By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Other | Issue: January 2008
Pictured is the cover of \"Claremore\'s Best and Brightest,\" a CD featuring Rogers County\'s finest young talents.
Performing arts in Claremore have seen much success, and they continue to develop and improve. With one of the finest performing arts centers in the country, Claremore is attracting first class talents. Located on Stuart Roosa Drive, the Claremore Performing Arts Center serves the community and students of Rogers County.
Lonnie Liggitt, a retired conductor and composer, is an active supporter of the performing arts. As a member of the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra’s Board of Directors, he says, “When attending a performance at the Claremore Performing Arts Center, it’s like being inside the symphony. It is truly a remarkable experience.” Liggett praises the Claremore community and the Frank Robson family for making the performing arts center a reality last year.
Years ago, Liggitt began a project to create and stir the interest of local youth for good music options. “There’s a lot of 250-year-old music that is very exciting,” Liggitt says. “I want our young people to have the opportunity to experience that excitement.”
The CD entitled “Claremore’s Best and Brightest” is the fruit of Liggitt’s vision. To have their works added to the CD, young musicians in Rogers County auditioned in front of a stellar panel of judges. The top 20 acts were then chosen to record pieces for the CD as a representation of the musical talent among Rogers County’s youth. The CD is available with a donation of $10 to Claremore Public Schools.
Lonnie Liggitt actively supports the performing arts and their development in Rogers County.
In conjunction with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, Liggitt organized a performance of “All American Music.” Approximately 500 area school-aged kids were invited to experience the performance by the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra. The event was a tremendous success.
The Claremore Symphony League, which was recently established in September, helps the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra in being a major presence in the Claremore community. The organization is soliciting the help of businesses and individuals as it gains momentum and plans future programs for the community and for the youth. Help is needed in funding and promoting first-class music and performances in the community. The organization currently has 80 families as members.
Liggitt says he and the Claremore Symphony League will be active in promoting performances to benefit children afflicted with autism, Asperger’s disorder, Down syndrome and other developmentally-limiting conditions. Studies have proven that music is not only therapeutic, but it aids in the treatment and development of such conditions. Fundraisers will be planned to purchase equipment for this cause.
By early 2008, Liggitt says there will be a website listing teachers and musicians in the community and the instruments they play. If you or a child wishes to get involved in music and the performing arts, the website will be a valuable resource in finding someone to help. Once created, the website’s address will be www.claremoresymphonyleague.com. “The best time to begin a child’s exposure to music is when they are four to seven years old,” says Liggitt.
If you are interested in learning more about the Claremore Symphony League, contact Lonnie Liggitt at (918) 637-7954 or eat0@eau0eav0eaw0. He is an intelligent, caring man who absolutely loves music, children and the performing arts. If you have not yet attended a performance at the Claremore Performing Arts Center, do not wait any longer. Visit www.claremorepac.org for upcoming events.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.