OKCPHIL’s first-ever album release.
Like so many beloved staples in the 405, the OKC Philharmonic is experiencing a creative renaissance. Even though it was founded in 1988 and has been producing classical music since that time, this month the OKCPHIL will release its first-ever CD: Of Thee I Sing.
The album was released under Naxos, the premier record label for recorded classical music. This is Naxos label’s fifth in its ongoing series devoted to the music of Baltimore-based composer Jonathan Leshnoff, who collaborated with the OKC Philharmonic and its music director Maestro Alexander Mickelthwate. According to Mickelthwate, “the works by Leshnoff selected for this recording reflect our communal need for musical expressions of remembrance, memorialization and hopefulness. ‘Of Thee I Sing’ marks the 25th anniversary of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.”
The album’s release was delayed because of the pandemic, but it was finally recorded in 2022 and is being promoted by notable Oklahomans such as Governor Frank Keating and Kari Watkins, president and CEO of the OKC National Memorial and Museum.
Building upon the recent additions of new Executive Director Brent Hart and Marketing Director Mark Beutler, and the board and Maestro’s eagerness to reach an expanded audience, the OKCPhil is riding a fresh wave of energy. The philharmonic has recently collaborated with percussionist Evelyn Glennie, notable rapper Jabee and broadway legend Kristin Chenoweth.
Their combined efforts have helped tie together the deep traditions of classical music and historical happenings with the modern revitalization of the music scene and culture in Oklahoma City.