Grand Finale: Tulsans Performances Kick Off and Wrap Up OKM Music Festival This Month | City office



Generations have visited the Italian Renaissance-style mansion housing the Philbrook Museum of Art, but never with harp renditions of the top 40 songs echoing in the rotunda between performances by the quartet in the hall.

The patrons of the OKM Music Festival finale on June 13 will be the first; billed as a “progressive classical concert,” the evening includes performances by the Tulsa Honors Baroque Orchestra, Tulsa harpists Lorelei Barton, the Verona Quartet of Oberlin College and Conservatory and the Balourdet Quartet of Boston. The finale culminates a celebratory weekend mozart with performances in Bartlesville and Tulsa highlighting local and international artists.

The Tulsa Honors Baroque Orchestra opens with a performance on the museum terrace as patrons sip cocktails and admire the art. The Baroque Orchestra is the most advanced of the three orchestras under the Tulsa Honors Orchestra, a nonprofit organization providing instructional and performance opportunities for young string players.

It’s also a legacy for a Tulsa family. Director General of OTH Karine Naifeh Harmonyviolinist and composer of concerts and films, is the daughter of the founder of THO Jody Naifeh, who created the organization 43 years ago in response to budget cuts in school orchestra programs. (Nan Buhlinger launched the OK Mozart International Festival, aka OKM Music Festival, in 1983 a few years later.)

Harmon sees performances like these as an opportunity to celebrate his mother’s legacy; Naifeh died in 2019. Now Harmon’s daughter, 16 Lexy Harmonwill be one of the young musicians in the orchestra that evening.

“I’ve really enjoyed the community we’ve created with THO,” says Lexy Harmon. “I am honored to grow up with these wonderful generations and friends who will carry on my grandmother’s legacy together. I love all the performances we have done. It is so wonderful for all the students.

According to Karen, among the pieces the orchestra will perform that night are original compositions by THO coaches and students.

“Of course, because we are a baroque orchestra (17th and 18th century European style), we will play a Vivaldi concerto for recorder too, with one of our symphony coaches, Terry Pollackwho plays the recorder, in addition to the viola and the violin,” she says.

Barton, a veteran harpist, chamber music coach and teacher who has performed at the festival many times over the years, will provide the musical backdrop as guests enjoy wine and canapes in Philbrook’s rotunda between performances of the quartet at Patti Johnson Wilson Hall.

“When I make ‘mood’ music, I try to appeal to all tastes,” she says. “I will play a combination of light jazz, classical, pop and Broadway. I also try to play music by current musicians. People like to hear music they recognize. I always like a challenge, so I’ll also play some tricks I’ve learned recently. Barton will also perform on June 4 as part of OKM’s “Especially for Kids” series.

Tulsa Honors Baroque Orchestra, Bartlesville Civic Ballet and Tulsa Jazz Singer Sarah Maud will kick off the festival at 6:30 p.m. on June 9 at the Tower Center at Unity Square in Bartlesville. Performances end with a free screening of the 1935 musical “Top Hat.”

For tickets, visit


June 9 Festival Kick Off, Downtown Bartlesville

June 10 A Country Night, Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Reserve

June 11 An Evening of Jazz with Catherine Russell, Bartlesville Community Center

June 12 Bluegrass, Bartlesville Community Center

June 13 Festival Finale, Philbrook Museum


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