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About Us

Mission, Core Beliefs and Values

The Wanda L. Bass School of Music prides itself on fostering a creative environment that encourages exploration and collaboration. Faculty members at Oklahoma City University are active musicians and scholars whose first priority is teaching and mentoring. Performance opportunities abound with more than 250 events staged throughout the academic year, ranging from solo recitals to full-scale choral and orchestral works, as well as six opera and music theater productions. Few schools have produced so many graduates who excel across the musical spectrum, as performers, educators, and composers. Fewer still have had alumni recognized with Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Awards. Only one institution from that elite company is an all-Steinway school and an Apple Digital Campus that has been honored by ASCAP with its prestigious national orchestral award for adventurous programming of contemporary music.

The School of Music provides a professional education within the liberal arts curriculum and develops musicians equipped to make significant artistic contributions to society. Critical thinking, open inquiry, and artistic expression are fostered through the study of traditional intellectual disciplines and applied skills. Our degree programs stress virtuosic versatility – integrating performance skills, music scholarship, pedagogy, and professionalism – to prepare students for music careers in the 21st century.

The School of Music has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) since 1944, and Oklahoma City University is accredited in education by the National Council of Accreditation for Teacher Education (NCATE).

Our Mission

The School of Music provides a professional education within the liberal arts curriculum and develops musicians equipped to make significant artistic contributions to society. Critical thinking, open inquiry, and artistic expression are fostered through the study of traditional intellectual disciplines and applied skills.

Core Beliefs & Values


We believe in an education that is student-driven. We believe that priorities and resource allocation should reflect what is best for the student. We believe that effective student learning includes ongoing feedback and the demonstration of learned skills. Our success is demonstrated by the professional achievements of our students and alumni.


We believe that our discipline requires lifelong learning and that this concept must be – and is – demonstrated to students through public performances, scholarship and professional development. While our faculty is performance oriented, we believe all faculty must be teachers first and foremost. We believe faculty should be caring and involved in the educational and professional development of their students.


We believe in service to a global community. We believe that serving the community through music helps students become sensitive to and have respect for changing and diverse communities. We strive to educate students in their responsibility of service to the community now and in the future.


We believe that the process of music making is organic. We prepare versatile students who can succeed in an ever-changing marketplace.


Since opening in 2006, the $38.5-million, 113,000-square-foot Bass Music Center addition of the Bass School has hosted artists and educators from around the world, including the International Society of Bassists; the National Association of Teachers of Singing; the Society of Composers, Inc.; and the NEA-sponsored Arts Education Partnership. This world-class facility, built to the highest acoustical standards, features 60 practice rooms, 40 teaching studios, high-tech music labs, ensemble rehearsal rooms and a black box theater.The Bass Music Center is an unprecedented creative collaboration between musicians and acousticians, architects and network designers, craftsmen and visionaries. This joyful synergy created a place inspired by a dream: a dream to build the world's finest facility for teaching music. It is an inspiration built to inspire; a finely crafted instrument designed for students and faculty, beckoning them to grow beyond their imagination.

Bass Music Center Quick Facts

  • 1 Black-box Theater
  • 5 Music Labs
  • 6 Ensemble Rehearsal Rooms
  • 11 Recording Venues
  • 21st Century Apple Digital Campus
  • 38 Teaching Studios
  • 60 Sound-isolated Practice Rooms
  • 133 Steinway Pianos
  • 210 New Conn-Selmer Instruments
  • 319 Students
  • 113,000 Square Feet
  • Architect: Beck Associates
  • Gen. Contractor: Manhattan Construction
  • Acoustics: Kirkegaard Associates


21st Century Milestones at Bass School of Music

The Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University is an international leader in the fusion of arts, technology, and creativity. In the 21st century, the historic Bass School has doubled its square footage, to more than 200,000, become an all-Steinway School, the nation's first Conn-Selmer School, and an Apple Digital Campus. Since opening in 2006, the $38.5 million, 113,000-square-foot Bass Music Center has hosted artists and educators from around the world, including the International Society of Bassists, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the Society of Composers, Inc., and the NEA-sponsored Arts Education Partnership.

