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For Immediate Release

Chase and BBVA Compass Grants Increase Community Outreach

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – FEBRUARY 18, 2011- The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College’s Department of Music has further extended its reach into the community thanks to grants totaling $35,000 from Chase and BBVA Compass Bank.

The grants give additional funding for elementary to high school outreach programs that provide classes and performances on campus, performances in the middle and high schools campuses and at community venues.

Programs such as master classes from university faculty even allows UTB/TSC students to perform at local schools, including the Bravo Opera Company’s yearly performance of “Hansel and Gretel” that more than a thousand elementary students see each year.

Chase granted $25,000 and $10,000 came from BBVA Compass.

“During the austere financial times, these funds will allow us to continue our efforts in K-12 outreach without having to cancel important programs,” said Dr. Sue Zanne Urbis, chair of the Department of Music. “I was very grateful that both of our grants were funded.”

This is the third year the department has received the Chase grant for music outreach. Support continued as a result of the university’s vision and efforts to reach children in an area that may not receive as much funding as other educational areas, said Dan Lawless, Chase president of commercial banking, Rio Grande Valley region.

“This program has given Valley children exposure to world class musicians,” he said. “Funding education and music programs is very important to the Chase Vision.  When the economy is suffering, unfortunately, the arts are often the first to be cut.

 “This makes the music outreach even more important,” Lawless said. “It has been shown repeatedly that music programs help students learn in all areas such as math.”

This is BBVA Compass’ first grant awarded and feels as a company, it is important to connect with local universities and educational institutions to build a better community.

 “At BBVA Compass, our vision is to work for a better future for people,” said Jon Rebello, BBVA Compass city president for Brownsville and Harlingen. “This implies a deep commitment to our communities, where we utilize our expertise and resources for the benefit of communities in which we live, work and play. The $10,000 donation to UTB/TSC’s music department is consistent with both BBVA Compass’ vision and commitment to Corporate Responsibility and, in particular, education.” 



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