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OCU celebrates benefactor’s life

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OCU hosted a free concert in tribute to late benefactor Wanda L. Bass. OCU hosted a free concert in tribute to late benefactor Wanda L. Bass.
Donations from Bass created the new music center named in her honor. Donations from Bass created the new music center named in her honor.
Wanda Bass poses for a photo with students. Wanda Bass poses for a photo with students.

By Christian Price, News9.com INsite Team

The Oklahoma City University community celebrated the life and generosity of benefactor Wanda Bass on Sunday.

Bass, who was an OCU trustee, died in February. The McAlester, Okla. banker funded the construction of the university's music school. President Tom McDaniel said many students benefited from her generosity.

"It did touch many lives, but I think it's only the beginning," McDaniel said. "I think her generosity is one aspect that will be lasting so that it will touch not just this generation, but generations to come."

Sunday's three part musical concert was free to the public and featured instruments purchased by Bass's donations.

Music compositions played on the pipe organ in Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel to open the concert. The celebration then continued at the Petree Recital Hall where pianist showcased their talents on 12 Steinway pianos.  The pianos are part of 105 Steinways that Bass purchased for the school.

"It was the largest purchase and sale of Steinway pianos in the 175 year history of Steinway," McDaniel said.

The musical celebration then culminated in the atrium of the new $38 million Wanda L. Bass Music Center.

"Every music student that we have, there will be about 400 strong in the choir and orchestra, will do a concert of music to remember Wanda," McDaniel said. "It was her dream for us to have days like this where young men and women that she loved would be performing for people she loved at a place that she loved. I think that she will really be smiling today."

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