World premiere of the American opera The Vaudevillian — inspired by the life of Rosa Ponselle and with book and music by — is presented in Kirkpatrick Auditorium Feb. 16-18, with a cast of 16 under the direction of Dr David Herendeen and 37-piece pit orchestra, directed by Prof. Jan McDaniel.

OCU’s Oklahoma Opera and Music Theater Company’s regional premiere of the American opera Dark Sisters is awarded first place in the National Opera Association’s Production Competition at the national convention in New Orleans. The show — presented February 17-19, 2017 — was directed by Dr. David Herendeen, with Dr. Matthew Mailman musical director. The honor brings the Bass School's total National Opera Association awards to six in the past five years.

Prof. Michael Anderson and the Bass School hosts the first-ever regional conference of the International Trumpet Guild. The Jan. 26-27 event featured performances from the Frontier Brass Band, Oklahoma City Jazz Orchestra and guest artist Vince DiMartino.

The University Singers perform as collegiate choral honor ensemble, under the direction of Prof. Tony Gonzalez, at the Jan. 19 headline vocal concert at the 2018 Oklahoma Music Educators Association convention in Tulsa.

In a new partnership with England’s Edge Hill University,  the 2018 Great Britain/Great Plains Composers’ Exchange Competition is won by former Project 21 President Hannah Sapphire Helbig. Snake skins, her winning work for six-piano ensemble, is presented April 18 by London-based Piano Circus. Pianists from the studio of Dr. Sergio Monteiro present all eight OCU finalist works in the school’s first-ever concert for six pianos.

London's Crypt Gallery presented the European debut of "Oklahoma," a multimedia exhibition featuring images by M.J. Alexander accompanied by soundscapes by Dr. Edward Knight. The Jan. 11-13 installation incorporates Knight's chamber works with audio recorded in remote Oklahoma locations to create sound worlds designed for the Crypt’s atmospheric labyrinth.

Prof. Jeffrey Grogan conducts his 10th concert in Carnegie Hall, leading the High School Honors Symphony on Feb. 4 from the podium of the Ronald O. Perelman Stage in Stern Auditorium.

The centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth is commemorated by the OCU Symphony Orchestra performing West Side Story Symphonic Dances, the OCU Wind Philharmonic performing Three Dances from On the Town, and the OCU Oklahoma Opera and Music Theatre Company’s season-finale musical, On the Town.

Bass School alumni performing and rehearsing on Broadway include Abby C. Smith in SpongeBob; Jennifer Sanchez and Darius Wright in Pretty Woman, premiering in Chicago before heading to Broadway for an Aug. 16 opening; Wes Hart and Molly Rushing in Anastasia; and Colin Anderson, in the revival of Carousel

Jeffery Grogan is appointed director of orchestral activities and artistic director of the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras and director of the OCU Symphony Orchestra. Previously, he led education and community engagement for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and was conductor and artistic director of the Greater Newark Youth Orchestras, the InterSchool Orchestras of New York, and the New Jersey Youth Symphony. He is a former associate director of bands at University of Michigan and marching band director at Baylor University. 

Renowned conductor Gerard Schwarz leads master classes, conducts the OCU Symphony Orchestra, and presents a multimedia retrospective of lessons learned in his decades as an innovator on the podium, drawing upon his new book “Behind the Baton,” his extensive recording catalogue, newly released 30 CD boxed set, and his current work with The All-Star Orchestra and Khan Academy that encourages a greater understanding and enjoyment of classical music at all levels.

The Bass School hosts President Xu of the Tianjin Conservatory in February for his first visit to Oklahoma City University, which has been invited to send performers to the Tianjin Conservatory’s 2017 International May Festival.

The pioneering after-school music program El Sistema Oklahoma — led by Board of Directors Chair Cathy Busey and Vice-Chair Phil G. Busey, Sr.; Dr. Micahel Raiber, director of teacher support and program evaluation; and alumna Robyn Hilger, executive director — is the first Oklahoma organization to be awarded a partnership with Carnegie Hall with PlayUSA, an initiative of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. 

