415 S.E. Dewey Ave., Bartlesville, Oklahoma 74003 hello@okmmusic.org 9183369900

Make a Gingerbread House for the Christkindl Market!

By Susan Albert

OKM Music is sponsoring a Christkindl Market this Dec. 2, and one of the activities is for the whole family to pitch in and make a gingerbread house at home and bring it to the office the day before the event. Judges will pick three winners in the contest: Most Creative, Most Festive and Most Delicious-Looking with cash prizes at stake.

What a great way to spend some family time together. I have never made one myself, but I’ve always thought it looked fun to do. From what I’ve read about the project, it is best to use a sturdy board to build your dream home such as plywood or a covered baking sheet; otherwise the weight of the house could cave in on cardboard.

You can use a kit if you don’t want to make your own gingerbread walls, and it is OK to use some graham crackers in the structure, too.  Everything must be edible (except the base of course). There are lots of recipes online to get you started. Here are a couple of them:




Royal icing is recommended to glue the walls and frame because it dries hard. I notice recipes differ as to whether they use real egg whites, egg white powder or meringue powder, but apparently they all work well. If you are squeamish about using raw eggs, use the powder, which is pasteurized.

Everyone in the family can help design and decorate the house. Use M&M’s, Smarties, peppermints, Red Hots, Skittles, or whatever strikes your fancy.

Deliver your masterpiece to the OKM Music office, 415 S. Dewey Ave., in Bartlesville, by 3 p.m. Dec. 1. Include your name and phone number in a visible place on the base board. Houses must be picked up by 7 p.m. Dec. 2 in the Children’s Tent.

Rules are found at the end of the Christkindl article under the Events menu.


Local women create OKM keepsake

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — Staff at OK Mozart received a wonderful surprise on May 25, 2017 when Marilyn Johnson stopped in to show them a quilt she had been working on for three to four months.

“I’ve been collecting OK Mozart T-shirts for more than 20 years and didn’t know what to do with them,” she said.

“I didn’t want to throw them away and didn’t want to give them away. I’d heard about T-shirt quilts, so I called my friend who was a quilter, Marge Bice.”

Johnson had never quilted before, but she sews a lot and also cross-stitches.

“I was reaching out to an area I knew nothing about,” said Johnson.

Johnson drew the designs she wanted, and Bice, who has been quilting since 1986, took over the technical end. Johnson wanted them to look like real T-shirts on the quilt, so she drew a pattern, placed it over each T-shirt and cut them out.

Bice said once Johnson came up with the shirt design, the project just “grew and grew.”

They chose a cream-colored background for the squares. The strips between the squares are a flowered material to pick up all the colors of the T-shirts, according to Johnson.

Mary Lynn Mihm, festival chairman, was overwhelmed by the beauty of the quilt. “We are blessed to have amazing patrons in the community,” said Mihm.

Johnson will pass down the quilt to her daughters to share — Lori Ahlert, Jennifer Hanseen and Marianne Egan.

Johnson, of Bartlesville, and her late husband, Marvin, are longtime patrons of the arts. Johnson spent 50 years volunteering with Theater Bartlesville, on stage and as a board member.

Johnson said she likes everything about the Mozart concerts. “We used to have family outings at my daughter’s and always enjoyed the Woolaroc concerts. We made a big party out of it.”

The quilt will be on display during the OK Mozart festival, June 8-16, first in the Bartlesville Public Library till June 7, then in the Community Room of the Bartlesville Community Center from June 8-11, then back to the library display.

Photo: Marge Bice and Marilyn Johnson stand in front of the OK Mozart keepsake quilt they created.

OK Mozart hosts music enrichment program

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — The electrifying trio of Glen McDaniel, Nick Villalobos, and Zack Clark, together known as Simply Three, has been captivating audiences worldwide with high-octane performances since 2010.

Ahead of their May 12 performance at the Bartlesville Community Center, sponsored by OK Mozart, they made a stop at Central Middle School to perform and host a Q&A for all seventh- and eighth-grade orchestra students. Madison Middle School orchestra students joined Central to attend this opportunity.

Simply Three introduced an original piece debuting on their new album this fall, in addition to lively covers that had the students singing and clapping in the audience.

McDaniel, Villalobos, and Clark took questions from the students that ranged from favorite animal to why they started their careers in music.

“Simply Three left the middle school students inspired to pursue their passions in music,” said Ashley La Rue, director of development and planning at OK Mozart.

OK Mozart donated more than 100 vouchers to students and parents to attend Simply Three’s live show that evening at the Bartlesville Community Center.

“Glen, Nick, and Zack are true masters in their craft and their experience and energy filled our students with inspiration,” said La Rue. “Bringing aspiring students in close contact with professional musicians is a part of our mission at OK Mozart. In doing so, we inspire, educate, and enlighten students to pursue a career in the arts.”

Exposing youth to music enriches their educational experience and their lives, said La Rue. OK Mozart believes in the message Simply Three left the middle school orchestra students: “Find your passion and stay hungry.”

