STATEMENT OF THE WINDSONG BOARD OF DIRECTORS
June 28, 2019
For Immediate Release
It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of our founding Artistic Director, Dr. Kerry Barnett. Born in their living room in the fall of 1991, Windsong Chamber Choir was the vision and dream of Kerry and his beloved wife Marilee. From its inception, Kerry has been the group’s creative force and beating heart. Kerry was an exceptionally talented singer and conductor. His work with Windsong resulted in a number of honors, including the ensemble’s performances at regional and national ACDA conventions, successful collaborations with internationally-known artists, and the recording of numerous well-received albums. Through his vision, direction, and development, Kerry gave Oklahoma City its first and only high-level European-style chamber choir. For that, our entire community owes him a debt of gratitude.
Yet, beyond those accolades and accomplishments, and beyond Kerry’s formidable musical bona fides, we miss him most as our friend and mentor. Kerry was a joy to sing for. His love for the repertoire and for his fellow musicians was evident and infectious. We remember him as a kind and collaborative director; quick to share credit and always proud of the group’s esprit de corps. Those attributes are exceedingly rare among musicians of his caliber and pedigree. We love him for them. This was a man with an uncommon intensity for mining the marrow and sinews from masterworks, holding his singers to exacting standards, who was simultaneously warm and self-effacing. He directed us with brio and passion; he nurtured us with hugs and smiles. If the term Maestro has any remaining distinction, it is an appropriate appellation for Kerry.
Kerry’s legacy with Windsong is incalculable and overwhelming. His shadow covers us all. But from under this darkness, there is a way forward. Music and art always find a way to speak new truths and to reach new hearts. We plan to honor him and his benefaction by doing what he taught and inspired us to do so well: practicing and performing great choral literature in accordance with the highest standards of the European Chamber choir milieu. We aspire to do him and his legacy justice. And we commit ourselves to keeping the dynamic musical conversation going in our little corner of the world.
We covet your prayers for Kerry, his family, and his many friends and former singers. Requiem aeternam, dona eis, Domine.
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2019-20 Season announcement coming soon!
As Oklahoma City's only semi-professional chorus, Windsong has been bringing virtuoso choral music to the heart of Oklahoma since 1991. The choir is comprised of volunteer singers from throughout Oklahoma who bring an impressive range of musical experience and expertise to the organization.