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Steve Sanders

Concert to highlight 2020 First Lady of OSU Distinguished Music Professor Award winner

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Oklahoma State University vocal professor Steve Sanders will perform Sunday afternoon at The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts, while also being recognized with the 2020 First Lady of OSU Distinguished Music Professor Award.

The First Lady of OSU Concert is set for 2:30 p.m. Sunday Oct. 11 in the performance hall. The tenor’s program will include an eclectic mix of musical styles highlighting his impressive versatility. He will perform opera, oratorio and music theater. Megan Barth Argo will be on the piano and Dr. André Chiang will join Sanders for an operatic duet from Puccini’s La Bohème. The recital concludes with Sanders performing country music with his guitar.

“I am looking forward to singing in the Concert Hall for a full recital,” Sanders said. “The acoustics are really wonderful in the hall. There are so many exciting and new things going on in the Greenwood School of Music, and I am happy to be part of it!”

This presentation is in honor of OSU First Lady Ann Hargis, whose support of music and all other arts is an inspiring and vital component to the quality of life on campus.

Tickets are available with limited capacity and social distancing measures in place. The event will also be livestreamed at OState.TV.

The Board of Directors of Friends of Music and the faculty of the Greenwood School of Music, along with the Office of the President, will present the 2020 First Lady of OSU Distinguished Music Professor Award to Sanders.

Sanders was nominated by the faculty and approved by the Friends of Music board.

“It is an honor to be given this award,” he said.

Hailed by Opera News as “dynamic” and The New York Times as “impressive,” Sanders has performed with many opera companies including New York City Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Opera Boston, Chautauqua Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Des Moines Opera, Dayton Opera and the Opera Institute at Boston University. In addition to his many mainstream roles, Sanders excels in lesser-performed roles such as Chairman Mao in Nixon in China by John Adams and Galileo in Galileo Galilei by Philip Glass. The recording of John Musto’s Volpone, featuring Sanders as Bonario, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2009.

An accomplished concert artist, he has also been a soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Dallas Wind Symphony, Beethoven's Mass in C Major with Boston’s Masterworks Chorale, Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in C minor at Carnegie Hall, and Haydn’s Mass and Mozart’s Requiem at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center.

A native of Ninnekah, Oklahoma, Sanders holds degrees in music education from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, which gave him its 2004 Distinguished Young Alumni Award. He received his master’s degree in vocal performance from Oklahoma City University and a Certificate of Performance from Boston University.

Donations are being accepted by the Greenwood School of Music to support community outreach, student scholarships and the new building fund. Donations can be made through the OSU Foundation at or by calling 405-385-5100.

 MEDIA CONTACT: Mack Burke | Editorial Coordinator | | 405.744.5540

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