Adult Programs


Be the Orchestra

Be the Orchestra Beginning Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass Courses for Adults
Just for adults, this class is designed to teach violin, viola, cello or bass basics to adult beginners. No experience is necessary. The eight-week course meets once a week on Monday evenings. Practicing outside of the course is suggested, but not mandatory. Tuition includes all materials necessary for class. Beginning courses are offered once a year in the fall with classes beginning in September. Be The Orchestra is taught by Mrs. Dorothy Hays.

Be the Orchestra Intermediate Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass Course for Adults
This class is designed for those who completed the Philharmonic's beginning violin, viola, cello or bass course in the Fall, or more advanced beginners. The eight-week course meets once a week on Monday evenings. Practicing outside of the course is suggested, but not mandatory. Tuition and instrument are required. Intermediate courses are offered once a year in the spring with classes beginning in January. Be The Orchestra is taught by Mrs. Dorothy Hays.

S.O.S.  (Society of Strings) and S.O.S. Encore
The Society of Strings and Society of Strings Encore are two adult orchestras mostly comprised of those who have competed both the beginning and intermediate courses of Be the Orchestra. Society of Strings is under the direction of Dr. John Schimek and Society of Strings Encore is under the direction of Ms. Jean StathamBoth ensembles meet once a week on Monday evenings throughout the year. Information Request


Classical Program Notes

Read Our Program Notes Online
The OKC Philharmonic relies on the scholarship and wit of James Keller, annotator for the New York Philharmonic, for notes on the classical music programs. These notes are published in our concert program and are also available online for advance reading.


Concert Previews

7:00 - 7:30PM
 Before each CLASSICS SERIES Concert
 Thelma Gaylord Concert Hall  | Civic Center Music Hall
 Free to ticket holders 


Classics 1 – 16 September 2017 at 7:00PM
Joel Levine, Music Director, OKC Philharmonic
Beginning his 29th season leading the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, founding music director Joel Levine continues to orchestrate passion in our community. Maestro Levine’s reputation for sensitive musical accompaniment has enabled the PHIL to present one of the country’s most distinguished series of world-renowned guest artists. He has collaborated with many of the greatest performing artists of our time and has been called a “remarkable musician and visionary” by Yo-Yo Ma. For his work as a founder of the Orchestra, he received The Governor’s Arts Award (1989), was named Oklahoma Musician of the Year (1991), is a 2008 “Treasures of Tomorrow” honoree of the Oklahoma Health Center Foundation, and received an Honorary Doctorate in Music from Oklahoma City University.

Classics 2 – 7 October 2017 at 7:00PM
Matthew Troy, Education Conductor, OKC Philharmonic
Matthew Thomas Troy is the Artistic Director & Conductor of the Piedmont Wind Symphony in North Carolina and the Education Conductor for the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, leading outreach efforts and performances. He also served as the Associate Conductor of the Winston-Salem Symphony from 2008 - 2014. Troy has conducted orchestras across the country and has previously held positions as conductor of the Fibonacci Chamber Orchestra, the Wake Forest University Orchestra and the Salisbury Youth Orchestra. Additionally, Troy has previously taught on the faculties of Wake Forest University and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and UNC-Greensboro.

Classics 3 – 18 November 2017 at 7:00PM
Michelle Merrill, Associate Conductor, Detroit Symphony Orchestra
A passionate and dynamic artist, Ms. Merrill was named as one of Hour Detroit Magazine’s 3 Cultural Organization Leaders to Watch, and was recently profiled by the Ford Motor Co. for their website. She is also a recipient of a 2016 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award. Recent and upcoming engagements include the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera, and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, where she formerly served as Assistant Conductor before coming to Detroit. As the Associate Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, she helps plan and conduct over 30 concerts per season, including the renowned educational webcasts, which have reached over 100,000 students to date in classrooms throughout the nation.

Classics 4 – 13 January 2018 at 7:00PM
Alexander Mickelthwate, Music Director Designate, OKC Philharmonic
German conductor, Alexander Mickelthwate, made his European debut with the Hamburg Symphony in April 2006. Since then, he has appeared with an impressive array of orchestras in Europe including the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bucharest Philharmonic, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Mr. Mickelthwate made his Australian debut in 2011 and has served as guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic, Assistant Conductor with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and Associate Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. As Music Director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Mickelthwate significantly developed the orchestra’s profile through active community engagement and innovative programming initiatives like the annual New Music Festival and the Indigenous Music Festival. In May 2017, Mr. Mickelthwate was named Music Director Designate for the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.