Nico Muhly, the youngest composer to be commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera, comes to campus for a weeklong residency before the Oklahoma premiere of his opera Dark Sisters, Feb. 17-19.

The King and I features four Bass School alumni: Jerry Steichen as music director and performers Manna Nichols, Nicole Ferguson and Heather Botts in the cast. The production is booked through August 2017.

The Oklahoma City Jazz Orchestra, co-founded by Profs. Michael Anderson and John Allen, makes its OCU debut with 2017 Grammy nominee Bob Mintzer Jan. 16 on the Petree stage.

Dean Mark Parker opens the 2016-17 year announcing 381 music majors at the Bass School of Music, the second-largest enrollment on record. Of those, 138 are new freshmen, transfer and graduate students, representing 27 states and three nations.

Celebrating its 65th consecutive season, OCU’s Oklahoma Opera and Music Theater Company earns awards three awards in the 2016 National Opera Association Production Competition. Honored are Jackie O (Dr. David Herendeen director, Prof. Chuck Koslowske, conductor), Don Pasquale (Herendeen director, Prof. Jan McDaniel, conductor) and Evita (Herendeen/McDaniel). The honors mark the first time one director has won three awards in a single season.

 An OCU contingent led by Dean Mark Parker and Dr. David Herendeen and including music theater majors Morgan Haney, Alexandra Hebert, Walker Degerness, Liza Clark, and Stephanie Feeback traveled to Tianjin, China, where they led workshops and presented Heart to Heart: A Broadway Showcase, a 70-minute revue for anniversary celebrations at Pearl River College. The event, which also included OCU students performing as part of a Chinese production of Mamma Mia, was preceded by two summer workshops at the Tianjin Conservatory of Music.

 Sixteen music theater majors join Tony- and Emmy-winning alumna Kristin Chenoweth Nov. 13 at NYC's historic Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, making their Broadway debut performing in the grand finale of Kristin Chenoweth: My Love Letter to Broadway!

 Professor Emerita and alumna Florence Birdwell receives an honorary doctorate March 19 in a ceremony that includes a visit from and remarks by Kristin Chenoweth.

Dr. Erik Heine, professor of music theory and author of the 2016 book James Newton Howard’s Signs: A Film Score Guide, runs more than 71 miles in 12 hours during an Oct. 22 ultra marathon fundraiser to establish an endowed scholarship for OCU music students.

 Dr. Cory Gavito, associate professor of musicology on 2016-17 sabbatical as the Melville J. Kahn Fellow at Villa I Tatti, The Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence, Italy, publishes his research -- “Quasi industre giardiniero”: Giovanni Stefani’s Amorosi Anthologies and Their Concordant Sources -- in The Journal of Musicology, Vol. 33, No. 4.

 Prof. John Schimek is named president-elect of the International Society of Bassists and of the Oklahoma chapter of the American String Teachers Association.

 Dr. Sergio Monteiro is featured in recitals and master classes during summer and fall tours of China, serving as judge at the 2016 Boya Piano Festival in Suzhou, performing in Tianjin, and being guest artist at the Guangxi Arts Institute.  Earlier in the year, Monteiro, an international Steinway artist and OCU’s director of piano, celebrates Decca Records’ release of OSWALD, a recording of his performances of works written by the once-banned Brazilian composer Henrique Oswald, with a CD release concert Feb. 5 in Petree Recital Hall.

 Emmy- and Grammy-winning alumnus Mason Williams, the acclaimed guitarist/composer best known for his iconic Classical Gas, returns as keynote speaker at the Oklahoma History Center, discussing his creative process. He performs Oct. 28 accompanied by the OCU Guitar Ensemble, led by Prof. Matt Denman, a fellow alumnus.

The world premiere of Edward Knight’s new work, RUMBLE, commissioned by the 2016 CODA Symphonic Honor Band and inspired by Oklahoma’s earthquakes, is featured on the front page of The Oklahoman and makes national news on the pages of USA Today. Also in January, Dr. Eric Garcia leads the Oklahoma Youth Orchestra in the UTAH movement of Knight’s Windows to the West symphonic suite.

