OKC Philharmonic commissions work about civil rights activist Clara Luper for 2022-23 season

Posted on: March 28, 2022

“The Oklahoma City Philharmonic is commissioning new music to commemorate the 100th birthday year of Oklahoma civil rights icon Clara Luper … as part of the orchestra’s newly announced 2022-2023 season,” writes Brandy McDonnell in Sunday’s (3/27) Daily Oklahoman. Hannibal Lokumbe’s Trials, Tears, Transcendence: The Journey of Clara Luper on will be performed on a May 2023 program that also includes music by Joan Tower and Leonard Bernstein. “Born May 3, 1923, in Okfuskee County, Luper is best remembered for leading the 1958 Oklahoma City sit-in, which will mark its 65th anniversary in 2023. On Aug. 19, 1958, Luper, a local history teacher and advisor for the Oklahoma City NAACP Youth Council, and 13 of her students walked into the then-segregated Katz Drug Store in downtown OKC and ordered Cokes, initiating one of the first civil rights protests in the country. It took place two years before the famous sit-ins in Greensboro, North Carolina.… The design for a planned $3.6 million downtown OKC monument depicting the 13 Black children who participated in the sit-in was announced March 23. The bronze will be joined by a likeness of Luper by local sculptor LaQuincey Reed.” The article includes details of the orchestra’s 2022-23 season.