The University of Tulsa recently announced major changes (re-organization) to many of its degree programs. Degrees in music performance (instrumental, piano and voice) and composition will be discontinued.
Hyechka Club of Tulsa, Inc., organized in October 1904, has promoted the musical arts in Tulsa throughout the years, from instituting music pedagogy in the early Tulsa Public Schools to being the primary fundraiser for building Tulsa’s first true performing arts center, which premiered in 1914 as Convention Hall (now known as the Tulsa Theater) where Tulsa Opera, Philharmonic and Ballet performed for many years.
More recently, Hyechka was proud to donate $25,000 for the naming rights to one of the practice rooms in the TU School of Music’s Lorton Performance Center, and annually awards $26,000 in music scholarships to serious young musicians, many of whom attend TU as a music performance majors.
Hyechka is the Creek Indian word for music; the entire TU campus now resides on former Creek Indian Nation land.
While the School of Music faculty is innovative and has means to bolster presently offered bachelor of arts programs with more rigorous performance tracks, there is a fair argument that the degree may not be academically comparable to a bachelor of music degree at another university.
We sincerely hope the TU Board of Trustees takes note of the effects its decisions may have on the entire Tulsa community.
The musical arts scene in Tulsa is (there’s no other way to say it) booming, with much credit to TU and its School of Music.
E. Carleton James, Tulsa
Editor's Note: E. Carleton James is the treasurer of the Hyechka Club of Tulsa.
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