OK Mozart International Music Festival is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Randall Thompson as its Interim Executive Director. Thompson succeeds Laura Cunningham, who served in that capacity since April, following the departure of Shane Jewell to the Oklahoma City Ballet.
Dr. Thompson was raised in the Washington, D.C. suburbs of Maryland and received Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctor’s degrees in music from the University of Maryland. Although a clarinet major, he also studied the organ during the school year and at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J. during the summer.
He became Professor of Music at the College of Charleston in South Carolina in 1974, where he headed the instrumental music division. While in Charleston he also was principal clarinet and Assistant Conductor of the Charleston Symphony, Music Director of the Charleston Opera Company, and Music Director of the Spoleto Festival All-State Youth Orchestra. He was a finalist in the East-West International Artists competition in New York City and Third Prize Winner in the National Orchestral Conducting Competition in Lacrosse, Wisconsin in 1981. He currently plays principal clarinet in the Bartlesville Symphony.
Dr. Thompson’s first experience in fundraising came while president of the board of the opera company. Taking the helm when the company was near foreclosure, he led the organization back to sound financial footing.
He came to Bartlesville in 1985, eventually becoming a Diaconal Minister in the Oklahoma United Methodist Church. Since 1998 he has been full-time professor of music at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, serving as Department Coordinator, Humanities Division chair, Associate Dean for Academic Assessment, and recently retired as Vice President for Development.
Dr. Thompson’s involvement with OK Mozart began in 1987, since then serving on various committees, promoting OKM in the schools as well as on radio and television. During the annual Festival he has given numerous lectures and concerts, often dressed in period costume.
He has been actively involved in the community, serving on the boards of the Bartlesville Choral Society, Community Concerts Association and Habitat for Humanity. He has been a Rotarian since 1990.