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El Sistema; National Bombing Memorial

April 2014

There is a wonderful music education partnership in Oklahoma City that is changing the lives of students through the transformational power of music. St. Luke's United Methodist Church, the Wanda L. Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University, and the Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools has brought a program called El Sistema--meaning, "the system"--all the way from Venezuela to Oklahoma. The program transforms the lives of children by using music as a model for social change. 

Gerry Bonds, Ricardo Rojas, Angelica Pereira and Mike RaiberRicardo Rojas
Our guests include Mike Raiber, Professor of Music at OCU and Director of Teacher Support for El Sistema; Angelica Pereira, 
a distinguished Colombian violinist with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic; and Ricardo Rojas, one of the many talented students participating in the program.
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Gerry Bonds and Susan Winchester

Many of our listeners will remember the horrific bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. It has been nearly two decades since Timothy McVeigh parked a rental truck full of explosives in front of that building. The explosion that ripped the building apart at 9:02 a.m. killed 168 people, injured hundreds more, and horrified millions watching around the world. Former state representative Susan Winchester is Chair of the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation Board of Trustees and her sister was one of the victims killed that April morning. She talks about that loss and the important global role the memorial plays in understanding the lessons learned from the second worst act of terrorism to occur on American soil. 
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As we near the anniversary of the bombing, it's worth remembering the missionOklahoma City National Bombing Memorial statement of the Oklahoma City National Memorial: that we remember those who were killed, those who survived, and those who were changed forever. 

Wouldn't it be nice if we never needed another memorial like this again? 

-Debra Martin, Producer- 

Support for the Living Room with Gerry Bonds is provided by Devon Energy, proud supporter of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and the progressive spirit of our community. Devon Energy. Commitment Runs Deep. 

More Photos of Program 308 - April 2014  

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Other recent guests include

  • Linda Cavanaugh, KFOR-TV, Oklahoma City
  • Bill Moyers, journalist and PBS host
  • Kate Buford, author, Native American Son: The Life and Sporting Legend of Jim Thorpe 
  • Bill Anoatubby, Governor, Chickasaw Nation
  • Rabbi Vered Harris, Temple B'nai Israel, Oklahoma City
  • Larry Nichols, Executive Chairman, Devon Energy
  • Gary England, Vice President, Griffin Communications
  • Bob Dotson, NBC News

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