Classics 5 – 3 February 2018 at 7:00PM
Dan Schwartz, Second Oboe/English Horn, OKC Philharmonic, Assistant Professor of Oboe, University of Oklahoma
Dr. Dan Schwartz is the Assistant Professor of Oboe at the University of Oklahoma and the Second Oboe/English Horn player in the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. Prior to these positions, Schwartz has performed with orchestras throughout North America, including the National Arts Center Orchestra under the baton of Pinchas Zukerman, Nashville Symphony, and Rochester Philharmonic among others. An avid performer, Schwartz has presented recitals at numerous International Double Reed Society Conferences, including performances of his own original compositions. Recent masterclasses given include Vanderbilt University, University of Michigan, University of Texas Austin, University of Costa Rica, University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, DePaul University, and Interlochen Arts Academy. When not frantically scraping oboe reeds, Schwartz enjoys cooking, bad reality tv, and taking on home renovation projects that he has no business taking on.

Classics 6 – 3 March 2018 at 7:00PM
Q&A with Joyce Yang, Piano, and Sallie Pollack, Piano Division Head and Assistant Professor of Collaborative Piano, University of Central Oklahoma
During her first year at Juilliard, Joyce Yang won the pre-college division Concerto Competition, resulting in a performance of Haydn’s Keyboard Concerto in D with the Juilliard Pre-College Chamber Orchestra. After winning the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Greenfield Student Competition, she performed Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto with that orchestra at just twelve years old. She graduated from Juilliard with special honor as the recipient of the school’s 2010 Arthur Rubinstein Prize, and in 2011 she won its 30th Annual William A. Petschek Piano Recital Award. Highlights of Ms. Yang’s recent engagements include her debuts with the Minnesota Orchestra and San Diego Symphony, recitals in Anchorage, Beverly Hills, Cincinnati, Denver, Nashville, Seattle, and at Spivey Hall in Georgia, and concerts with her frequent duo partner, violinist Augustin Hadelich.

Classics 7 – 7 April 2018 at 7:00PM
Q&A with Philippe Quint, Violin, and June McCoy, Violin, OKC Philharmonic, Concert Preview Chair and Musician’s Continuing Education Grant, OKC Orchestra League
Philippe Quint studied at Moscow's Special Music School for the Gifted with the famed Russian violinist Andrei Korsakov, and made his orchestral debut at the age of nine, performing Wieniawski's Concerto No. 2. After moving to the United States, he earned both Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Juilliard. His distinguished pedagogues and mentors included Dorothy Delay, Cho-Liang Lin, Masao Kawasaki, Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, Arnold Steinhardt, and Felix Galimir. Mr. Quint’s formidable discography includes a large variety of rediscovered treasures along with popular works from standard repertoire. In November 2013, he released to critical acclaim Opera Breve with pianist Lily Maisky, a unique collection of opera transcriptions for violin and piano featuring both popular and rare songs on Avanticlassic. Recent engagements include performances with Colorado, Seattle & North Carolina Symphonies, Luzern’s Zaubersee Festival with pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin, and the Verbier Festival performing with Joshua Bell and Tabea Zimmerman.

Classics 8 – 12 May 2018 at 7:00PM
Rod Ackmann, Principal Bassoon, OKC Philharmonic, Associate Professor of Bassoon, University of Oklahoma
Rodney Ackmann is Associate Professor of Bassoon at the University of Oklahoma where he also performs as a member of the Oklahoma Wind Quintet and is Director of the Sooner Bassooners. Additionally, he serves as Principal Bassoonist of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and performs as a member of the Bright Music Chamber Ensemble. Mr. Ackmann previously served as Principal Bassoonist of the Tulsa Philharmonic and Tulsa Opera Orchestra for 22 seasons. Other performance affiliations have included the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Solisti New York, Kansas City Symphony, Odyssey and Nova Chamber Music Series, and the Musica nel Chiostro, Spoleto and Assisi Music Festivals in Italy. Mr. Ackmann holds the Bachelor of Music Education, Master of Music and Performer's Certificate from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he studied with Leonard Sharrow and Sidney Rosenberg. He currently serves on the Music Advisory Panel for the Oklahoma Arts Institute.

Master Classes with the Guest Artists

Talented University music majors are paired with guest artists of the Philharmonic in a lesson before an audience. The public is invited to these free events. Master classes are presented at various university locations and are announced as details are finalized. For the most current information, sign up for the monthly Philharmonic eNews.

 Master Classes are free of charge and open to the public.  Children under 10 years of age are not permitted.


Teacher Appreciation Night

The Thursday evening performance of  "The Christmas Show" serves as Teacher Appreciation Night, as we offer discounted tickets to teachers who participate in our education programs. Contact Katie Barrick, Education Coordinator with questions.

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