in New York City, admits Stinson has very few technical flaws.

Over the years, with regular practice, Stinson mastered a wide variety of instruments, ranging from the violin to the piano.

However, it was only at the age of 15 that she started playing the fiddle, which remains her favorite instrument. Benny Kubiak, who played the fiddle with Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, taught her a wide variety of western swing songs.

While most kids her age were listening to hard rock, Stinson was enamored by classical western band music.

“I fell in love with Patsy Cline’s voice,” Stinson said. “Ella Fitzgerald and Rosemary Clooney also influenced me a great deal.”

While still in school, Stinson participated in a number of vocal contests and arts programs, including the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute and the Oklahoma All-State Choir.

In 2003, she enrolled in the commercial music degree program at the South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, where she won the Red Stewart scholarship in addition to winning the female instrumentalist of the year. In fall 2004, she transferred to OSU’s public relations program.

“I have always loved writing, and public relations are an integral part of the music business,” Stinson said.

In addition to writing her own music, she has a grade point average of 3.8 and recently received an Oklahoma Press Association Scholarship. In 2005, she co-founded Cami Stinson and the Round-Town Riot with John Cross, an accomplished guitarist.

“She has had a very broad training and a wide variety of experiences,” said Cross, the band’s leader and lead guitarist.

Stinson is also actively involved with several charitable organizations such as the Saville Center, which provides protection to traumatized children. She is also employed with KOSU as a reporter.

She is working on her first album, produced by Tommy Allsup and featuring Bobby Boatright and Tommy Morrell. After graduating from OSU, Stinson intends to pursue her career in music full time.

“My goal is to combine my communication skills and music, to get a job that I really love, i.e., to write and perform my songs,” she said. “I would also like to plan music festivals and concerts, especially in my hometown, Sulphur.”
- Daily O'Colly


"Swinging The Night Away"

Cami Stinson and the ’Round-Town Riot gave a scintillating performance at the Student Union Starlight Terrace on Friday evening.

The night began with free swing dance lessons by Sarah Gladden, a professional dance instructor. An attentive audience practiced basic two- and three-step moves.

“This gives students a different activity and provides clean fun,” said Lance Swigert, Student Union Activities Board graduate assistant. “Oklahoma is a Western state, and this helps provide students with a taste of Western culture.”

The concert featured a mixed bag of big-band jazz songs and Western swing songs in addition to original compilations.

“I love playing,” said Stinson, lead vocalist and fiddle player. “Playing is a high for me.”

Stinson, who hails from Sulphur, is highly experienced in Western classical music, having been in the all-state choir in school. Stinson transferred from Texas and is enrolled as a public relations junior at OSU.

The eight-member band enthralled the audience with old jazz songs such as “Tuxedo Junction” and original compilations such as “I Am Not Blind” and “Before We Let Love Die.”

The band also played classic Western songs such as “Faded Love,” which is also the official state country and Western song of Oklahoma.

Three members of the band, including drummer Tony Ramsey, trumpet player Mike Bennett and trombone player Steve Ham, are also part of Bob Wills’ band, The Texas Playboys.

John Cross was the lead guitarist with Brian Carmincke on bass. Rich Klessig played keyboard and Steve Morse played lap steel and mandolin.

More than 100 people, mainly students, attended the event.

“I had a lot of fun,” said Nick Johnson, mechanical engineering senior. “There should be more events such as these on campus.”

Stephanie Wyatt, hotel and restaurant administration sophomore and member of the SUAB movies committee, agreed.

“Activities such as this one play a role in involving the student body and provide free entertainment, especially to students under the age of 21,” she said.

There were no entry fees and free food and refreshments were provided by SUAB, which sponsored the event.

The SUAB plans to have a concert every month.
- Daily O'Colly


"The Round Town Riot rocks SUAB"

The Round Town Riot rocks SUAB Coffee House series
By James McMahon
Contributing Writer

James Crotchett/O’Collegian
Cami Stinson and the Round Town Riot performed Thursday at SUAB’s Coffee House. The band provided smooth sounds for the participants to practice their new moves.
The first Coffee House live performance happened Thursday night at the Starlight Terrace.

