Thirteen members of Oklahoma Baptist University’s Bison Brigade drumline, accompanied by Dr. Brian Stackhouse, OBU director of athletic bands, will be performing at New York City’s Carnegie Hall the evening of Nov. 21. The students are guest performers for the 12th annual Christmas in New York show, presented by Celebration Concert Tours. The Christmas show will feature “The Best of Christmas” composed by Phil Barfoot and Cliff Duren.
Barfoot invited the OBU drumline to Carnegie Hall after seeing them perform during 2021. The OBU students were selected over other university drumlines from various states.
“This remarkable opportunity to perform and the honor of being selected speaks well to our goals as a drumline, marching band and university. We are thrilled,“ Stackhouse said.
The OBU students who are making their appearance at Carnegie Hall include, Snare Drum: JuliAnne Flora, Austin Halter, Harold Randolph, Judah Skelton and Jenna Watson; Tenors: Tyler Gish, Caleb Griffin and Dylan Higgins; Bass Drum: Caleb Burns, Payton Carter, Zoe Duck, Gavin Hill and Noah Steelman.
They will be performing two compositions by Barfoot who is the chief executive officer for Celebration Concert Tours. Also featured in the Christmas concert are recording artists and vocalists Charles Billingsley and TaRanda Greene and the American Festival Choir, comprised of at least 250 voices from across the nation.
Freshman Noah Steelman, a secondary math education major, minoring in history, said “I am honored to be a part of such a wonderful opportunity. I am extremely excited and I can’t wait to see what the OBU band has to offer in the future.”
OBU’s Bison Brigade marching band currently has sixty members.
“The mission of the Bison Brigade is to provide an environment for students to hone God-given abilities and to learn the skill sets of self-discipline, work ethic, perseverance, and teamwork to become the leaders of tomorrow’s world,” Stackhouse said. “We explore the spirit of excellence and take this mindset into every aspect and season of our lives. I believe that because of this, and showing God that we are faithful to where He has placed us in this season of our lives, He has begun to open up doors of opportunity and leading us to our next steps.”
Since it opened in 1891, Carnegie Hall has set the international standard for musical excellence as the aspirational destination for the world’s finest artists. It is recognized for its unique history, stunning acoustics, prime location and three magnificent concert halls, all contributing to New York City being one of the world’s great cultural cities.