Two losses in the extended family [updated again]

It’s never pleasant to be the bearer of bad news, but two losses are hurting the Pride of Oklahoma extended family this week.

First, as noted today by the Norman Transcript:

Bernice Thrailkill, 93, of Washington, Ill., died Feb. 25 at Washington Christian Village. Born in Cooper Station, Ill., to Edward and Mae Small Marshall Oct. 8, 1914. She married Paul Thrailkill Oct. 30, 1934 in Washington, he preceded hear in death along with her daugther, Karen McCarty, brothers, Maurice, Orville and Paul Eugene Marshall and sister, Irma Mae Gordon.

[…] Bernice is survived by her son, Gene (Karen) Thrailkill of Norman…

Coach and Karen had returned to Illinois a few times this year as his mom’s health began to deteriorate. Since this same site also hosts his Web site, and since the server was down much of Thursday and Friday due to hardware upgrades, he called and let me know they had to go back in a hurry because he had E-mail to send about it, so Gene and Karen were in Illinois at the time.

Those of you who were in The Pride during Coach’s final season in 2000 may have met his mother, as she attended the final game. The family’s wishes for memorials are in the obituary notice in the Transcript. If you’d like to send Coach a note but don’t have his E-mail address, I’ve enabled the form on his site that lets you send mail to him, so just click here to send him a note. I’m sure that Coach, Karen, and the entire Thrailkill family appreciate our thoughts and prayers at this time.


Second, I am sad to report to you that this past Monday night’s concert was postponed because one of the performers died. Mady Byrne, one of the musicians in the Symphony Band and also a mellphone player in the 2007 Pride of Oklahoma, was a 19-year-old music education major from Burtonsville, MD and a Dean’s list student. She died Monday morning from liver failure due to a sustained but accidental Tylenol overdose. Mady’s death has affected many of the members of the OU marching and concert ensembles, and Brian Britt has met with her family to express everyone’s condolences and support.

As noted last week, the Wind Symphony performs at CBDNA in Kansas City on Thursday night, and that conference obviously could not be postponed or rescheduled. A local memorial service for Mady is scheduled for 10:00 AM Saturday morning at Havenbrook Funeral Home in Norman. The Norman Transcript published a death notice for Madalyn Ruth Byrne on Monday.

Madalyn’s parents have chosen to speak out about the circumstances of her death, starting with this article in The Oklahoman. They spoke to the media Thursday night in Oklahoma City, and you can read about that in the Norman Transcript, and in coverage from Oklahoma City TV stations KSBI (52) and KOCO (5). about the cause of her death and the attention they hope others pay to the risks of taking too much acetaminophen or any over-the-counter drugs.

I have no information at this time on any official OUBAA involvement or memorial for either of these losses, but thought I should share the information with you.

Tonight’s concert is POSTPONED

With the server being down on Thursday and Friday (intermittently) for hardware upgrades, we didn’t have a chance to post much about tonight’s planned Symphony Band and Concert Band concert, but now comes word from the Band Department that it has been postponed. We don’t know a lot of details, but we’re told it likely won’t be rescheduled for any time in the next two weeks.

We’ll post more details as we can.

Wind Symphony previews CBDNA program

The University of Oklahoma Wind Symphony has been selected to perform in concert for the 2008 Southwestern Division Conference of the College Band Directors National Association. “What is CBDNA,” you ask?

CBDNA is comprised of college band conductors who focus on the advancement of bands through performance, teaching, and scholarly activity. National and regional conferences present the latest ideas and literature for the medium and are held in alternating years at selected sites. The University of Oklahoma hosted the regional conference in 1990 and 2000.

One week ahead of time, the Wind Symphony, under the direction of Dr. William K. Wakefield (with guest conductors and fellow OU band alumni Brian A. Britt and Jeff E. Jahnke), previews its CBDNA program in a Sutton Series concert: Thursday, February 21, at 8:00 PM in Sharp Concert Hall, located in the Catlett Music Center on the OU campus.

You can see the program here (PDF format). It includes symphonic wind classics like the Hunsberger transcription of Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, Op. 96, the Leist and Goldman transcription of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Fantasia in G Major, BWV 572, and a newer Mark Rogers version of Percy Grainger’s Colonial Song.

But there’s also plenty of new music, as well: Jonathan Newman’s As the scent of spring rain… (2003), and the CBDNA premiere of Carter Pann‘s Four Factories (2006), which saw its Oklahoma debut under the Wind Symphony three months ago.

The Wind Symphony is also performing John Mackey’s 2007 work Clocking, whose scheduled premiere in January 2007 by the Central Olkahoma Honor Band (CODA) was cancelled due to the ice storm, finally taking place just last month. The program closes with the latest work by honored wind composer Frank Ticheli, Wild Nights! (2007).

We hope everyone can turn out for this great concert on Thursday night. Tickets are $8 for adults, and $5 for students, faculty, staff, or senior citizens. Call the Fine Arts Campus Ticket Service (FACTS) at (405) 325-4101 for more information. We hope to see you there!

(For those of you in the Kansas City area, the concert for CBDNA is at 7:30 PM on Thursday, February 28, in the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. We’ve placed both events on our Events calendar. Click on the poster above to get your own tabloid-sized copy of the poster to print out and hang around your office!

The 2008 Pride of Oklahoma Drum Major is…

…Jason Marshall!

This was announced two weeks ago at the Band Banquet, but since today’s Norman Transcript has a nice write-up of Jason and the audition process, delaying doesn’t seem to have hurt anything. I didn’t know all that stuff.

(Ignore that, for some reason, the article is dated “August 13, 2002.” It’s current.) Congratulations to Jason! Everyone else, start nagging Chauvin to join OUBAA! (And any other former Pride members you know who aren’t haunting these halls, for that matter!)