 Dr. Dave Easley wins the Society for Music Theory Popular Music Interest Group’s 2015-16 Adam Krims Award, for best publication involving the theory or analysis of popular music written by a junior scholar, for an article on“Riff Schemes, Form, and the Genre of Early American Hardcore Punk (1978–83).” He and music majors Celia Tedde and Tom Hoblin travel to Seattle over fall break to host a roundtable discussion of alternative curriculum design at the 2016 Annual Conference of the National Collegiate Honors Council.

Alumna and OCU Faculty String Quartet violinist Angelica Pereira is named Outstanding Musician of the Year by the Hispanic Arts Council of Oklahoma.

Alumnus composer Jay Wadley, former president of Project 21: Music for the Twenty First Century and co-founder of Found Objects Music Productions, creates the score for The OA, a Netflix original series. His score for James Schamus’ directorial debut, an adaption of  Philip Roth’s Indignation, is included in several top-10 cinema lists for 2016, with IndieWire calling his music “brilliant” and “achingly beautiful,” noting "Jay Wadley may be the most exciting 'new' composer to enter the fray in 2016...It’s hard to overstate how exciting it is to hear a young composer write such a rich score in a traditional vein.”

Birdwell studio alumnae Kristin Chenoweth and Kelli O’Hara are nominated for the 2015 Tony Award in the Leading Actress in a Musical category: Chenoweth for her portrayal of Lily Garland in On the Twentieth Century and O’Hara for her rendition of Anna Leonowens in The King and I. The Tony nominations are Chenoweth’s third and the sixth for O’Hara, who is announced as the winner June 7 during a live national broadcast co-hosted by Chenoweth.

Tony winner Kelli O'Hara ’98 returns to OCU on Nov. 30 to accept her honorary Doctor of Humane Letters before assembled music students and faculty in Petree Recital Hall.

Dean Mark Parker celebrates his 25th year at Oklahoma City University, continuing as a member of the executive committee of Creative Oklahoma, which hosts the 2015 Creativity World Forum.

Partnerships between the Bass School of Music and community arts organizations bring two Tony-winning guest artists to campus: 

  • Two-time Tony winner Patti LuPone, who featured three dozen OCU students in her concert Coulda, Shoulda Woulda Played That Part, talked of her career in a two-hour Q-and-A on the Petree stage, co-sponsored by the Bass School, TheatreOCU and CityRep.
  •  Tony winner Jason Alexander, who met with students throughout the day, led an afternoon master class to a packed Petree Recital Hall, and an evening Q-and-A when in town for performances with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.
  • May 21-23: Great Plains Regional Tuba-Euphonium Conference, hosted by Dr. Ryan Robinson
  • June 8-16: The Caledonia Romero Guitar Institute, hosted by Prof. Matt Denman
  • June 17-20: The Great Plains International Marimba Competition, hosted by alumnus Dane Romano.
  • June 23-28: 2015 Guitar Foundation of America Convention, hosted by Prof. Matt Denman

Maestro Gerard Schwarz — former music director of Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival and of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the New York Chamber Symphony — makes his debut as an OCU guest artist in November. He is a mentor to Dr. Eric Garcia, music director of the OCU Symphony Orchestra.

Dr. Kate Pritchett, associate professor of horn, is appointed principal horn with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, becoming the first-ever women to hold a principal position in the ensemble’s brass section.

The Oklahoman gives front-page coverage to the Oklahoma City University Symphony Orchestra's Feb. 20 world premiere of Windows to the West, at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. The 35-minute symphonic suite was commissioned from Dr. Edward Knight in honor of the museum’s 50th anniversary and conducted by Prof. Benjamin Nilles beneath the museum’s massive triptychs of scenes of the American West, by Wilson Hurley.

Also in The Oklahoman: a rave review for the April 12 performance of Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin! The "collaboration with the Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City that featured Canterbury, Oklahoma City University’s Chamber Choir and University Singers, four soloists and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, could not have been more impressive.”

