By Shana Adkisson
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Sunday evening, First Baptist Church will once again host its Patriotic Celebration.
Hosted annually, “An American Salute: Let Freedom Ring” will feature 85 choir and orchestra members at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the church, 211 W. Comanche St. The free concert also will feature guest soloists Emily Drennan and Alan H. Green.
Drennan, a member of First Baptist Church since she was 4-years-old, will travel from New York for the concert.
She has been a guest soloist at Carnegie Hall and with NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra with Sandi Patty, OKC Philharmonic, Hendersonville Symphony and the upcoming Tulsa Symphony.
She is a published ASCAP lyricist, composer, studio singer and recording artist and a summa cum laude graduate from Oklahoma State University. She can be heard on various TV toy commercials and her double disc debut album “Two-Way Street.”
Green attended Rice University on a football scholarship to become a lawyer but ended up graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in vocal performance.
He had a music ministry where he sang worldwide for different religious events, including the national prayer breakfast for former President George Bush Sr. and years later at the White House for former President Bill Clinton.
After graduation at Rice, Green sang for eight months as a cruise ship entertainer before moving to New York.
Drennan and Green have performed on and off Broadway.
Sunday’s celebration will be about an hour long, according to Patti Drennan, music and worship arts director at First Baptist Church and mother to Emily. Songs performed Sunday evening will include “Let Freedom Ring,” “Stars and Stripes,” “Star Spangle Banner” and more.
“We are doing a lot about prayer just involving how we pray for our community and how we pray for our soldiers,” Patti Drennan said.
Due to construction at the church, participants of the concert are asked to enter through the breezeway doors on Comanche Street. Following the concert, a picnic will be hosted on the church grounds for a nominal fee.
“You can always do a Christmas concert and that puts everybody in a festive mood, but we’re still not out of the war and so many things are taking the place of remembering people who duly served and gave lives. There’s a point we have to stop and take time to recognize and say, ‘We haven’t forgotten you, we appreciate what you are doing,’” Patti Drennan said.