President, Board of Directors
Canterbury has many new, exciting plans ahead as we prepare for our 2015-2016 season, and I am humbled and honored to be the new Board President of an organization that has provided choral music to Oklahoma for 47 years.
Although a non-singer, I had attended Canterbury concerts many times since moving to Oklahoma City in 1996. While I appreciated the music and professionalism of the singers, I wasn’t truly aware of the special nature of Canterbury until more recently. Our firm was honored to host Canterbury’s 45th anniversary celebration in 2013 following their opening concert of Carmina Burana. The planning and execution of this celebration provided me with a first-hand opportunity to witness the passion, dedication, and musicality each performer brings to such an undertaking. I was intrigued by the idea that these performers were volunteers—giving of their time and talents for the pure joy of singing and performing.
Coming from almost every corner of Oklahoma to join voice and heart, the Canterbury singers embody—to me—the essence of why the arts are so very necessary: community. The Canterbury community is a place of joy, music, laughter, and very hard work. After witnessing these qualities, I had to be a part of such an organization and was honored, and a bit humbled, to be asked to lead Canterbury over the next two years. To me, Canterbury embodies the very best of the spirit of Oklahoma—hard work, selflessness, perseverance, and a drive to create something a little bit unique and thereby make things a little brighter. Canterbury weaves each volunteer’s voice with their neighbor’s achieving a certain moment of grace through music. These are the reasons why I became a part of Canterbury and support it with my time, my financial resources, and the resources of my firm and our employees.
This year Canterbury will be moving its offices to the Arts District, and this prime spot will assist in showcasing Canterbury and solidifying our presence near the Civic Center among Oklahoma City’s other performing arts organizations. Our 2015 Annual Campaign will contribute, in part, to Canterbury’s move into these new facilities which I know will provide our volunteer singers a unique place to showcase their talents to our community.
The volunteer singers of Canterbury are what make our organization truly unique. While other organizations pay their artists, our singers do what they love to do, not for the money, but for their passion of choral music. Many of them have been singing with Canterbury from the very beginning, have traveled near and far each week to attend rehearsals, and have reached beyond Oklahoma with trips to China and France to share their love of choral music. They are the single most important factor for the reason Canterbury has thrived for nearly half a century.
In addition, our Youth Choruses continue to supplement the lives of students by providing a solid music education and curriculum. As we continue to branch out with our satellite programs, we hope to reach more youth who are eager to learn the art of singing in a group, building friendships, and improving their overall academic experiences.
We thank you for joining our performances!
Doug Sorocco, Board President
Arthur Thompson, Secretary
Melissa Yeargain, Treasurer
Blake Lawrence, Immediate Past President
Mary Nichols, Honorary Director
Dr. Clark Ward
Dr. Chris Sholer
Lisa Reagan Love
James W. Bruce
Dr. Joseph Phillips
John David Stinson