The Student Union Activities Board had free snacks and drinks available for the guests. There was also a raffle for two tickets to tomorrow night’s Orange Peel. Free western swing dance lessons were given by Sarah Gladden, a recreational dance instructor from the leisure department. These guests showed up at 8 p.m. to learn dances they could use with the music that would later be performed by Cami Stinson and the Round Town Riot. This was the first band to perform for SUAB, but the organization has hosted several open-mic nights.

When asked about the dance lessons, Gladden said the attendees were “very receptive,” and she was “very pleased” with the turn out. The dance lessons lasted one hour and ranged from the basic two-step to the waltz. “They were fun and exciting,” said Zach Schnorrenberg, public relations sophomore.

Cami Stinson and the Round Town Riot have only been together for a couple of months and this is their first performance together of this type.

Stinson, a public relations junior, said, “I’m extremely happy with the turn out.”

Originally from Sulphur, Okla., Stinson attended South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, for two years as a commercial music major before transferring to OSU.

The music began at 9 p.m. and those in attendance started to dance to songs that ranged from “Take me Back to Tulsa” to “Crazy Arms,” a Cami Stinson and the Round Town Riot original.

“The music was very unique,” said Shelby Hall, a speech pathology junior.

The up-tempo music kept the crowd dancing and caught the attention of several others who soon joined in. The dance floor was filled nearly to capacity.

Tylor Bremer, a broadcast journalism junior, said, “The music and atmosphere are great tonight, it really gives the place a southern feel.”

When asked what SUAB was hoping to accomplish by hosting an event such as this one, Tiffany Cranfield, the entertainment chair for SUAB, said, “We just want to provide entertainment and fun for the students.”

Cranfield, a hotel and restaurant junior, also said, “I’m very pleased with the turn out tonight.”

SUAB will be having live performances like this every Thursday. Overall, the night left you tapping your toe to a southern swing beat.
- Daily O'Colly


"OSU senior sings in Ponca City"

OSU senior sings in Ponca City

NewsPress Staff

Oklahoma State University senior Cami Stinson, western swing and big band artist, will perform Friday at Ponca Townsite Co. from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Stinson is studying public relations and communication at OSU and plans to graduate in May.

She grew up in Sulphur, where her exposure of country music and western swing from an early age ignited a passion and drive for the genres. She took the stage to sing and play the fiddle at Opry theaters in Oklahoma and Texas as a child.

After graduating high school, Stinson continued to follow her calling as a musician and studied commercial music in Levelland, Texas. There, she starred on a monthly television feature, “Thursday Nite Live,” led by Cary Banks.

Currently working on the release of her CD, Stinson still finds time to do live shows all over the state.

The Townsite Co. is located at 116 N. Fourth in downtown Ponca City. There is no cover and no minimum.
- Stillwater NewsPress


Discography

In the Morning, Released March 2009

Photos

Bio

Cami sang throughout her childhood, performing mostly on the stages of Opry theaters like the McSwain Theater, the Oklahoma Opry, the Johhny High's Show in Arlington, Texas, the Main Street Opry in Dennison, Texas, and the Grapevine Opry. Cami says these theaters and her experience performing with Johnny Shackleford's band, made her comfortable with performing with bands.

Cami received numerous honors for her classical vocal performances while in high school, such as her membership in the All-State Chorus and the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute Chorus.

After graduating from Sulphur High School, Cami attended Oklahoma City University as a vocal performance major. She left after one semester, realizing while she loved classical vocal performance, she longed to study various musical genres.

Cami went to South Plains College in Levelland, Texas to study commercial music. There she performed in a western swing ensemble led by guitarist Joe Carr. She also starred in the monthly "Thursday Nite Live" television broadcast led by Cary Banks. She credits her professors and friends at South Plains College with equipping her with the determination and skills to pursue a commercial music career.

Cami recently graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Journalism and Broadcasting (public relations option). During her time there, she was an award-winning student reporter for Oklahoma Public Radio (KOSU 91.7) and a honor student. She plans to use her degree in public relations to further her music career.