Leona Mitchell Itinerary
When Leona Mitchell was growing up in Enid, her outstanding vocal abilities were showcased all over town. Hit the road and discover the venues and classrooms where Mitchell’s voice came to life. Travel Leona Mitchell Boulevard and discover the school where she learned to play piano and violin and where her talent was first recognized. Continue on the journey to browse a museum showcasing pieces of the singer’s life and career.
Stop 1: Emerson Junior High
Leona Mitchell attended Emerson Junior High while growing up in Enid. During her time in the Enid Public School system, Leona’s talent for singing was first recognized when Maureen Priebe, the director of choirs for Enid Public Schools, discovered Leona’s impressive range. Maureen also introduced Leona to opera by playing Verdi’s “Aida” for the young vocalist.
Stop 2: Enid Symphony Center
In 2002, the opera star went on tour. Leona included a stop in her hometown along the way and performed with the Enid Symphony at the Enid Symphony Center. The Enid Symphony Center features classical guest stars and world-class performances in elegant surroundings.
Stop 3: Enid High School
While attending Enid High School, Leona continued her musical education by playing violin in the school’s orchestra and directing the choir at her father’s church.
Stop 4: Government Springs Park
When Leona Mitchell was a teenager, she could be found walking the trails and hanging out with her friends at Government Springs Park, one of the first public parks in Enid.
Stop 5: Leona Mitchell Southern Heights Heritage Center & Museum
The Leona Mitchell Southern Heights Heritage Center & Museum opened in 2001 and includes a small display on the opera singer’s life and career.
Stop 6: Carver Elementary
Leona Mitchell began her education at Carver Elementary, now the Carver Educational Center. During this time, she learned how to play the piano and began singing in the choir at her father’s church.
Stop 7: Leona Mitchell Boulevard
Leona’s hometown of Enid honored her by naming Leona Mitchell Boulevard after the famous opera singer. The boulevard runs north and south from E State Avenue to E Southgate Road.
Stop 8: Canton Lake
The Mitchell family packed their bags and took off for vacations at Canton Lake when Leona was growing up in Enid. Visitors to this local lake can enjoy a swim beach, picnic areas, RV and tent camping sites as well as hiking and fishing.
Stop 9: Roman Nose State Park
One of Oklahoma’s original state parks, Leona Mitchell remembers going to Roman Nose with her parents and siblings. She says, “I have many special memories of family reunion picnics at Roman Nose State Park.”
Stop 10: University of Central Oklahoma
Leona Mitchell was the artist-in-residence for a short time at the UCO School of Music. From January 25th to February 10th of 2006, Mitchell taught master classes and German dictation to students. She also performed at Mitchell Hall Theater on campus as well as the UCO Jazz Lab on March 3, 2006.
Oklahoma City, OK
Stop 11: Deep Fork Grill
Leona Mitchell enjoys the exquisite menu and elegance of Deep Fork Grill in Oklahoma City. It’s her favorite place to eat in the state. Stop in for lunch, dinner or brunch and let flavorful dishes like pecan chicken and grilled Alaskan halibut speak for themselves.
Oklahoma City, OK
Stop 12: Oklahoma City University
Besides obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in music from Oklahoma City University in 1971, Leona Mitchell also performed for Sandra Day O’Conner and Desmond Tutu on campus.
Stop 13: Tulsa Performing Arts Center
In 2004, Leona Mitchell brought her skills to the stage at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center during a special concert with the Tulsa Opera.
Stop 14: Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame
Located within the Tulsa Union Depot, the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame honored Leona Mitchell as a vocalist in 2007 for her outstanding abilities.