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Biography

Chris Prather (b. 1995) was drawn to music at an early age. Music’s healing power offered a place of belonging through his, at times, turbulent adolescence. He began learning to play guitar at eight which soon turned to composing rock songs on his dinky 60-key Yamaha keyboard. This creative outlet lit a fire that led him down the path of becoming a composer.

 

He graduated with his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Central Oklahoma where he studied percussion with David Hardman and composition with Dr. Samuel Magrill. He went on to earn his  Master of Music degree from Oklahoma City University where he studied composition with Dr. Edward Knight. 

 

Prather’s music has been performed around the world by musicians and groups including Dr. Tess Remy-Schumacher, Dr. Jordan Shippy, Dr. Danielle Herrington, the Oklahoma Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, the Oklahoma Composer’s Orchestra, Stringsmen-OKC, Opera on Tap-OKC, Sugarfish Trio, the Oklahoma Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, the Southwestern College Youth Symphony, El Sistema Oklahoma Orchestra, Peoples Church, the University of Central Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra, the University of Central Oklahoma Wind Symphony, the University of Central Oklahoma Chamber Orchestra, the University of Central Oklahoma Percussion Consort, the Oklahoma University Percussion Ensemble, the Duncan High School Percussion Ensemble, and the Pauls Valley High School Percussion Ensemble. His music is featured on releases including Dr. Tess Remy-Schumacher’s  Music for Peace II, Remy-Schumacher’s Music for Peace III, Prather’s Music for Memories, and his recent release No Justice, No Peace. Prather’s music is published with C. Alan Publications and the OU Percussion Press. 

 

Prather serves as assistant orchestrator with Onyx Lane where he’s worked on a  multitude of projects including Gene Kelly’s Lost Musical and Cube of Light. He has also assisted in recording the movie soundtracks to Iké Boys, Cricket, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and Canterbury Choir’s release, Leshnoff: Elegy, Violin Concerto No. 2, Of Thee I Sing, as well as Christina Giacona and Patrick Conlon’s upcoming album In the Waiting Room

 

The obsessive, inseparable nature of his relationship with music has led to a variety of successes as a composer. One of these being the 2022 Opera on Tap-OKC premiere of his opera No Justice, No Peace (2022). Written with librettists Megan Prather and Kenneth R. Woods, this opera tells the story of a fictional Oklahoman family whose lives are changed after a violent encounter with the police. This grass roots project took years to develop, and culminated in a weekend of sold out shows thanks to a wide variety of community support. Critics have described this work as “complex, swirling, at times nearly inscrutable, but peppering moments of familiarity and cultural reference points throughout.”  He had his percussion ensemble piece Emerging Victoriously (2020) selected as runner-up in the 2020 OU Percussion Press Composition Competition as well as his marimba solo Embracing Uncertainty (2019) selected as the winner of the 2020 Great Plains International Marimba Composition Competition. Prather also served as the Composer-in-Residence for the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras’ 2019 season where they premiered his orchestral work, Unsung Hero (2019).

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Recently, Prather’s piece Hope on the Horizon (2024) was given its world premiere by the University of Central Oklahoma Wind Symphony under the baton of Dr. Brian Lamb. This profound work expresses gratitude for the role music played in his life as a beacon of light through darkness.

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