Harmony Project Tulsa (HPT) is a multi-year, music-based, after-school mentoring program that gives daily academic tutoring, string instrument instruction, and music lessons to students in at-risk communities. We follow students from pre-k through high school graduation.
The primary aim of HPT is to build responsible, productive, caring citizens, while using music as a means of positive development and social inclusion.
HPT is one of nine affiliates of Harmony Project of America, based on the award-winning Harmony Project Los Angeles.
Harmony Project has been recognized as one of the most effective arts-based youth interventions in the nation.
Kathy Rad has been teaching orchestra students in the Greater Tulsa Area for 25 years. Rad’s devotion to sharing the joy of music with others has earned her the Bart Betow Memorial Education Award given by the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa, and the United States Army’s third highest award, the Superior Civilian Service Award. Ms. Rad served as the Music CurricuIum Coordinator for Tulsa Public Schools for 3 years, and Education Outreach Director for the Tulsa Symphony for 7 years. In 2014, Rad took the lead in creating the Tulsa affiliate of Harmony Project of America, and saw the program through to its current iteration/status as a non-profit independent organization. While serving as HPT’s Executive Director, Rad is also a Master Teaching Artist. Additionally, Rad teaches Orchestra at Will Rogers College Junior and Senior High School, and performs with the Tulsa Symphony, Tulsa Ballet, Tulsa Opera, and Tulsa Rock Quartet – Oklahoma Arts Council Touring Artists. She has played her Cello with musicians spanning many musical genres, including Itzhak Perlman, Eric Whitacre, Andre Watts, Joshua Bell, Harry Connick Jr., Shirley Jones, Sarah Coburn, Reba McEntire, Leo Kottke, Dave Brubeck, Ramsey Lewis, Mark O’Connor, Amy Grant, Doc Severinsen, Bernadette Peters, Roy Clark and has played for US Presidents such as Jimmy Carter. Kathy Rad has recorded on the Universal/Republic label and is the recipient of the 2018 Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.
Michael Nicholson gave his life over to music and the violin at the age of thirteen and has since performed in chamber ensembles, orchestras, and as a soloist throughout the United States and Italy. Currently, Nicholson is Principal Second Violin for Tulsa Symphony, Tulsa Ballet, performs with Tulsa Opera, and is also a founding member of Tulsa Rock Quartet. Possessing a deep passion for teaching, Mister Michael (as he’s commonly referred) has dedicated his life to his students. Nicholson was one of the first violin teachers in the early stages of Harmony Project L.A., and now he is serving as a Master Teacher Artist. Nicholson is also conductor of the Tulsa Youth Symphony Preparatory Orchestra.
Hannah Murray currently serves as Associate Concertmaster for Signature Symphony, as well as Associate Principal Second Violin for Tulsa Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, Murray performs with Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, Tulsa Ballet, Tulsa Opera, and Tulsa Rock Quartet. Throughout her career, Murray has performed, recorded, and collaborated with a diverse collection of composers, ensembles, and performers. In 2016, Murray joined Harmony Project Tulsa as Master Teaching Artist.
Tulsa native and Tulsa Symphony Orchestra Violist, Jen Scott, is an alumnus of both the University of Oklahoma and the University of North Texas. She also holds the position of Music Librarian, Production Manager, and Violist for the Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra, and maintains a position with the Fort Smith Symphony, as well as a steady freelance career with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Fort Worth Symphony, Signature Symphony, and the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas. Jen gives back to her community through her involvement with an Arkansas native ensemble, Storybook Strings, an ensemble involving presentations of children’s books accompanied by a small string ensemble. Jen has also performed with Dallas Summer Musicals, the Tulsa String Quartet, and has been involved in studio sessions for film, as well as participating with The Music Paradigm, a leadership workshop for industry business executives, demonstrating organizational dynamics within an orchestra.
Jarrett is a professional bassist based in Tulsa, Oklahoma who comes from Albany, New York. He is a Section Bassist for the Tulsa Symphony (TSO), Assistant Principal Bass of Springfield Symphony Orchestra MO (SSO), and Principal Bass for Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA). Jarrett has performed with Signature, Bartlesville, Arkansas, Texarkana, Shreveport and South Arkansas Symphonies and the Tulsa Ballet and Opera.
His Suzuki training began at Northwestern University when he took Suzuki Pedagogy with Gilda Barston in 2013. He continued his training with notable teacher trainers including Dr. Beth Cantrell, Dr. Andrea Yun, Dr. Shu-Yi Scott (Cello), Dr. Kate Jones and Virginia Dixon (Bass). Other teaching experiences include working as Bass Teaching Artist for Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, Bass Coach and Orchestra Assistant from Tulsa and Bartlesville Public School District respectively, Private Bass Instructor and Chamber Coach for the bART Conservatory of Music, and Guest Artist for a bass masterclass at Brigham Young University Idaho. Currently, he is the Adjunct Bass Instructor at University of Arkansas – Fort Smith and Adjunct Instructor of Low Strings at Northwest Arkansas Community College as of 2019. As an arts administrator, he got his start as Personnel Manager for SoNA. This newfound interest led him to get his second Masters in the field. During his final year of the degree, he was Administrative Director for the Tulsa Youth Symphony where he earned the organization’s first government grant from the Oklahoma Arts Council and started their first Silent Auction. As Personnel Manager for SoNA, he is thrilled to have the honor of putting Northwest Arkansas on the map for professional orchestral musicians!
