Musician students Nicholas Adams, 9 (left), and Solomon Higgins, 10, practice playing their cellos during a music class at Boston Avenue Methodist Church in Tulsa, Okla., taken on September 27, 2015. The class is a part of Sistema Tulsa, a music education program based on techniques developed by a teacher in Venezuela who has become internationally known. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World

Two years ago, it was my honor and pleasure to introduce Sistema Tulsa, a free-tuition and rigorous musical-learning outreach program of the Boston Avenue Church in Tulsa, on the House Floor.

The mission of Sistema Tulsa is to build community and improve young people’s lives through the practice of music, serving students from all social, economic, racial and gender backgrounds.

Since their performance date coincided with the state teachers' walkout, they performed on the Capitol's south portico where they were enthusiastically and appreciatively met with teachers from across the state.

The Sistema students and their dedicated director, Jose Luis Hernandez, made both me and Tulsa proud that day.

This week Sistema Tulsa made me even more proud.

Their end-of-the-year concert fell during our time of coronavirus-induced social-distancing protocols, so what did they do?

They planned, performed and produced a virtual concert!

Everyone – from the beginning musician to the most accomplished artist, from the teachers to the conductors, from the students to their parents – had to prepare for a concert in a brand-new way.

It was aesthetically and mind-blowingly successful. Every student was given the opportunity to shine, and the coordination of all performers was technologically awesome.

This accomplishment during this time frame is a beacon of hope for everyone everywhere. Tulsa should be proud of the initiative and resilience that have been demonstrated by everyone involved in this tremendous accomplishment.

You can enjoy this virtual concert online at

Karen Gaddis, Tulsa

Editor's Note: Karen Gaddis is the former Oklahoma House representative for District 75.

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