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A Chat with Ron Wheeler, the Longtime Leader of the Tulsa Youth Symphony

The Tulsa Youth Symphony, now comprised of more than 150 middle-school and high-school musicians from throughout Northeastern Oklahoma, will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. For more than 40 of those years, our guest on ST has been at the helm of this outstanding local arts organization; in fact, just last month, Ron Wheeler --- who's been the CEO and conductor of the Tulsa Youth Symphony since 1972, and who's also a violinist with the Tulsa Symphony --- was given the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Music Educators Association. Today, Wheeler tells us how the Tulsa Youth Symphony got started, how it operates or sustains itself in an ongoing way, and why it's been so consistently successful over the years. He also gives us a preview of the Tulsa Youth Symphony's Winter Concert, which will take place tonight (Monday the 18th) at 7:30pm at the Union Schools Performing Arts Center here in Tulsa, and which will include music by Beethoven, Stravinsky, Bach, Wagner, Rachmaninoff, and others. (You can read a bio of Wheeler's career in music at this link; for more about the history and devlopment of the Tulsa Youth Symphony, please go here. Also, you'll find more about tonight's concert in particular here.)

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