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Herndon family CD benefits track program

Wednesday, January 30, 2008   (0 Comments)
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By Kimberlee Rhodes

The Herndon family, known at Oklahoma Christian University for their musical abilities, has released their fourth family album.

Dr. Mike Herndon, who works in the health center on campus, completed the album along with his wife, children and his children’s spouses. 

Administrative Assistant to the Dean of Students and daughter of Mike Herndon, Addi Panter, is familiar with being a part of a musical family.

“I think I was in second grade when we released our first album,” Panter said. “Then, I was a sophomore in high school when we released our second. I was a freshman in college when we released our third, and we just released the fourth one this past summer.”

The album, titled “Arise,” is a token of appreciation to the Oklahoma Christian community in that 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the track and field program.

Mike said he wanted to donate to the program because the track is barely adequate and the facilities, including the stands, are in bad shape. He said restrooms, coaches’ offices and other support structures are all needed for the program.

“Even though we’ve been blessed with jobs and physical blessings, we don’t have the resources to write checks for thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to OC,” Mike said. “So, I asked the kids if they would be willing to record the CD and let all of the income go to OC.”

Mike paid all of the expenses, including the engineering, recording, mastering, artwork and production.

His children and their spouses donated their time and energy, and their families helped and supported them in the project as well.

“We wanted to give back, and this is a way we can do that,” Mike said. “We can get by without that income, but the track program can’t.”

“Let the Worshippers Arise” is Mike’s favorite song, and he said the only sentimental song on the album is “Abide with Me” because the Oklahoma Christian chorale sang it his senior year at Coach Vaughn’s funeral. He thought it just seemed right for the album.

“We loved our Christian education here at OC,” Panter said. “We all, including our mom and dad, found our spouses here, and we wanted to give everything back to OC. It’s mainly because of the impact Coach Heath and Coach Vaughn had on my dad. If it wasn’t for them, none of us would be here.”

Mike was a four time All-American runner and was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame.

“Coach Vaughn’s favorite song was ’Abide with Me’, and we dedicated it especially to him on the album.” Panter said. “It’s the last song on the CD.”

Cross country coach Randy Heath is well pleased with the project so far.

“I’ve listened to the album, and I think it’s an outstanding selection of songs,” Heath said. “I’m really impressed.”

Heath has known the Herndon family for years and is touched by their donation to the track and field program.

“I think it’s wonderful that he and his family are showing their appreciation to OC’s track and field,” Heath said. “I think the idea to donate to OC athletics is a great idea, and I think the album is a great project.”

Mike’s son Adam had a big hand in choosing the songs for the album. Adam started the list when he was a junior at Oklahoma Christian and he has been adding song ideas for the last few years.

“I created a list of fast, medium and slow songs for everyone to start selecting from, then made copies of the songs for Dad, our producer, and the girls to listen to and pick from,” Adam said. “Once we narrowed those down, Dad made the final selections.”

Everyone contributing to the album had their favorite song to perform.

“We always put a good, old church song on each CD. So, we selected ‘Abide with Me’ this time,” Adam said. “I love the message and music of that song because it reminds me of the disciples asking Jesus to stay with them as evening was approaching in Luke 24, and it closes our album as a song that asks God to stay with us and guide us through life.”

“Friend of God” was Panter’s favorite song on the album.

“We had the best time creating it and getting it done,” Panter said. “It was sort of a surprise for my dad. He didn’t even know we were planning to put it on the album.”

The eldest sibling, Sada Knowles, enjoyed the song, “Let the Worshippers Arise”.

“It was a new song for us that was just beautiful,” Knowles said.  “This was one that I could tell from the beginning was going to be powerful. Not only was it my favorite song to record, but it’s probably my favorite song to listen to as well.”

With all proceeds going toward the track and field program, some may be wondering where the money will specifically be used.

“We’re hopeful that the funds donated will be a starter for the new track and field facilities to be built on campus,” Heath said. “We’ve had the same location since the ‘60s, and it’s served us well, but we’re in need of a new one.”

Heath hopes the generous donations of the Herndon family will spark an interest and inspire others to donate as well.

To order a copy of the album, visit The CDs are $15.

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