Dr. Sophia Ro presents solo violin recitals in October at San Francisco State University and in December at Il Shin Hall in Seoul, South Korea.

Dr. Anna Resnick Henson earns her DMA in Bassoon Performance with a dissertation focusing on alumna Betty Johnson, a 37-year veteran of the OCU music faculty.

Second-year graduate student Tevyn Hill, a member of the studio of Dr. Catherine McDaniel, becomes the first Oklahoma City University vocalist to be named Singer of the Year, at the 2015 Texoma NATS competition.

The University Chamber Choir, under the direction of Randi Von Ellefson, and the OCU Wind Philharmonic, under the direction of Dr. Matthew Mailman, perform as collegiate honor ensembles at the January 2015 Oklahoma Music Educators Association conference in Tulsa.

The Bass School hosts four spring conventions:

The Bass School of Music was ranked No. 1 in College Music Central’s 2015 ranking of Top Ten Hidden Gem Music Schools, drawn from the nation’s 625 accredited music schools and departments. The listing defines a hidden gem as “alternatives for students wishing to expand their palette of options, schools that may not be as talked about as the Juilliards and Berklees of the world, but still elite, excellent, and comparable to any other top school in the entire country.”

On Broadway, Jeremy Hays nears his 2 1/2 year anniversary portraying Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny, in Broadway’s longest-running show, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA; Jennifer Sanchez joined the cast of the musical ON YOUR FEET!; Alyssa Fox signed to join the Broadway company of WICKED The Musical as Elphaba standby; Manna Nichols and Belinda Allyn continued in the George Takei musical ALLEGIANCE; Ian Gibb was featured on the cast recording of THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME.

The class of the new 22-city North American tour for THE WIZARD OF OZ features three music theater alumnae: Maggie Spicer '14, Kaley Were '15 and Amy Button ’15, while Lori Lusted (MM ’11) booked the role of Vi Petty in the international touring company of THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY; Darius Wright continued on the national tour of MATILDA; Keith Hines (starring as Nick Massi) and Wes Hart (swing, fight captain, assistant dance captain) led a master class on campus during the Oklahoma City stop of the national tour of JERSEY BOYS.

Dean Mark Parker comments to The Oklahoman after Oklahoma City University Oklahoma Opera and Music Theater Company won its second first-place award in three years from the National Opera Association: "We've been a powerhouse opera program for decades — I've been here 24 years, and the opera program was strong decades before that — and it just really makes us proud that we'd be selected as the best production in our category for the whole country.”

Viewers from around the world tune in for regular live streaming of Bass School of Music ensemble concerts and faculty recitals from Petree Recital Hall. The free broadcasts began late in 2013, featuring enhanced audio technology and HD cameras underwritten by philanthropists Phil and Cathy Busey.

For the first time in Oklahoma City University history, the OCU’s Outstanding Faculty and both professors honored for teaching by OCU's Center For Excellence in Teaching and Learning are members of  the music faculty. Dr. Frank Ragsdale is 2014 CETL winner for teaching excellence among full-time faculty; Prof. Jake Johnson is 2014 CETL winner for adjunct faculty. Dr. David Steffens, director of percussion since 1997 and the Bass School’s graduate adviser, is the University’s 2014 Outstanding Faculty of the Year, as selected by a panel of past winners, succeeding 2013 winner Dr. Edward Knight, also of the Bass School.

The April 24-27 season finale presentation of South Pacific marks the OCU Opera and Music Theater Company’s first co-production with the alumni-founded Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre. The musical will feature Equity actors -- including alumna Tiffan Borelli and co-star Christopher Carl, from the recent Broadway revival -- with OCU students and musicians.

Guest artist Yo-Yo Ma teams with Prof. Tomasz Zieba, associate principal cellist of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, April 5 to perform the duet in the second movement of Schumann's Concerto in A Minor at the Civic Center Music Hall.

Dr. Kelly Holst wins the 2014 regional National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Awards in Fort Worth. She advances to the national semifinals, to be held in July in Boston.

