Concert planned to benefit OKC school district music programs

A Chance to Play, a group of volunteers and musicians dedicated building school music programs, will present a concert by Oklahoma City’s Bovine Band at 5:30 p.m. Friday, at the Putnam City football stadium, 5300 NW 50.

The event is a part of a series of Friday night concerts preceding the Putnam City High School football games, to raise money and donations of used instruments for the school district. It’s a kind of tailgating event with a concert, said Jim Barnett, a self-proclaimed music lover who is spearheading the effort.

“Already a number of instruments have been donated,” Barnett said “Some of the funds that have been donated is for repair. Some is for rental, so we can get kids in the band.”

Friday’s night’s entertainment will be provided by the Bovine Band, whose members include BancFirst executives Jay Hannah, executive vice president of Financial Services, and Brian Pierson, a senior vice president and general counsel. The two have been playing together since 1987 when they performed for the opening of the Blue Bell Saloon in Guthrie. The establishment has since closed.

“Jay Hannah would say we play all four kinds of music: country, Western, rock and roll,” Pierson said. “I’d say, take anything recorded by the Eagles and go both ways from there. We do a little bit of everything.”

Given the BancFirst connection, it should come as no surprise that several of the bank’s branches in the Oklahoma City area have set up receptacles for donations of musical instruments.

“It’s a great cause but it’s also a lot of fun,” Pierson said. “We don’t play anywhere where we don’t have a lot of fun.”

The A Chance to Play effort began at Taft Middle School three years ago when several patrons approached the school district about its needs. After some examination, it became apparent that musical instruments were in critically short supply.

“The instruments were in poor repair. They were all sharing an instrument and couldn’t practice at home,” Barnett said. “We went down to the district office and volunteered and we’ve been doing it ever since.”

Last year, the group focused on Capitol Hill High School and will be looking at other districts to assist for next year.

Currently, the group is looking for all kinds of instruments ꟷ horns, woodwinds, percussion and strings.

Donations may be made at the Friday night concert, a BancFirst branch bank or the Putnam City School District office at 5401 NW 40.

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