Guitarist wins OCCC talent show

His acoustic guitar picking and fluid voice won the $300 grand prize for Stephen Saleswon in OCCC’s second annual talent show on campus April 16. Saleswon played his original song “Symphony.”

“It was the first finger-picking song I ever worked on, about five years ago,” Saleswon said.

When asked if there were any nervous tensions involved, Saleswon said yes.

“I was glad, because when I’m nervous I know that I will push myself to the limit and play better,” he said.

More of Saleswon’s music can be heard on his Facebook page at

The People’s Choice award winner, Gordon Lizama, took home $150 for his saxophone rendition of an old gospel hymn, “His Eye Is on the Sparrow.”

Lizama played along side Dr. Nathaniel Abraham, the biology professor who accompanied Lizama on the keyboard. Abraham taught Lizama last semester in Biology 1 and they discovered each other’s abilities.

“Once he found out I played the saxophone, he suggested that we play sometime,” Lizama said. “Nothing ever came of it until now and I’m glad it did.”

Experienced musician and the fundraising award winner Buffalo Rogers brought his own style to the show, playing his own song titled “Cool off.”

Accompanied by an acoustic guitar, western attire and cowboy boots, and passionate lyrics, Rogers said he felt welcomed by the crowd.

“The audience was great,” he said. “OCCC throws a first-class party.”

Rogers plays regularly with Folk Alliance International and performs on Wednesday nights at Granddad’s Bar in Oklahoma City. He said he has recently started working on a law degree.

Rogers walked away winning $300.

The event was sold out as spectators filled more than 280 seats in the Bruce Owen Theater. Those who could not get a seat stood watching as students, faculty, and staff performed.

Eighteen contestants displayed their talents in front of four judges by singing, playing instruments, dancing, rapping, performing comedy, and even doing a routine with lighted hula-hoops.

The judges were Joey Combs from “The Joey & Heather in the Morning” radio show on WILD-FM, comedian and writer Spencer Hicks from, anchor and investigative reporter for KWTV News-9 Alex Cameron, as well as talent scout and owner of MAGNA Talent Agency Margie Madden.

Emcees were Brent Noel, theater arts professor, and Deirdre Steiner, assistant director of marketing and public relations, who introduced each performer.

The show concluded with a special guest performance by an ensemble comprised of Kodey Prewitt, the 2014 People’s Choice winner; Randy Cassimus, coordinator of alumni relations; and Michael Boyle, professor of music.

The special guest performers ended their multiple song setlist by requesting that newly appointed OCCC president, Dr. Jerry Steward, join them on stage. He provided an additional voice for a rendition of the song “Honky Tonk Woman” by the classic rock band The Rolling Stones.

Steward sang enthusiastically, showing a different side of the new president, who will take office July 2.

The night was a success, Cassimus said. as more than $4,000 was raised for the OCCC Foundation’s scholarship fund.

OCCC’s Got Talent show was sponsored by the student FAN club, for Future Alumni Network. Cassimus is the club sponsor.

For more information about the club or next year’s talent show, contact FAN club president President Lisa Lasater at or Cassimus at

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