Francis Hughes Scholars Catalog Civic Center History


By: Logan Pierce, editor-in-chief

Starting in September of the fall 2011 semester, the Frances White Hughes Scholars began working in conjunction with the Civic Center Music Hall to catalog the history of the center, from its origins in the 1930s to the present day. Rick Woodard, humanities academic advisor, worked closely with the students to ensure they met the strict research criteria.

“We appreciate the partnership between the Hughes Scholars, Rose State College and the Civic Center Music Hall,” Woodard said, “The students put more than 800 combined hours into this project between the fall 2011 and spring 2012 semester.”

The project required a multitude of steps. In the fall semester, each student was assigned a decade to write a research paper on.

“The presentation had to show a flow from each decade and a comparison of social and political factors that the Civic Center had on Oklahoma City,” Woodard said, “The students had total access to the Civic Center Music Hall archives.”

The second phase of the project took place in the spring, with the Hughes Scholars putting everything together into an oral presentation. This included a slideshow with more than 250 slides detailing the various performances and changes made to the Civic Center during its 75-year history.

“The students met together once a week for several hours to work on the project,” Woodard said,

On May 4, Woodard introduced the Hughes Scholars as they presented their research in the Regents’ Conference Room.

The students took turns chronicling the history of the Civic Center Music Hall by decade, from its first performance Oct. 4, 1937 to a conductor statue being placed in conjunction with the Oklahoma centennial in 2007.

“The responsibility of this foundation is to carry out the wishes of Frances White Hughes,” Woodard said, “This and past projects are examples of exposing students to music and the creative arts within the community.”   For more information on events visit lyrictheatreokc.com.

Civic Center Coming Attractions

Sweet Charity, July 10-14

Before CHICAGO there was SWEET CHARITY. Charity works at a dance club where the motto is “Hey Big Spender.” She has only seen the dark side of life through her bad relationships, but through it all she stays sweet and is hopeful that someday she will find happiness.

Call Me Madam, July 24-28

Inspired by Oklahoma City’s own international socialite and ambassador, Perle Mesta, this musical comedy is full of Irving Berlin tunes you love, like “Hostess with the Mostes” and “You’re Just in Love.” This golden age treasure is directed by Lyric’s Artistic Director Michael Baron, director of Lyric’s 2011 production of RAGTIME.

Chita Rivera My Broadway, Aug. 7-11

An intimate evening of music with two-time Tony Award winner CHITA RIVERA performing songs from her legendary Broadway career. Accompanied by a full orchestra, Ms. Rivera will perform selections from her most celebrated musicals including WEST SIDE STORY, CHICAGO and more. “You leave this show walking on air!” -The New York Times.

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