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Western Village Highlights Centennial Celebration

Thursday, November 15, 2007  
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Oklahoma Christian University (OC) will celebrate Oklahoma’s Centennial Friday with a special program featuring 30 Western Village Academy students performing award-winning songs written by OC Professor Emeritus of Music, Dr. Harold Fletcher.

The series of Oklahoma-themed songs, called the “Oklahoma Set,” was declared an official Centennial project by the Oklahoma Centennial Commission.  The program will begin at 11:00 a.m. in the Hardeman Auditorium on the OC campus.

Dr. John Thompson, long-time OC history professor, will make a brief presentation on the history of the state. Approximately 55 percent of OC students are from outside the state of Oklahoma.

The Academy students will perform “The Oklahoma Run” for approximately 2,000 OC students, faculty and staff. Other songs on the set include “The Pioneer Woman,” “The Tulsey Town Waltz” and “The Oklahoma Roughneck.” The Songs were written by Fletcher in the early 1970s for a documentary on the famed Pioneer Woman statue. Elementary students have been singing these songs for many years to commemorate the Land Run. The sheet music and mp3 sound files can be downloaded at www.oc.edu/oklahomaset.

Oklahoma Christian and Western Village Academy have developed a special relationship over the past few years, helping the Academy move from an at-risk school in 2004 to being named one of the best 53 charter schools, out of 4,000 nationally, by the Center for Education Reform. A number of Oklahoma Christian University graduates teach at Western Village and approximately 100 OC students tutor and mentor Western Village students each week. Following the ceremony, the Academy students will be escorted individually by OC students to the cafeteria for lunch.

Oklahoma Christian is nearing completion of the Lawson Commons, which features a 100 foot tower, pavilion and landscaping, that has been deemed a Centennial project as well.  The Commons and the tower, named the Freede Centennial Tower for Jose Freede, an OC benefactor, will be dedicated in ceremonies next spring.

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