OC To Host Benefit Concert For Japan May 22

The public is invited to donate used, musical instruments to Japan at a free benefit concert held at Oklahoma Christian University on May 22. Organized by Miho Fisher, a native of Japan and a piano accompanist for Oklahoma Christian and OCU, the classical-music concert will feature two pianists, a baritone, three cellists and a violinist. Monetary donations will be accepted as well.

“Many public schools lost their music instruments in the tsunami, and they are asking for help collecting used instruments and funds,” said Fisher. “Music is an important part of life for many school-age children in Japan. Donations collected at this concert will be sent to help bring the music program back in those schools.”

When Oklahoma Christian’s music faculty heard about Miho’s idea, they reached out to her.

“We asked how we could help,” said Kathy Thompson, chair of the music department at Oklahoma Christian. “When she said she needed a performance space, we were glad to donate our recital hall.”

The concert will take place at 2:30 p.m. on May 22 in the Garvey Center Recital Hall. It will include nine numbers as well as an intermission. Additional performers include Miho’s husband, Greg, on piano; Leslie John Flanagan on baritone; Timothy Hsu on violin; and Angela Machnik-Jones, Rob Bradshaw and Meryl Nash, all on cello.

For those interested in helping that can’t attend the concert, Fisher said a Facebook group has been created, as well as a website, www.musicforjapanok.org. For more information, call 563-2411.

This is the second benefit concert for Japan hosted on the Oklahoma Christian campus. The first one was held April 16 and featured nine bands coming together to raise funds for relief efforts. Oklahoma Christian has a long history and tradition with Japan. For more than 35 years, OC has shared a strong sister-school relationship with Ibaraki Christian University. A number of Japanese students study each year at OC, while many OC students travel to Japan as part of the annual Pacific Rim Study Abroad program.