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New Appointment - James and Mary Barnes Foundation Director of Sistema Tulsa

Thu, 2016-01-21 14:45

Jose Luis Hernandez is now appointed as The James and Mary Barnes Foundation Director of Sistema Tulsa! The Barnes Foundation Trustees are pleased that their support will "enable the Boston Avenue United Methodist Church to offer children in Tulsa a chance to enrich their lives."

"I am proud of the work we do at the Boston Avenue United Methodist Church and Sistema Tulsa," says Jose Luis.  "Our program focuses on excellence, community, and partnerships to grow a more prosperous youth. I am delighted of this appointment that allows me to share my passion for music and education!"

Sistema Tulsa First Notes - a memorable milestone!

Wed, 2015-12-23 18:58
Recent article/interview on Sistema Tulsa published on The Word. December 25, 2015.  

Sistema Tulsa Plays their "First Notes"

Tue, 2015-12-15 00:17
It is inspiring to witness the beginning of young musicians’ journeys. You see them shining and feeling proud about themselves and their work. All of a sudden music means something special for them and for the community that supports them. Someone wrote to me the day after the December 11th Sistema Tulsa concert and said that we had experienced an honest-to-goodness Christmas miracle. I am proud of the work we are doing in Tulsa.  

Es muy inspirador ver el principio de la trayectoria futura de jóvenes músicos. Los ves brillar y sentirse seguros de sí mismos y de su trabajo. De pronto la música significa todo para ellos y para la comunidad que los apoya. Alguien recientemente me escribió para decirme que el concierto del once de Diciembre había sido un milagro. Estoy muy contento por el trabajo que estamos realizando en Tulsa.

Debut con la Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar

Mon, 2015-11-30 02:20
Fue una enorme satisfacción colaborar con la OSSBV en Caracas. El 20 de Noviembre tuvimos un excelente concierto donde alcanzamos un alto nivel de concertación artística y nivel interpretativo junto con el pianista Mexicano Abdiel Vazquez y el compositor Juan Pablo Contreras.  Gracias a su energía y entrega logramos un gran concierto que además de ofrecer de  la mejor música nos recordó la gran narrativa musical y cultural que hermana a México y Venezuela. 

Para mí fue de gran emoción estar inmerso dentro del mundo sonoro tan vigoroso de El Sistema  y de poder entrar en dialogo con esa experiencia. La noche del concierto recordé los consejos del Maestro Abreu y su generosidad para con todos nosotros, el linaje artístico de Carlos Chávez y Eduardo Mata con la orquesta,  mi propia trayectoria musical y todas las personas que me han concedido su fe y sustento a través de los años. Todo convergió ahí en ese momento tan especial.


Sistema Tulsa Director to lead Simón Bolívar Orchestra

Thu, 2015-11-12 01:25

November 12, 2015 

By Shari Goodwin for "The Word"

Jose Luis Hernandez, director of Sistema Tulsa, is about to realize a dream come true. He has been invited to be a guest conductor for the renowned Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela in Caracas. 

This invitation brings him full circle. 

“I graduated from TCU in 2006, then went to study in Europe,” he explains. “I was just starting to think about the art of conducting when I stumbled on a NY Times article about this miraculous El Sistema orchestra. Dr. Abreu’s idea of social change through music was compelling. God spoke to me through that article.” 

He heard that orchestra for the first time the following year while touring in Mexico. “I had tears in my eyes; it was as if I had fallen in love with music all over again. Music meant the world to these musicians, and they were very inspiring in communicating their message.” 

Jose Luis finished his professional studies and started a Sistema program along the US-Mexico border working with a diverse community. 

In 2009, Maestro Jose Antonio Abreu, founder of the Sistema movement, was awarded the TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) Prize and was granted a wish: to identify “gifted young musicians, passionate about their art and social justice,” who would take his vision to the world. 

Jose Luis was one of those chosen for a year-long fellowship at the New England Conservatory, and he traveled between Boston and Caracas to study and prepare to lead the program further. He has started orchestras in Oklahoma City, and now in Tulsa at Boston Avenue. 

Jose Luis is now studying scores to prepare for his time with the orchestra next week. He will rehearse with them for three grueling hours every morning, then he hopes to visit Sistema students and leaders in the afternoons. The concert is November 20. 

“When I step on that podium, I will be ready to share my love of music and to lead them well,” he says. “This orchestra is used to working with the world’s very best conductors. 

“This will be my opportunity to thank them for the gift of inspiration.”

Sistema Tulsa teaches lessons beyond music

Mon, 2015-10-12 14:44

By JAMES D. WATTS JR. World Scene Writer

Excerpt  / Read More

The purpose of El Sistema, Hernandez-Estrada said, “is to use music, to use our culture, as the vehicle to raise up a new generation of achievers and give them the tools they need to succeed. “All instruction is done in ensembles, and we meet five days a week, so the instruction is intensive,” Hernandez-Estrada said. “The idea is to develop a sense of discipline and focus, as well as the ability to work accurately and to work well with others.

Magical Evening of Music with Wynton Marsalis

Mon, 2015-10-12 01:05

Those who attended the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s concert experienced a world class musical event. Wynton Marsalis and the orchestra members all demonstrated outstanding composing, arranging and jazz performance skills to a full Tulsa Performing Arts Center crowd. The concert was a benefit for Sistema Tulsa, the social change through music education program that began here last month to help Tulsa students.

I had the opportunity to offer a welcome message and introduce the musicians before their performance. After the concert, Mr. Marsalis graciously spent time with some of the students. Special thanks goes to the Brannin Family Foundation for their generosity in underwriting the excellent concert.