The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame has received a $12,000 grant from 1999 inductee Vince Gill, and the funds will help complete the construction of a state-of-the-art children’s music exhibit.
The Norman-born, Oklahoma City-bred country music superstar also has challenged other hall of fame honorees and all Oklahoma music lovers to contribute, according to the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame announcement.
Gill’s publicist confirmed the donation today.
Work is nearly complete on the new children’s music exhibit, but more donations are needed for the project. The hall of fame has been raising funds for the exhibit for the past year. The music exhibit is being housed in an old railroad caboose that was donated by Muskogee War Memorial Park, and transported to the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame site.
“We can’t thank Mr. Gill enough for his generosity and we are honored that he would also step forward to issue a challenge to his fellow inductees to make a contribution, as well,” said Penny Kampf, Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame executive director, in the announcement.
“Hundreds of donors have helped to make this project a reality. Now, we need an additional financial boost so that the museum can open by the end of the year.”
Exhibit designers from Nashville, Tenn., completed the installation of much of the exhibits last week. In the next few days, signage will be installed and there will be sound checks and a formal walk through to make sure the exhibit is ready for the public.
The project is intended to benefit children, young and old, and features Jeremiah The Bullfrog (from the Three Dog Night smash “Joy to the World,” penned by Duncan native Hoyt Axton) as the official ‘host’ for participants. The exhibits include a station where children can build a band, listen to the differences in various musical instruments and experience Oklahoma’s rich musical heritage.
“We believe children need to understand that music comes from real people and real musical instruments — not just from electronics. The OMHOF aims to educate children about the rich history of Oklahoma music — what it means, how it moves people, and its broad cultural significance,” said Kampf in the announcement.
Gill, who also is a member of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and Country Music Hall of Fame, recently released his new album “Guitar Slinger.” In addition, the country singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist recently recorded with British star Sting an episode of “CMT Crossroads” that will debut at 7 p.m. Thursday on Country Music Television.
Check out Gill and Sting’s recent AP interview by clicking here.