For more information about OK Mozart’s youth education programs, visit okmozart.com.

OKM Travel Club returns from New York City

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — The OK Mozart Festival is known for bringing world-renowned performers to Bartlesville for a weeklong immersion of music and arts. But this spring, the festival switched gears and took more than a dozen Bartlesville residents on a four-night tour of New York City, to take in the sights and sounds of The Big Apple.

The trip was all about culture, according to OKM Showcase Director Grace Farmer, who helped plan the trip in conjunction with Spears Travel. The excursion was intended to recreate the OK Mozart travel portion as in the early years of the festival.  “We wanted to do something musical, and figured New York was the best place to do it,” she said.

At the top of the list was Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts — home to the New York Philharmonic symphony orchestra. The Philharmonic performed Strauss’s iconic “Also sprach Zarathustra,” immortalized in popular culture in “2001: A Space Odyssey.” The concert also included Stravinsky’s “Funeral Song” and the premiere of Tansy Davies’ “Forest,” with guest artists from the London Symphony.

“It was just a wonderful performance, a packed house at Lincoln Center,” Farmer said. “If you’re looking for something musical, that was the place to be.”

Next up was a show on the dazzling strip of New York often referred to as the Great White Way — Broadway. The group took in a performance of “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” which tells the story of King’s rise to stardom in the music industry. “The music was absolutely fabulous,” Farmer said.

The group also somberly visited the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, a tribute to the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, at the World Trade Center site, near Shanksville, Penn., and at the Pentagon, as well as the six people killed in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993.

“The crowds of people that were there, and even inside, no one really spoke to each other because it was just a solemn thing to see,” said Farmer.

Bartlesville resident Harry Farnsworth, who had been to New York City before but never to the 9/11 Memorial, said it was the key reason he and his wife, Betty, decided to go along on the OK Mozart trip. “That was the thing that really made us go,” he said. “The Broadway show and the Philharmonic were just extras that were very nice to do. … We enjoyed the trip a great deal.”

The trip included free time to explore “The City That Never Sleeps,” and many of the participants took tours to see many of the city’s famous landmarks, including as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, as well as SoHo, Greenwich Village and iconic eatery Tavern on the Green in Central Park. And, each night, they were back at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, just minutes from Rockefeller Center, Madison Square Garden and Fifth Avenue.

This July, OKM plans to take a sold-out day trip to Baldwin, Kan., and climb aboard the Kansas Belle Dinner Train for a three-course meal, train ride and World War II USO show. Farmer hopes the successful New York City adventure and the Kansas day trip will be just the tip of the iceberg over the next few years. “Take a travel experience with OK Mozart!,” she said.

For more information about the 2017 OK Mozart Music Festival, visit www.okmozart.com.

OK Mozart fundraiser features retro USO dance

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — Experience all the food, fashion, and fun of a 1940s USO-themed dance, beginning at 6:30 p.m., March 10, at Hillcrest Country Club in Bartlesville, presented by OK Mozart, Inc.

“Step back in time and join us for a wonderful evening of big band sounds, swing dancing and honoring our military,” said Mary Lynn Mihm, event chairman of OK Mozart Goes USO. “Proceeds from this event will help support the 33rd OK Mozart Music Festival in June, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Oklahoma USO to salute and support our military for all that they do for our country.”

The audience will be treated to music by Floyd Haynes and his Orchestra, featuring vocalist Jae Simmons. Haynes and Simmons are well known around Oklahoma and promise plenty of 1940s big-band classics.

“OK Mozart is dedicated to celebrating different cultural experiences, and what better way to do so than by reliving the music of the 1940s,” said Mihm.

Even the food has gone retro, she said. Savor period favorites such as deviled eggs, assorted canapés, tea sandwiches, old fashioned meatballs, petit berry pies, star-spangled cookies and more. Enjoy retro cocktails, and check out the thirst-quenching Coca-Cola bar.

Be sure to come dressed in favorite ‘40s style clothes and hairdos. Active and retired military personnel are encouraged to wear their uniforms.

The red, white and blue decorations, plus ‘40s-era posters, will add to the nostalgic feel, and photo stations will be available to “seal the moment.”

History buffs will want to get in on the trivia contests, and don’t forget to wear dancing shoes because prizes will be awarded for best dancing and costume. Check out the many YouTube videos for instructions on swing dancing.

Tickets can be purchased online at https://okmozartuso.eventbrite.com and a confirmation email will be sent. Check-in on March 10 only requires the reservation name. Tickets are $100 each, with four cocktail coupons, or $75 each without the drink coupons. Active and retired military personnel receive a $10 discount.

For more information and a link to the ticket site, visit www.okmozart.com.

About OKM

The OK Mozart Music Festival celebrates all genres of music and is planned June 8-16 in Bartlesville. The 33rd annual festival also includes Showcase Events that feature additional musical groups, educational programs and children’s activities. For information, visit www.okmozart.com.