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OCU to Host Free El Sistema Music Ed Symposium

Jamie Bernstein, a writer, arts advocate and daughter of composer Leonard Bernstein, will be the keynote speaker at Oklahoma City University’s “Music Transforms” symposium April 13 that will introduce the renowned Venezuelan music-education program El Sistema to Oklahoma.

Bernstein’s keynote speech begins at 10:30 a.m. in the atrium of the Bass School of Music at N.W. 25th Street and Blackwelder Avenue. Admission and lunch are free, but pre-registration is required by e-mailing

The half-day session is free to the public and is particularly geared toward community leaders, educators, musicians and parents who are interested in the program.

In addition to Bernstein, 20-minute presentations will be given by Christine Witkowski, director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s YOLA at HOLA, the acclaimed program of Gustavo Dudamel; Stanford Thomas, CEO of “Play on Philly!” and chairman of the U.S. National Alliance of El Sistema-inspired programs; and Jose Luis Hernandez-Estrada, executive director of the newly established El Sistema Oklahoma.

The symposium is co-sponsored by St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and Oklahoma City University. For additional information, contact Hernandez-Estrada at (405) 208-4921 or