His personnel management experience has contributed in partnering with the Walton Arts Center for its CineConcert Series to provide the Northwest Arkansas community a unique, theatrical and thrilling orchestral performance.
Jarrett received his Bachelor and Master of Music in Double Bass Performance from Ithaca College and Northwestern University respectively. His principal teachers include Erik Johnson, Nicholas Walker, Andrew Raciti and Lauren Pierce. Jarrett is also a Master of Arts Leadership & Cultural Management from Colorado State University. His certifications include a Graduate Certificate in Change Management from Cornell University and a Certificate in Grant Proposal Writing from Fort Hays State University.
Joshua began teaching in Greece in 2001. Upon returning to his native state of Oklahoma, he taught for 8 years before founding World Through Music, Mindfulness school of Music (WTM), Yoga & Performing Arts in India in 2008. As director of WTM, Massad travels between America and Asia every year to share his love for music and further explore and discover why we make music.
Edwin Canito Garcia was born in New York City and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is a graduate of the University of Tulsa and received his M.M. in Jazz Studies and Commercial Music Production at the University of Central Oklahoma. He has been a faculty member at the University of Central Oklahoma, HOSTOS Community College CUNY, and has worked as an educator for over 10 years combined in the NYC Public Schools District, Union Public Schools District and the Broken Arrow Public Schools District. He specializes in upright bass and electric bass studies, improvisation skills, music technology, Afro-caribbean and south American studies, recording and music business. Edwin Canito has performed and recorded with many notables in the Jazz, Latin Jazz and Latin Pop idioms of music. Some of those notables include: Freddie Bryant Trio, Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, Phil Woods, Charlie Porter, Sharel Cassidy, Bobby Porcelli, and is currently a musical director for NYC percussionist, Frank Valdes.
Kara Dawn Erwin is a Tulsa singer/songwriter & actress.
Kara was born & raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she began singing in front of an audience at the age of 6.
When Kara began 9th grade, she also fell in love with acting at Jenks High School & an amazing community children’s program ran by Elizabeth Hunt called Youth On Stage!
She has starred in many professional Tulsa productions.
Tulsa Project Theatre has been a big part of Kara’s theatre experience since 2012.
Her resume includes principal roles in Hairspray, Godspell, Little Shop of Horrors, and Lizzie The Musical!
She has also been a professional make up artist since 2013 working for MAC Cosmetics, Laura Merciez, and eventually branching out on her own! Kara is so grateful & excited to have the opportunity to be a teaching artist with Harmony Project, and enrich the lives of the students involved!
Jocelyn Rowland Khalaf started playing violin at the age of 3 in Joplin Missouri. The daughter of a piano tuner/composer/theater organist, she was always surrounded by music as a child. Her father always nurtured her and encouraged her to pursue her talents.
Jocelyn graduated from the University of Tulsa in 2004 with a Bachelor of Music in Violin and Voice. Jocelyn has extensive Suzuki pedagogy training. She is not only an accomplished composer and arranger for Strings, she is also in a critically acclaimed band, We The Ghost. She sings backup vocals, programs strings, and helps write songs for the band. They have won multiple awards, including Los Angeles Music Awards and charting on Billboard.
Ms. Rowland-Kahlaf has taught General Music and Strings Classes in Broken Arrow and Tulsa Elementary Schools, and currently teaches Orchestra and Choir at Edison Preparatory School in Tulsa Public Schools. After school she teaches Violin, Musicianship Classes and Choir for Harmony Project Tulsa.
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Victoria Mayfield has been studying the violin since she was seven years old. She is a Tulsa native and has had the wonderful privilege of being deeply involved in the Tulsa music community during the past seventeen years. She has played in numerous ensembles growing up and recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from the University of Tulsa. Victoria joined Harmony Project in 2019 and has been working with Sistema Tulsa since 2018. Her passion originates from the belief that music can change lives and should be accessible to everyone. She believes that learning music can also give you confidence, discipline, and courage.
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Helena Singleton is an 19 year old violinist. She is studying Music Education at the University of Tulsa in Tulsa, Oklahoma, graduating in May 2022. She has participated in her city’s El Sistema program, Sistema Tulsa, since it’s inception, transitioning from a student to a teacher in 2019, as well as teaching at another El Sistema program, Harmony Project Tulsa since 2019. Since beginning private lessons in 2016, Helena has participated in Oklahoma’s All-State orchestra, Oklahoma Summer Art Institute at Quartz Mountain, YOLA National Festival, and was a member of the YOLA National Institute, traveling to Scotland and London, working with other passionate young musicians.
