School of Music – Letter from the Director, Spring 2023 - The University of Tulsa
Close Menu
Close Menu

School of Music – Letter from the Director, Spring 2023

The TU School of Music has successfully completed a busy spring semester filled with memorable ensemble concerts, music major presentations, and numerous events featuring guests, faculty, and students. The faculty has worked tirelessly on behalf of our students – something you can witness daily in our classrooms, rehearsals, and performance spaces. Each year, hundreds of TU students take part in School of Music educational programs: performance ensembles, athletic bands, classroom courses, and private vocal and instrumental lessons. In addition to our music majors, we also serve students from every TU college. The School of Music is truly the heart of the campus.

Moreover, the school brings positive attention and energy to the campus, re-establishing itself as an important ‘hub’ for the Tulsa musical and educational community with exciting new collaborations and initiatives that directly benefit our students:

  • The TU/Tulsa Symphony David B. Waters Trust collaboration brings Tulsa Symphony artists-in-residence to Lorton Performance Center as mentor/coaches to our TU Symphony students and rehearses and performs recitals each fall and spring as the Waters Trust Quintet; the full Tulsa Symphony performs twice a year in Gussman Concert Hall and joins our student musicians in a yearly side-by-side event with a prominent guest conductor. The Waters Trust program also supports internationally prominent soloists for masterclasses and talks with the TU community.
  • Montereau Retirement Community/TU School of Music resident artist program
  • School of Music Advocates (SOMA) support organization
  • The School of Music and the TU University School lab music classroom experience gives our music education majors regular opportunities to work with students from kindergarten through eighth grade during the year – an exciting and unique program not offered at any other university or college program in our region. New University School music teacher Melanie Trafford (BME ’15) leads the pilot program.

The LPC is also home to numerous prominent musical organizations:

  • The Tulsa Youth Symphony (all three orchestras – since fall 2021)
  • The Tulsa Chorale
  • Tulsa Honors Orchestra
  • Harmony Project Tulsa
  • Tulsa People’s Orchestra

Other important arts organizations regularly perform in the LPC:

  • Tulsa Symphony
  • Tulsa Opera/Youth Opera
  • Tulsa Ballet
  • Choregus Productions

Many of the performers and leaders of these organizations are TU faculty or alumni – another way the school positively impacts music in Tulsa!

Led by TU President Brad R. Carson and Karen Petersen, the former dean of Kendall College of Arts & Sciences, the bachelor of music in vocal performance, instrumental performance, and composition were reinstated as of the spring 2023 semester; and with music scholarships available again, the School of Music has assembled a strong incoming class – a further demonstration of the renewed commitment for the School of Music and music across campus.

Lastly, we are saying goodbye to three long-time members of the School of Music family who are retiring: Joseph Rivers, Roger Price, and Diane Bucchianeri. They leave a record of many decades of musicianship and service to TU, but most importantly, their wonderful years of teaching and the many students they challenged and inspired who carry their experience and learning forward as professional musicians, teachers, and in all walks of life.

We look forward to a bright future for the School of Music! Please stay in touch.

Richard Wagner, Director
TU School of Music