Prof. Matthew Denman hosts the 2014 Romero Guitar Institute at OCU, featuring students from Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Russia and across the United States.

The Oklahoma City Symphonic Band presents the world premiere of Beneath a Cinnamon Moon, composed by Dr. Edward Knight, founder of OCU's Project 21: Music for the 21st Century. The work is dedicated to Dr. Mark Belcik, associate dean, who conducted.

The Bass School offers its first instruction in video-game music as renowned film and video game composer Chance Thomas teaches a three-credit Maymaster intensive May 13-21 on the technology, art and business of composing music for video games. He is the creator of music for blockbuster games including The Hobbit, Avatar, Dungeons & Dragons, Lord of the Rings and King Kong.

Dr. Erik Heine’s findings on "Musical Rebirth in Fearless and The Truman Show" are published in the new edition of the Journal of Religion and Film, from University of Nebraska-Omaha. He and Dr. Cory Gavito made presentations this month at a joint conference of The Society for Ethnomusicology and the American Musicological Society at University of Texas.

  • Bass School of Music joins forces with Canterbury Choral Society to present the Oklahoma premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s MASS at the Civic Center Music Hall. Rick Rogers in THE OKLAHOMAN declared the April 13 milestone event "one of the most satisfying musical achievements in this community's history." The sell-out audience included the composer’s daughter, Jamie Bernstein, and original orchestrator Jonathan Tunick -- winner of an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award -- who on April 16 was awarded his first-ever honorary degree, by Oklahoma City University. Bernstein was keynote speaker at the OCU-hosted El Sistema Symposium.
  • Tony- and Emmy-winning alumna Kristin Chenoweth receives honorary degree at May commencement.
  • Dr. Edward Knight becomes first music professor to be named OCU’s Outstanding Faculty of the Year.

  • World premiere of restored 1920 silent movie DAUGHTER OF DAWN, featuring a cast of 300 and Kiowa and Comanche actors and the OCU Symphony Orchestra performing film soundtrack.
  • Alumni Kelli O’Hara and Ron Raines were nominated for 2012 Tony Awards as best featured actress/actor in a musical. O’Hara was nominated for originating the role of Billie Bendix in Nice Work If You Can Get It, and Raines was honored for his portrayal of Ben Stone in the revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies.
  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band kicks off 2012-13 Distinguished Artists series with sold-out performance in Petree Recital Hall.
  • Project 21: Music for the 21st Century, OCU’s new music group, premieres 900th OCU-created work since its founding in 1997.
  • Oklahoma City University celebrates its fifth anniversary of Music Theater Showcases for recent graduates in New York City, hosted on Broadway over the years by OCU alumni Kelli O’Hara, Stacy Logan, Destan Owens, and Ron Raines.
  • Six piano majors – Tracy Chan, Yu Ning Huang and Shalon Lin of Taiwan; Ophelia Shan and Feng Li of China; and Kevin Lie of Oklahoma City – selected to perform in four-hour master class by renowned pianist and educator Nelita True, followed the next month by a recital and master class by Van Cliburn gold medal winner Stanislav Ioudienitch.

  • For the first time in 28 years, one trumpeter wins two competitions at the International Trumpet Guild's annual convention. Ryan Beach '10 is 2011 winner of both the 2011 ITG Solo and the ITG Orchestral Excerpts competitions.
  • Jay Wadley -- alumnus composer, ex-president of Project 21: Music for the Twenty First Century, and co-founder of Found Objects Music Productions – is awarded a 2011 Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
  • More than 350 Bass School singers and orchestral musicians join forces for Berlioz’s Requiem; performance commercially recorded as CD and DVD.
  • Bass School celebrates 60th anniversary of Oklahoma Opera and Music Theater Company.

  • Bass School presents inaugural six-concert Distinguished Artist Series, debuting with organist Louise Bass and concluding with pianist Vladimir Feltsman.
  • Master classes for year include artists ranging from Midori to Kristin Chenoweth.