Cordaro Booker was born in Kansas City Missouri to the proud parents of Omega Tillman and Eugene Booker, He is also the Father of 4 Beautiful Boys Benjamin,Izaiha, Tylan and Cordaro Jr. Mr Booker now resides in Tulsa Oklahoma serving as the minister of music for Legacy Church Tulsa the national chief minstrel for The Ancient Catholic Church Global. Cordaro Booker recently won an award and now holds the title as Tulsa’s finest instrumentalist musician for 2019. Since then Booker is now working within churches and school around town helping them perfect their Music Ministry/ Department through the art of Ingenuity and principles of Discipline, Pocket and Placement.
Mercy Rose has played violin and piano for 10 years. She has been teaching both instruments for a year. Mercy will be graduating with an associates degree in music this spring and plans on using her talents to teach the next generation. She is also a coach in the Tulsa Honors Orchestra and teaches their debutant orchestra. Mercy also helps with the THO summer camps. Some of her favorite composers are Bach and Beethoven and She loves Tango music and Irish music. Some of her hobbies when she isn’t teaching are baking and painting. Mercy just wants her students to feel the joy and excitement that she feels when learning about music.
Jeff Porter is a percussionist who has been studying, performing, and teaching music from Cuba, West Africa, the Congo and Brazil for the past 23 years. His goal is to bring the spirit of music to as many people as possible, because it is really fun! Jeff teaches using body percussion, comedy, dancing and singing to integrate rhythms in the body. He also teaches private lessons using traditional instruments like Congas, Bata, Pandeiro, Djembe, Shekere, and Cajon. He has performed and recorded with Paul Simon’s band from Graceland, Emmylou Harris, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Laura Goldhamer, and many others. He really loves Working rhythmically with all kinds of instrumentalists and vocalists. Because as James Brown said everything is a drum!
“Krassimira Figg has all the drama and passion one would expect. Figg’s playing… was most impressive, as she made the melodies soar with a fluid, voice-like sound… “Performance… brought the crowd to its feet… most of the audience was still discussing [it] after the concert was over.”-Tulsa World, December 17, 2010 Tango – Piazzolla
A winner of several international cello competitions, Krassimira Vassileva Figg completed her studies in Bulgaria, where she served as principal cellist with one of the major national orchestras and cello professor at the Plovdiv Music School. She then moved to Paris, where she obtained a degree in chamber music and cello performance and performed with several orchestras, including the French National Orchestra, Orchestre des Champs-Elysees, Pierre Boulez’s contemporary ensemble, and the Ensemble Orchestral d’Aquitaine-Bordeaux, where she was principal cellist. During her time in France, Krassimira was chosen to perform at the famous Salle Gaveau for the sixtieth birthday of Mstislav Rostropovich, and she served as the assistant to the chamber music class at Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris. In 1999, Krassimira moved to the U.S. with her family, first to Kansas City, where she played with the Kansas City Symphony and taught at the KCYA School of the Arts. She was a founding member of the cello quartet CelloRondo, which recorded its first CD in 2006. In 2009, Krassi moved to Tulsa, where she lives with her youngest son Brian and her dog Booboo. She is currently assistant principal cellist of the Tulsa Opera, a founding member of the Tulsa Camerata, a member of the Tulsa Symphony, and was a featured instrumentalist in the recent PBS live special “Kristen Chenoweth: Coming Home.” She also teaches at the bART Center for Music and in her own private cello studio. Her performances have been broadcast on the radio and television in Bulgaria, France, the U.S., and Italy.
“I am very happy and thankful that they got in the program because it has helped them so much, and they enjoy it. They get a lot of help from their teachers, a lot of guidance.”
Callie Jo Morey
Dr. Margaret Martin
Dr. Deborah Gist
Pastor Chris Hall
Dr. Erv Janssen
Dr. Kathy LaFortune
Christina Starzl Mendoza
Dr. Anna Norberg
M. Teresa Valero
In 2001, Dr. Martin founded Harmony Project, which has provided instruments and tuition-free group and private music lessons to thousands of the most vulnerable children in Los Angeles as a means of positive youth development and social inclusion. The Harmony Project has garnered two Presidential awards since 2009.
Harmony Project Tulsa, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization, EIN 47-4235862
Contact Executive Director, Kathy Rad:
EMAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com
TELEPHONE NUMBER: 918-688-1405
Harmony Project Tulsa
406 South Boulder Ave, Ste. 660
Tulsa, OK 74103
PRESTO (Program for Rising El Sistema Organizations)
In July of 2018, El Sistema USA (ESUSA) identified 13 exemplary organizations nationwide to support through the Program for Rising El Sistema Organizations (PRESTO). As a member of PRESTO, ESUSA provides Harmony Project Tulsa with funding, networking and mentorship opportunities, and training for senior leadership over a three-year period. Learn more about Harmony Project Tulsa’sinvolvement with PRESTO and El Sistema USA by clicking here: El Sistema USA (ESUSA)