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2009 OCU Graduate Arranges Grand Finale for Macy's Parade
Rick McKee, a 2009 graduate of Oklahoma City University’s music composition program, is the arranger and orchestrator of the Grand Finale of the 83rd Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade will be broadcast live from New York City beginning 9 a.m. (Eastern) Thursday. “Rick is a phenomenal talent,” said Dr. Edward Knight, director of OCU’s composition program. “He has an amazing ability to write in any style. All his friends at Project 21 are thrilled for him. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what he will be doing five or 10 years from now. His future in the field is limitless.” McKee is an alumnus of Project 21 new music consortium of composers at OCU’s Bass School of Music. He worked as a freelance arranger and composer while an undergraduate, and worked full-time for Orlando-based The Imagination House last summer. After graduation in May, McKee relocated to Florida to accept a position as associate music producer for The Imagination House. While still a student, McKee raised his profile by composing the theme song for a popular Disney fan website, “Visions Fantastic.” Through the site, Jonathan Barr -- McKee’s favorite Disney composer since he was very young -- discovered his music and asked McKee to write a piece for the Disney Cruise Line. McKee has now written music for Macy’s, SeaWorld, Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, Walt Disney World and a variety of other clients worldwide. At OCU, McKee composed and scored the music for the independent movie "Unsolved;” composed and produced music for the Jenks, Oklahoma centennial celebration; wrote an arrangement for country music star Bryan White; composed for the Miss Oklahoma Pageant and for the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. McKee's current project is taking him to record at Skywalker Sound, on George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch compound near San Francisco.