OK Mozart Festival’s 30th Anniversary Season Kicks Off Lots of Hoopla
BARTLESVILLE — The OK Mozart International Festival, a legendary phenomenon in American music festival history, will launch its 30th season the week of June 7-14, with a colossal kickoff celebration.
“We have planned a free and open-to-the-public star-studded event,” says Executive Director, Dr. Randy Thompson. “It begins inside the Bartlesville Community Center at 6 p.m. with a resounding performance by the 145th Army Guard Concert Band.
Following that, the Opening Night Celebration progresses across the street to the Earl Sears Park for a grand outdoor gathering with live radio and television broadcasts, prize drawings, giveaways, clowns and face painting for the kids, lots of tasty food – and live music by the Corky Davis Swing Band.
But that’s just the start. As the sun sets and the younger set is ready for bedtime, the adult sector of the population will move just a couple blocks over to the corner of Second Street and Dewey for a free and open-to-the-public outdoor block party sponsored by Frank & Lola’s Neighborhood Restaurant and Bar. There, under the stars, they’ll relax in lawn chairs to enjoy OKM’s Triple Block Party featuring the live music of Joe Sundell, Loves it! and Ramsay Midwood.
“In an age when prices can prohibit so many people from enjoying the arts, OK Mozart makes it a practice to provide a number of concerts for the whole community. This year we have increased our scope of free offerings to include the “Shakespeare in the Park” production of Romeo and Juliet, as well as the free BCC concert by the 145th Army Band,” commented Dr. Thompson.
“OK Mozart does this, not as a marketing effort, but rather as a means to counter the cultural trend that bypasses live performances in favor of digital forms of entertainment. Once experienced, live performance is hard to forget. We consider our efforts a kind of artistic ‘evangelism.’ We look forward to presenting one of the most exciting seasons ever in OK Mozart’s history,” he says.
Charlie Daniels, Chairman of the OKM Board, added, “It’s our gift to the community in return for all the things the community gives to us.”
WHAT ELSE DOES OK MOZART HAVE TO OFFER?
• The first concert of the season will feature the newly formed OK Mozart All-State Youth Orchestra. For the first time in Oklahoma, 60 of its finest young musicians will play side by side with some of the world’s greatest professional musicians — members of the Amici New York orchestra in a joint performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 “Titan”.
• Another brilliant offering will be a cross-over concert pairing Grammy Award nominee, 22-year-old singer-songwriter Sarah Jarosz, with members of the Amici New York orchestra. Jarosz’s music creates sonic atmospheres that shimmer with equal parts acoustic majesty and electrifying mystery, transforming them into contemporary music for young and old alike.
• Another glittering highlight will be the Amici New York orchestra and Bartlesville Choral Society performing Mozart’s opera, “The Magic Flute”, featuring hand-picked gifted soloists auditioned from throughout Oklahoma.
• This year’s Festival features four major nighttime concerts at the Bartlesville Community Center, plus an evening of Classical Chamber Music at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church featuring the Miró Quartet and renowned pianist Jon Kimura Parker.
• The annual Woolaroc Outdoor Concert on Friday night will offer a rousing repertoire of patriotic favorites played by the Amici New York orchestra topped off with Tchaikovky’s 1812 Overture accompanied by the sounds of cannons and the visual thrill of fireworks.
• In addition to its acclaimed classical and chamber music series, OK Mozart also offers a variety of jazz, pops and Broadway show tunes through its program of daytime Showcase Events, which are offered June 8-14. These include a variety of mini-concerts, talks, tours, demonstrations and art exhibits that are offer either FREE or at a very nominal charge.
More information is available by calling 918-336-9900, and tickets can be purchased by phone or online at www.okmozart.com.