Marcus Oatis, a native of Kansas City, discovered his love of music through his grandfather and music educator, Sylvester Heath. Under his guidance, Marcus had access to a variety of instruments until he settled on the flute in High School. At this time, he began to study with Townes Osborn Miller who was able to expound upon what he learned from his grandfather. Under her instruction, Marcus won his first competition with the Oklahoma Flute Society in which he got to study with Jimmy Walker. This accomplishment took Mr. Oatis to continue his study of music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln under the tutelage of Dr. John Bailey. During his time there, Marcus was named the 2002 Nebraska State Woodwind Competition winner for the Music National Teachers Association, the 2004 Concerto Competition Winner for the University of Nebraska where he performed the Lowell Libermann Flute Concerto, and was invited to perform the Mozart Flute Concerto in G with the Kansas City Youth Symphony.
After graduating from the University of Nebraska with a Bachelor’s in music, Marcus began a professional dance career. In 2008, Mr. Oatis joined the Kansas City Ballet as a professional ballet dancer under the direction of William Whitener. Mr. Oatis was able to perform works by esteemed choreographers such as Val Caniparoli, Bruce Marks, Peter Martins, Robert Hill, Ib Anderson, George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, and Yuri Possokhov. Mr. Oatis’ most notable roles were as the Russian in Todd Bolender’s The Nutcracker, Jessica Lang’s Splendid Isolations III, the Moor in Jose Limon’s The Moor’s Pavane, Jerome Robbins Afternoon of a Faun, and Balanchine’s Serenade. Mr. Oatis has also performed with the Owen/Cox Dance Group, Arcanium Dance Project, and Central Dance Theatre. After retiring from the stage, Mr. Oatis was appointed the Johnson County Campus Manager and later the Principal of the Lower School for Kansas City Ballet School.
In 2013, Mr. Oatis founded Providence School of Arts, a PreK – 8th grade Urban Christian School. Since its founding, Providence has served over 250 children in the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area. Marcus continues to serve as the Executive Director of the school in order to support the vision of SEEING EVERY CHILD FLOURISH. It was this vision that called Marcus out of retirement from the flute to play a solo benefit concert, Alive, to provide scholarships for students in need. Since then, you can find Marcus performing with Westwood Ensemble.