Memorial Concert Unites 168 Voices For OKC Bombing Anniversary

Monday, April 13th 2015, 6:24 pm
By: News 9

This weekend, 168 voices will come together for a memorial concert on the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.

The concert took two years to plan and coordinate with 33 different churches.

The Oklahoma Alliance for Liturgy and the Arts organized the concert, bringing together 168 singers from dozens of churches and denominations.

“Ordinary people, much like the ordinary people that we lost that day,” said Nancy Krause, the project coordinator.

The choir is perfecting the last details of a very emotional concert memorializing the 168 voices silenced on April 19, 1995.

“One of the choir members in my church said by bringing a choir of 168 people, she gets to be the voice for one of those people in a sense,” said Father Stephen Bird with the Oklahoma Alliance for Liturgy and the Arts.

The service will also include readings from victims' families, reflections from survivors and prayer.

“Anyone who lived in Oklahoma City in 1995 was changed forever,” Krause explained.

Ninety minutes of carefully-chosen music will take listeners from tragedy to triumph, from grief to grace.

“The first movement is a typical Oklahoma day and you hear the sun come up over the wheat fields and the next movement goes directly into chaos and it moves on beyond that into sorrow and grief and then into a more positive thing,” Krause told News 9.

Father Stephen Bird staffed the morgue after the bombing to help first responders and rescuers cope with the tremendous loss of life.

He said the music echoes the city's journey.

“We can be grateful for all the things that happened since then, how people have worked together, helped one another, grown in their faith,” he added.

The performance is Sunday, April 19 at 5 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church located at N.W. 25th Street and Western Avenue in Oklahoma City.

It is free and open to the public.

The choir will be conducted by Dr. Anton Armstrong of Saint Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.

Dr. Armstrong led a similar chorus in New York City for the 10th anniversary commemoration of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center.