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Fine Arts


Erika McGhee Named Union High School Theater Director

Erika McGhee has been named theater director at Union High School. McGhee has long been a fixture at Union Public Schools, having served as the theater teacher for seventh and eighth grade students since 2009. In her new role, McGhee will be responsible for producing and directing large-scale musical productions at Union High School, as well as one-act plays and other theatrical performances. For the last 13 years, she has produced notable middle school productions of “Frozen,” “Aladdin,” and many others. “We are so pleased to cast Erika McGhee in this new role as theater director at Union High School, as she has been building toward it for quite some time,” said Matt McCready, director of Fine Arts. “She is an educator with a student-centered focus, a role that she takes very seriously. Erika has extensive experience producing elaborate musicals and is well-equipped to meet the high expectations of Union audiences. She will do a stellar job carrying our theatrical program forward into the future.” 

Visit the Renegade Regiment Website

Welcome to Union Fine Arts!

Union Public Schools has one of the truly outstanding fine arts programs in the nation. A talented and dedicated staff, strong parental and community support, as well as the support of the administration and school board, have provided our students with a wide variety of opportunities to explore and develop their talents.

Exceptional Facilities, Staff & Students!

Union's exceptional facilities, including the 2,000-seat Union Performing Arts Center and the Union Multipurpose Activity Center as well as two black-box studio theaters, give students outstanding venues in which to perform. The fine arts wing at the 6th/7th Grade Center has also been expanded to accommodate a greater interest in music and choir. The 8th Grade Center also has expended its Fine Arts facilities. 

Student engagement districtwide in Fine Arts remained high in 2019-2020, with

  • K-5 student participating in Music & Art: 6,711 students
  • Grades 6-12 Visual Art: 1,909
  • 6-12 Band: 1,197
  • 7-8 Dance: 345
  • 7-12 Drama: 724
  •  6-12 Orchestra: 711
  • 7-12 Speech/Debate: 177
  •  6-12 Vocal Music: 826
  • Total: 12,600 students

Fine Arts programs

Fine Arts covers a myriad of disciplines including ceramics, drawing and painting, photography, choir, music, speech and debate to flag corps.

Visual Arts

One of Union's most popular Fine Arts offerings is visual art. This discipline is taught to all elementary students and remains a strong favorite at the secondary level with more than 1,300 students enrolled in art, ceramics, painting or photography. Union offers one of the few AP (Advanced Placement) Visual Art programs in the state. Many of our students turn their ability in art into scholarships at major art institutes and universities. Recently, a large number of students from Union High School were honored at the National Scholastic Art Exhibition.

Vocal Music 

The Vocal Music program includes all elementary students and is a strong elective at the secondary level. Union has a long record of excellence in concerts, performances by show groups, Broadway musicals and competitions at the local and regional level. Our singers, utilizing Orff and Kodaly methods from grade one, have achieved an enviable record in performance and sight reading competitions. Many of our students have received major university scholarships and have become successful teachers and performers. Broadway musicals such as a recent production of Annie and performances of major works as part of Union’s “Masterworks” series are part of our vocal music program.

Union Public School is well represented in arts events such as TulsaFest, Tulsa Summerarts, the Oklahoma Summerarts Institute; and many of our students are featured in community theater musicals. Choruses comprised of younger students have been sought to accompany major performing artists when they perform in Tulsa.


Members of the Speech/Debate squads compete almost every weekend throughout the school year. With individual honors at every meet, including national qualifiers and many ‘Meet Sweepstakes Trophies,’ these young people are representative of the wonderful program in place for debate and competitive speech.

Music Theory/Technology

Students at Union High School have exceptional opportunities in the area of Music Theory and Music Technology. Union boasts one of the best AP Music Theory courses in the state. Many AP Music Theory students are able to skip one or even two years of college music theory because of their excellent preparation.

Another exciting addition to our curriculum is the piano lab. It accommodates 24 students and permits individually paced instruction as well as allowing full-class instruction and performance through the headphone system. Using this lab, students can explore composition, orchestration, arranging, ear training, sight singing, improvisation and self-paced study of music history.

100 Years


Drama classes are another popular elective at the secondary level. Students can work to perfect their speaking and acting skills in this program which offers numerous public presentations each year. For many years, the High School Repertoire Theater has received state-wide recognition for their superb performances in the One-Act Play category.  Presentations by drama groups at all levels are know for their excellence.

