The mission of El Sistema Oklahoma is to serve the community by engaging children within an ensemble-based music program so they can share the joy of music making and grow as responsible citizens.
Board of Directors
Cathy Busey, Chair
Phil G. Busey, Sr., Vice-Chair
Dr. Steve Agee
Rev. Phil Greenwald, Treasurer
Rev. Brian Bakeman
Dr. Cory Nagode
Director of Musicianship and Logistics
Dr. Lani Garner is a professor of Music Education at Oklahoma City University. She received her Ph.D. in Music Education at the University of Oklahoma in 2017. Her passion for teaching younger students extends through her current work as Director of Teacher Support and a Lead Teaching Artist at El Sistema Oklahoma. Prior to this, she worked with the K20 Center for Education and Community Renewal, providing coaching, mentoring and coordinating technical assistance and training across the state for grant schools and their partners. Dr. Garner also spent over eighteen years teaching elementary music in the Norman Public School District and continues to volunteer with these schools.
As co-founder of the first elementary world-music ensemble in the state, Manyawi!, and founder of a second group, Zambuko, she shares her experiences with undergraduates interested in including “outside the box” lessons to energize traditional elementary music instruction. Her passion for and success with world music education stems from her own travels and research. She was chosen by the Rotary International Group Study Exchange Program in May 2001 to learn from and work with local musicians and educators in Norway. Additionally, through the Fund for Teachers grant, she and two colleagues spent two weeks in the village of Mhondoro, Zimbabwe in 2006, where she was immersed in the culture and music of the Shona people. During the summer of 2014, Lani spent two weeks at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music learning about traditional Chinese music and culture. She also presented research concerning music educators’ self-perceptions and implementation of classroom operations at the International Society for Music Education (ISME) World Conference in Scotland in summer 2016. All of her travels have contributed to her love for teaching children global connections, and she hopes to influence aspiring educators to develop authentic world music communities and creative classroom experiences.
Director of Student and Program Support
Jayme Kelton joined the El Sistema Oklahoma team in January 2018. She is from Oklahoma City and received her Bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Oklahoma and her Master’s degree in Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling from Columbia College Chicago. Before joining El Sistema Oklahoma, Jayme has worked as a movement therapist in the Chicagoland area and with children who have experienced trauma in the Oklahoma metro area. Jayme provides our students and families with post secondary guidance as well as social/emotional resources to assist our families.