September 18, 2021, our friend and bART teaching artist Michael McClure passed peacefully from this earth. Michael’s passion for music and his deep love for sharing that passion with his students and fellow artists will be forever remembered by our community. The multitudes of lives he touched through his guitar, his kindness, and his immense talent will be forever brightened by the beholding of his presence.
We know that Michael would want you all to continue your journey through music even though he is no longer with us physically. We will work steadfastly to make sure that happens. His soul remains with us always. Below is his updated biography; if you don’t already know Michael, please read more about his love for music and his students.
Love, light, and music,
Ally Taylor, Executive Director
Michael McClure’s career in music spanned over 40 years. A member of the Choctaw Nation, Mr. McClure performed at national events with Native American blues artist “Smilin” Vic and with Native American flutist Terry Tsotigh.
He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Tulsa in 1997, with an emphasis in performance guitar. His remarkably warm personality, along with a talent for composing and performing, afforded him the opportunity to perform for former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
Music education played a vital role in Michael’s life. For more than a decade, he performed alongside Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame legend Earl Clark. Both he and Clark were committed to teaching young children through Clark’s music outreach programs located in Tulsa. In 2008, music teacher Shirley Davis and Mr. McClure co-founded the Burroughs Elementary Guitar Program. Since that time, they have both directed the efforts of teaching 40+ young aspiring musicians and participants every year.
In 2009, Mr. McClure joined the faculty of the bART as a guitar instructor. His music outreach programs located at Burroughs, Boevers, and Remington Elementary Schools are sponsored by the bART, and through those programs each year, Michael introduced 50-70 students to guitar, and many of them continued to enjoy a life-long interest in the study and performance of guitar after their classes with Michael were over.
In addition to his role as teacher and mentor, Mr. McClure continued with a variety of performance projects, and he could often be heard playing with other fine musicians at outdoor festivals and events around Green Country.