  • OCU, Poland’s Padereweski Academy co-sponsor international composition competition.
  • OCU hosts annual convention of Society of Composers, Inc., performing 72 new works in three days; invited to host national SCI convention.
  • Washington National Opera names Sarah Coburn (MM ’01) 2009 Artist of the Year.
  • Kristin Chenoweth autobiography, A Little Bit Wicked, makes New York Times bestseller list.

  • Ann Hundley Hoover endowed chair established for dean of Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University.
  • The Bass School of Music signs partnership with Poland’s I.J. Paderewski Music Academy to begin cultural exchange with faculty and performers.
  • Oklahoma Music Teachers Association relocates annual 2,000-musician state achievement auditions to Bass School of Music.
  • Texoma National Association of Teachers of Singing holds competition at Bass School of Music.
  • Project 21: Music for the 21st Century, OCU’s new music group, premieres 750th OCU-created work since its founding in 1997.

  • Oklahoma City University hosts more than 1,000 musicians at first-ever international conference: International Society of Bassists.
  • Mark Parker becomes world’s first academic dean to be named an Apple Distinguished Educator.
  • Bass School of Music hosts National Endowment for the Arts symposium, “Arts Education in 21st Century America," under auspices of Arts Education Partnership. Featured speaker on the arts and technology: Mark Parker.
  • Broadcast Music, Inc., (BMI) presents alumnus Mason Williams with Citation of Achievement as his composition, Classical Gas, named BMI’s top instrumental composition, logging more than six million broadcast performances.
  • Alumni, including Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth and three-time Tony nominee Kelli O’Hara, join forces for Civic Center fundraiser for endowed faculty chair in honor of OCU’s legendary Professor Florence Birdwell.

  • Wanda L. Bass Music Center opens April 1, doubling facilities of music school with 106,000-square-foot, $38.5 million addition.

  • Bass School appoints first endowed chairs.
  • Bass School of Music becomes an All-Apple Campus.
  • Kelli O’Hara (BM ’97) lands first of three consecutive Tony Award nominations.
  • Faculty musicians and alumna Marquita Lister record OCU-created works on university’s first commercial CD: Where the Sunsets Bleed, released by Albany Records.

  • Music school officially adopts new name: Wanda L. Bass School of Music.
  • OCU Symphony Orchestra represents United States at “Meet at Beijing” International Arts Festival, kicking off historic 18-day tour of China.
  • Bass School of Music becomes world’s first Conn-Selmer School.
  • Kristin Chenoweth (BM '91; MM '93) nominated for second Tony Award

  • Bass School of Music signs partnership agreement with Tianjin Conservatory of Music, China.
  • Bass School of Music celebrates 10th anniversary of partnership with HED School of Music, Tel Aviv, Israel.
  • Ron Raines (BM ’75) receives first of three Emmy Award nominations.

  • School earns All-Steinway designation with record-breaking purchase of 105 Steinway pianos.
  • Groundbreaking begins on Wanda L. Bass Music Center.
  • Percussion Ensemble makes Civic Center debut, performing with Ballet Oklahoma and Canterbury Choral Society.

  • Oklahoma City University formalizes partnership establishing shared choral artistic director with Canterbury Choral Society.
  • Bass School hosts Summit on the Future of American Music Theater, featuring industry leaders and showcase for new works.
  • Bass School celebrates golden anniversary of Oklahoma Opera and Music Theater Company with commission and premiere of main stage musical, Night of the Comets.
  • Graduate student Sarah Coburn (MM ’01) is National Grand Finalist in the nationally broadcast Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
  • OCU Flute Choir performs at National Flute Association Convention.

  • ASCAP and the American Symphony Orchestra League present the Oklahoma City University Symphony Orchestra with the National Adventurous Programming Award, recognizing its commitment to new music.
  • Gerald Steichen (BM ’86) conducts grand finale 7,485th performance of CATS on Broadway.
  • OCU alumni Barbara Fox DeMaio, Beverly Hoch, Kristin Chenoweth, Leona Mitchell and Lara Teeter return for season-long Golden Recital Series, celebrating 50 years of Oklahoma Opera and Music Theater Company.



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