Sistema Tulsa Notes

Jeri Strange Farewell  

We would like to announce that our Operations Coordinator, Jeri Strange, has accepted a new and wonderful job with the YMCA in Texas. She will be serving at Sistema Tulsa until May 23. Jeri has been an incredible asset to our program since its inception. We will miss her dearly. She has always been optimistic, compassionate and a great champion of our students. We are all grateful for having had the opportunity to work with her. “I have been blessed beyond measure to be a part of Sistema Tulsa for the first 4 program years,” Jeri said, “Please allow me to be your biggest fan from afar!” Please join me in thanking Jeri for her service during her last few weeks with us.  

We expect to post a job description on our website, Facebook page and other human resources channels. If you know anyone who would be a good candidate for the position please feel free to forward the job description. We would like to interview as many qualified people as we can and hire someone in time to experience the regular academic year. I feel it is important that our new operations coordinator work alongside with us and Jeri to ensure a smooth transition. We are  very optimistic about the future.  

Again, let us thank Jeri for her wonderful work – we are very proud of her! 

Sistema Tulsa Recognized at the Capitol  

Sistema Tulsa students and teachers traveled to Oklahoma City to participate as a featured ensemble of “Oklahoma Arts Day.” The event was sponsored by the non-profit Oklahomans for the Arts and brought a group of 40 young musicians to perform classical masterworks including the official state song“Oklahoma!” by Rogers and Hammerstein. The Capitol’s south portico was filled with music and the atmosphere was festive. Students served as ambassadors for the advancement of arts education across our state. “This was our first tour performance, Mr. Hernandez said, “Our students shined not just as musicians but as citizens.” The visit was championed by the Tulsa area Representative Karen Gaddis who also formally introduced the program before the House of Representatives. A citation of commendation and congratulations was presented on the House Floor to students and leaders for their artistic and educational contributions to the city of Tulsa and the State of Oklahoma. The event was a milestone for the social change through music program of the Boston Avenue church. 

A Sistema Tulsa plan for after April 2 


Welcome back!  We hope everyone had a very good Spring Break. We remind you that on Monday, April 2nd Sistema Tulsa will be closed due to the church being closed that day. 

Please take a moment to review this announcement: 

  • Sistema Tulsa supports the efforts of teachers and school leaders statewide to pursue fair pay and working conditions. We hope that their appeals will be respectfully acknowledged and that together with the State Legislature they may find shared understanding and a plan for success.  Teachers are instrumental to build a better future for our students and we stand with them. When and if schools close during the statewide teacher walkout we will follow this plan: 
  • All Sistema Tulsa activities will continue to operate as scheduled – it is our goal to operate as normal as possible to provide musical instruction, mentoring, and healthy snacks to all. 
  • Transportation will not be available from our current bussed schools – we work with the district to arrange transportation and this would not be available. 
  • All Elementary age students are welcome to arrive as early as 3:00 p.m. – we will include them in our normal electives schedule. 
  • We will practice flexibility throughout the walkout period and we might create additional rehearsal opportunities as time and resources allow. Each ensemble might be notified. 
  • Our final all-Sistema performance for the year will still take place on May 11 as other scheduled concerts in our calendar. 

As we work through this together, please refer any questions and feedback to Sistema Tulsa Director, Jose Luis Hernandez.

The Sistema Tulsa Team

Sistema Tulsa to lead worship service October 15  

The Sistema Tulsa Community Youth Orchestra and teachers will perform at Boston Avenue on Sunday, October 15, during the 11 a.m. service. The group will lead in the televised (Channel 8) worship service under the direction of Dr. Joel Panciera and Jose Luis Hernandez. 

The musical directors have chosen a menu of beloved hymns with orchestral accompaniment plus the breathtaking Stephen Schwartz song "When you Believe" sung with orchestra by the dynamic BA Chapel Choir. This piece comes to us from the soundtrack of the Prince of Egypt. "There can be miracles, when you believe," is the driving message of the song. An additional anthem will feature Richard Meyer's arrangement of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy." 

"This is a wonderful learning opportunity to collaborate with a choir of voices," says Mr. Hernandez, "and to showcase the promise of our musical youth." 

The high school level Sistema Tulsa CYO began almost two years ago and they have made great strides as musical performers with students having performed at Quartz Mountain Festival, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and at Oklahoma State University. 

The Chapel Choir is the flagship youth choir at Boston Avenue and they have excelled as musicians in worship and as servant leaders when touring nationally to major US cities each year. 

"Ever since we started the Sistema program, I've been looking forward to the time when we could work together to collaborate with our church ensembles and form special musical and spiritual bonds," says Dr. Joel Panciera, "this dream is starting to come into focus."

Sistema Tulsa welcomes the Vienna Boys' Choir  



We are delighted to host our third annual Sistema Tulsa benefit concert featuring the Vienna Boys' Choir. The concert is presented by Sistema Tulsa and the Boston Avenue United Methodist Church with the support of the Brannin Family Foundation. The date is Friday, November 10 at 7:00 p.m. in the Boston Avenue church sanctuary. 

Tickets are available online at or by calling 918-596-7111. Enter or mention the code "VIENNA15" for a special discount to our Facebook and Website followers. 

The Vienna Boys Choir, renowned as one of the finest vocal ensembles in the world for over 5 centuries, is a frequent visitor to North America, performing throughout the country in everything from houses of worship to great concert venues like New York’s Carnegie Hall and Chicago’s Symphony Hall. 

For their Tulsa performance, the choir presents "Bella Italia," a program of popular and classical compositions from Italy, to include classical pieces by Vivaldi, Rossini, Verdi, Mascagni and other Italian composers, along with such popular favorites as "Santa Lucia", "O sole mio", "Volare", and more.

Sistema Tulsa to Sound their Best  

By Jose Luis Hernandez, Sistema Tulsa Director 

We are preparing to present our second annual “Spring Concert” for Sistema Tulsa on May 12 at 6:00 p.m. in the Jubilee Hall of the Boston Avenue United Methodist Church.  I believe this will be our best concert yet. Our students continue to strive and work hard to reach excellence in their performance. I hope that everyone will join us to experience what our students have achieved. 

Some of the highlights for this performance include a world-premiere of the American folk-song, “John Henry,” in an arrangement done by Rob Reck. This popular tune tells the story of a "steel-driving man" who believes so strongly in the work that he does with his own hands that he ultimately loses his life in victory against a steam-powered hammer. All Sistema Tulsa students will conclude the concert with a rendition of the fiery Can-Can! Not to be missed is the debut of Levi Davenport, an exceptional 10-year-old Sistema musician who has been learning piano since the beginning of the year. He will play an original sonata by Mozart. The Elementary chorus will be back with a rendition of Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham” and our older instrumentalists will perform Tchaikovsky’s elaboration on Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” complete with the drama that the story portrays. 

This has been a very exciting and productive year for Sistema Tulsa. Over the last two years, we have served over 100 students. We believe that any student who aspires to learn music should be able to do so, regardless of their background or ability to pay for an instrument or a music lesson. Music is part of our humanity and our freedom. We are thankful for the many supporters from our church who make all this possible by offering their time, their gifts, and their prayers. See you at the concert!

About the blog

This Blog will include notes from our Director, teachers, and volunteers to showcase the progress of our program and highlight special news and events.