McKnight Center’s Inaugural Chamber Music Festival is a Success

Concert 3 at the home of Francee and Jeff Hume

Media Release

The McKnight Center’s inaugural Chamber Music Festival has come to an end but the series of performances left an everlasting impression on all who attended. The musicians performed to Festival patrons five concerts, including a Family and Youth Concert during the teacher walkout, three intimate soiree performances across Central Oklahoma and one free community concert at the Seretean Center at Oklahoma State University. The musicians also conducted master classes during the week for students at OSU.

Family and Youth Concert Stillwater Public Schools

The Festival began with a sponsor reception in Stillwater at the home of Bret and Amy Jameson. Audiences were thrilled to hear such talent emulating from the stages at the Philbrook Museum in Tulsa, Francee and Jeff Humes’ home in Oklahoma City as well as in the Seretean Center and Willard Hall on the campus of OSU. Programs ranged from Mozart to Gershwin to Beethoven to Dvorak, all played to perfection.

President and Mrs. Hargis with Robert Diaz at Concert 5.

Famed concert pianist and chamber musician Anne-Marie McDermott was this year’s Festival artistic director and will be returning next year with a new roster of inspiring artists. McDermott’s career spans more than 25 years as a soloist and collaborator. With over 50 concerti in her repertoire, Ms. McDermott has performed with many leading orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Mexico among many others. She is also a member of the Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center.

The McKnight Center would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the sponsors that supported this triumphant artistic event:

Festival Sponsors – Billie & Ross McKnight, Dick & Malinda Fischer and John & Cheryl Clerico
Presenting Sponsors – OSU President’s Office/OSU Foundation and AJ & Susan Jacques
Virtuoso Sponsors – Helen Hodges, Rae & Mike Hyatt and Brian Hobbs & Mark Sarno
Principal Sponsors – John & Caroline Linehan, Terri & Brett Carver, Kim & Kirk Hilbig, BankSNB, Kathleen & Joe Porter, Oklahoma Gazette, First National Bank of Oklahoma and Vickie & Joe Hall
Player Sponsors – Deb & David Engle, Carolyn Gang & Edward Noltensmeyer, Stephen & Patty Armbruster, Chuck & Lana Van Cleave, Bob & Diane Graalman, Caroline Crain, Mark & Sarah Blakeman, Judi Baker, Ann & Jim Halligan, Nigel Jones, Sydney Reding, Lou & Wes Watkins, Claudia & Bart Bartlett, Rodette & Rick Green, Carol & Tom Stewart, Pam & Joe Martin and Patti & Joe Weaver.

For more information on all upcoming programming including the 2019 Chamber Music Festival, please visit


The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts will be a statement of artistic talent worth sharing and a cultural destination attracting artists and performing art lovers from around the world. The McKnight Center is an expression of Oklahoma State University’s commitment to the arts to serve generations of students, performers and audience members alike. By helping us advance this project, The McKnight Center will also become a long-lasting expression of you — a reflection of your belief that art on the Oklahoma State University campus, in this community and in our world, is valuable and worth supporting.

The McKnight Foundation exists to manage and operate The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Construction of The McKnight Center has begun and is scheduled to be completed in 2019. The McKnight Foundation is governed by a seven-member board of trustees and an executive director. The foundation will be engaged for the operation and programming of The McKnight Center. An aggressive fundraising campaign is underway to supplement construction costs and complete the innovative programming endowment.

Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU has more than 36,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 25,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 120 nations. Established in 1890, Oklahoma State has graduated more than 260,000 students who have been serving Oklahoma and the world for 125 years.