Symphony helping train students

A unique program that gives graduate music students at Oklahoma State University the opportunity to gain professional experience by playing main stage concerts with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra (TSO) has been renewed.

The OSU Department of Music and TSO recently announced the renewal, which will also give the five string students involved (two violins, one viola, one bass, and one cello) professional training with the orchestra while they pursue their Master of Music degree at OSU.  Financial support, provided by the Patti Johnson Wilson Foundation, makes the program possible at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center for a two-year span. Only one other program in the country has a similar partnership with a professional orchestra and OSU’s program was the first.

“It is invaluable for what we do as performers,” said Laura Talbott Clark, associate professor of violin and viola at OSU.  “Performing with the TSO greatly enhances the odds a student will land a job as a professional musician after graduation.”

The program has increased in popularity since its inception four years ago with the number of student applicants doubling over the last two years.

Interest in OSU’s Department of Music is expected to increase dramatically as well with the anticipated 2019 opening of OSU’s McKnight Center for the Performing Arts, and a residency with the New York Philharmonic scheduled that same year.