Mass Media

The Mass Media program at Union is growing more popular every year. With support through the district's focus on technology, we anticipate a continued great future in this area. Students learn about yearbook, newspaper and broadcasting, as well as digital imaging and web design, combining art and technology. Some of the classes – such as web design – also incorporate business class elements with them and are even taught by business teachers.

Instrumental Music

Most people know about the multi-talented High School marching band, the Renegade Regiment, with more than 10 Oklahoma Bandmasters Association state championships since 1985, two Fiesta Bowl Grand Masters Championships, a national championship in the 1996 WinterGuard International competition, two national percussion championships and three national colorguard championships.  However, the Regiment is only part of the district's band program.

The Union band program begins at the sixth grade level with an annual enrollment of approximately 400 students. Band offerings include the marching band, concert bands, pep bands, jazz bands, membership in full orchestras. After a successful season in the fall of 2018, it was announced in the spring of 2019 that the Renegade Regiment had been selected to participate in the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, representing the state of Oklahoma. 

The Orchestra program has a reputation for excellence in the state, region and nation with numerous awards at each of these levels. Our students are well-represented in All-District and All-State orchestras, and students from Union Schools traditionally make up more than ten percent of the Tulsa Youth Symphony. Many students from the orchestra program have received scholarships at major universities throughout the nation as a result of their playing skills.

Union was one of two Oklahoma districts recognized by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation as Best Communities in Music Education for their outstanding music education programs.

All elementary schools participated in the Carnegie Hall Link Up program in 2019, culminating in a joint performance between third and fourth grade students and the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra.


Union's Fine Arts Department proudly presents YouthArts!, an annual fine arts festival showcasing the creative works and talents of elementary and secondary students. The festival celebrated its 40th anniversary in the spring of 2019.



Matthew McCready
Matthew McCready
Director of Fine Arts  / Biography

Charles Pisarra
Charles Pisarra
Director of Union Bands / Biography

Fine Arts Department 
Union Mulitpurpose Activity Center (second floor)
6836 S. Mingo
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133-3247

Phone: 918-357-7414 / Fax: 918-357-7498

2019-2020 Achievements

  • Union continued its partnership with Tulsa Symphony Orchestra to provide music interactions for students at Rosa Parks Early Childhood Center.
  • Union Bands hosted a Winter Guard International Regional Championship at the UMAC, with nearly 50 competing units from six states participating.
  • Fourteen High School students were named as OkMEA all-state musicians (band, choir, and orchestra).
  • All-School Musical “Matilda” performed to large audiences, in spite of a forced cancellation due to inclement weather on opening night. Even with the loss of one performance, the four remaining shows sold more tickets than the previous year.
  • ShowTix4U was implemented as a new ticketing system for the musical with much success, allowing increased proceeds of ticket sales to remain with the district.
  • All 8th grade students attended an all-school musical teaser of “Matilda”
  • Eric Cornell, Tony-Award Winning Producer for the Broadway revival of “Oklahoma” and 2002 UHS Graduate, returned in February to interact with current Union drama students and provided a clinic/lecture about his experiences along the way.
  • The Annual Fine Arts recruiting “road show” continues to foster 6th grade participation in Arts classes.
  • UHS art students won multiple awards from the Department of Family Services and were presented the awards at a ceremony at The Philbrook in February.
  • UHS art student Junior Maria Arellano won the Gold Key Award for her artwork in the Scholastic Art and Writing contest from the Oklahoma Region presented by the OSU Department of Art and Graphic Design and Art History. It includes a $2,500 scholarship.
  • Three 8th Grade art students were recognized for creating outstanding masks in the 2020 Purim Mask contest, sponsored by The Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art. 3rd Place: Amirah Almahri. Honorable Mention: Josue Ochoa and Chantz Okyere.
  • Carnegie Hall Link Up Concert and Program serves all 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students (approximately 3,422 students) in the district. Two successful concerts were performed in February by Tulsa Symphony Orchestra for this initiative.
  • UHS Art Club toured Crystal Bridges in the fall semester on a field trip as part of their education program.

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Contact Information

Union Public Schools
8506 E. 61st Street
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133
Phone: 918-357-4321

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