By Darla Shelden
Last December, following the high energy, rock performance spectacle of theTrans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) at Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City, Stone City Attractions and TSO presented a check to Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC).
Stone City Attractions, the San Antonio based promotions company that brings TSO concerts to cities around the world, donated $1 for every ticket sold for the Dec. 8 concert to the OCCC Foundation. A check for $15,431 was presented onstage to OCCC Foundation Board Member Mary Blankenship Pointer during the show.
“In addition to providing a wonderful concert for our enjoyment, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Stone City Attractions also have made a generous donation to our local community,” said Pointer. “Together, they have donated $1 per ticket sold from each concert to the Oklahoma City Community College Foundation. Proceeds will be used for the new 1,000-seat Performing Arts Theater that is scheduled to open at the college this fall.”
OCCC President Paul Sechrist said, “The new Performing Arts Theater is a magnificent addition to Oklahoma City Community College. Our students and the community came together to fund this $20 million project. When completed this fall, this performance hall will greatly enhance our theater and music programs and will serve as a beautiful venue to host performances that will add to the quality of life in our community.”
Founded by producer, composer and lyricist Paul O’Neil, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s musical style combines classical, orchestral, symphonic, and progressive elements along with hard rock and heavy metal. Comprised of a wide-range of musicians, the core group includes O’Neil, composer Jon Oliva, musical director and lead guitarist Al Pitrelli and co-producer and keyboardist Robert Kinkel.
With more than 7 million albums sold, TSO’s performances have galvanized generations of fans to rediscover the multi-dimensional art form of the rock opera.
For nearly 40 years, Stone City Attractions has raised over three-quarters of a million dollars for many needy non-profit organizations. Jack Orbin, its president and executive producer said, ‘Stone City Attractions and Trans-Siberian Orchestra are very pleased to be able to financially support the Oklahoma City Community College and their new Performing Arts Center. We are proud to be associated with such an outstanding project.”
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra has become a holiday tradition in Oklahoma City for the last 15 years performing concerts such as Christmas Eve and Other Stories, The Christmas Attic, and most recently The Lost Christmas Eve.
In addition to their music, the band is well known for their generosity, donating at least $1 of every ticket price to a charitable organization local to the venue.
Pointer said that TSO members love coming to Oklahoma City and feel deeply about the charitable component of their concerts.
“This is the third year in a row that Stone City Attractions has made this gift during the Trans-Siberian Orchestra performance, and we couldn’t be more grateful,” Pointer said. “In total, OCCC has received $40,814 in support of the arts at OCCC.”
A project of the Triad Design Group, the new Performing Arts Theatre at OCCC is currently under construction, and is set to open in fall 2013. The $20 million facility will be formally dedicated in the spring of 2014.
According to the Triad Design Group website, a long range master site plan for OCCC is being developed with urban design and university master planning firm, Ferrell Madden Lewis LLC, as a guide for future buildings, grounds, and outdoor events. Priorities include development and enhancement of the pedestrian-friendly campus in an environmentally sustainable manner and strengthening college-community relationships.
Lealon Taylor, OCCC Director of Institutional Advancement said, “Part of the donation will go toward a new sculpture and green space in front of OCCC’s new Performing Arts Theatre. We can’t say exactly what the sculpture will look like, we want it to be a surprise when the theatre is dedicated.”
The statuary is being designed by Oklahoma City sculptor Colin Rosebrook.
Pointer added, “It has been an honor and privilege to work with both organizations, and this donation will be a constant reminder of their commitment to our city and to Oklahoma City Community College.”
For more information visit www.occc.edu.