TUESDAY, JANUARY 26
Nearly $5,000 was raised for Haitian earthquake relief efforts at an hour-long benefit concert held by Canterbury Choral Society at the Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel at Oklahoma City University.
The Jan. 24 “Music of Comfort: Haitian Relief Concert,” organized by Canterbury Choral Society, raised $4,643 for the American Red Cross. “We had a full house,” said Judith Willoughby, OCU’s Wanda L. Bass Professor of Conducting and Choral Music Education and artistic director of the Canterbury Youth Choruses.
Elizabeth Harrison, university organist, provided a prelude and organ music during the offertory. All levels of Canterbury Choral Society and Canterbury Youth Choruses performed, as did singers from Harding Fine Arts Academy. Canterbury's adult chorus sang "Alleluia" by Ralph Manuel, an Oklahoman native and OCU graduate whose arrangement was premiered by Canterbury following the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The work has since become a choral staple across the United States.
The finale featured all choruses singing John Rutter's "The Lord Bless You and Keep You."
The choruses performed under the direction of Willoughby and Randi Von Ellefson, OCU’s director of choral activities and artistic director of Canterbury Choral Society. ?“One hundred percent of the donations go to the effort – nothing goes to Canterbury,” Ellefson said. Also conducting were Judy Havens, Canterbury education coordinator, and J. Warren Mitchell, an OCU master’s candidate in conducting.
Canterbury Choral Society has a history of partnering with relief efforts in disaster-stricken areas, said Kay E. Holt, executive director. In 2005, Canterbury dedicated 10 percent of its season ticket sales toward Hurricane Katrina relief.