Broadway star, New York Philharmonic to open $72 million McKnight Center

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STILLWATER, Okla. – It’s not every day you get to hear the New York Philharmonic and a Tony Award-winning singer in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

This weekend, guests will be able to see the musical performances that will happen inside the new $72 million McKnight Center for the Performing Arts on the Oklahoma State campus.

“Always believed that while business and technology and science may run the world, but the thing that makes the world worth living in is the humanities and arts,” Philanthropist Ross McKnight said.

That’s why Ross McKnight donated $25 million toward a $50 million endowment at the center.

World-renowned performers like Kelli O’Hara have been impressed by the performance hall.

“It’s state of the art. I mean, I’ve seen a lot of halls in my life and around the country, and this is just gorgeous,” Kelli O’Hara said.

Kelli is an Oklahoma native and rose to fame with several starring roles on Broadway, but she credits her success to her roots.

“Oh yeah, there’s a couple of things I’m grateful for as I live my life.  Work really hard, sometimes I wish I could just relax, but I was taught that here,” O’Hara said.

While she studied at Oklahoma City University, most of her family went to OSU. The world-class event this weekend doesn’t just stop at the performance. O’Hara and the New York Philharmonic will teach master classes to students.

This event fulfills a vision for OSU President Burns Hargis.

“Oh sure. I mean, I think the opportunity for students, not just music majors, but people that participate with music to get to work with and study with Kelli O’Hara, like what’s going to happen this afternoon, is so unique. There’s not very many places that that happens,” Burns Hargis said.

Providing education, opportunities and a new center for the arts.

For more information on the upcoming performances at the  McKnight Center, click here.

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