A far sighted foundation says children who know music become adults who love music, and they're making some big plans for downtown Tulsa.
News on Six reporter Emory Bryan says the only thing on the corner at 1400 South Cheyenne is an empty building, but the vision for this corner is for it to be where children learn not just how to play music - but how to appreciate it - with the ultimate goal that they will grow up to support the arts.
It might be hard to imagine a concert hall on the site - but the land is already purchased, and plans made for a music conservatory to be built here. The long closed synagogue on this site would be torn down - replaced with a 750 seat auditorium, with enough room to teach music to hundreds of children.
Joe Hull, Barthelmes Board: "We're going to do this, with the community support, we're going to get it done and get it done on time." The plans call for a big building, but the idea is much larger - to mold children into adults who will support the arts.
The building will provide a venue to polish skills and perform. But the process begins with music in the classroom, expanding traditional music courses with instruments and instruction available to anyone interested. It's already underway at a couple of schools - supported by the foundation. Craig Clemons, Conservatory Director: "There's a lot of studies about how arts laid on top of curriculum completes the whole learning."
The foundation has made a $2-million commitment for the $6-million project - with seed money from the Barthelmes family. Hull: "The Barthelmes were the biggest contributors to the Youth Symphony and the Tulsa Philharmonic, which gave us as the directors an unwritten mandate to go toward musical education for children and supporting the community through a community music school."
The music conservatory would be the permanent home of the Tulsa Youth Symphony, but backers hope children just beginning to learn music will find a home here, where they can realize their musical potential.
The conservatory will begin music training this fall on the TU campus - with the hope of moving to a building on this site in a few years.
To find out more about the Barthelmes Conservatory you can visit their website at www.barthelmesconservatory.org