The Norman Transcript


March 28, 2014

Cimarron Opera to host 45th annual festival

NORMAN — Cimarron Opera will host the 45th annual Festival of Spirituals at 6 p.m. April 13 at the First Presbyterian Church of Norman, 555 S. University Blvd. The festival will feature traditional African American spirituals.

In 1970, shortly after moving to Norman, Cimarron Opera founders Carol Brice and Thomas Carey hosted the first Festival of Spirituals.

The voices of Northern Oklahoma College Choir, under the direction of Brandon Haynes, and the First Presbyterian Church youth choir, directed by Susie Jones, will be featured along with vocalists from surrounding universities and communities. Participating are veteran Cimarron Opera vocalists Marcy Gonzales, Haynes and Ansley Elliot, University of Oklahoma faculty members Donna Cox and Mervin Tay, the Boulevard Brass Quintet and Langston University’s Bonita Franklin.

Vocalists include Ciara Reese, Katelyn Abello, Robin Whittaker, Taylor Varner, Meagan Medor and Shannon Bradford.

The Festival of Spirituals is a Cimarron Opera original program and has inspired audiences for more than four decades. For the last 20 years, Cimarron Opera’s Music Director Kevin W. Smith has helped lead, guide and develop The Festival of Spirituals into the fixture of the Norman Arts community.

There is no charge for admission. Contributions will be accepted.

For more information, call 364-8962.

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