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Flautarra and Clarinet Choir to Perform at TMEA Convention in San Antonio

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – FEBRUARY 7, 2014 Students in The University of Texas at Brownsville’s Flute Choir, One O’clock Guitar Ensemble and Clarinet Choir have been invited to perform at the Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention, the nation’s largest music educator’s convention.

More than 25,000 people from Texas and throughout the country will attend the clinics, concerts, research sessions and presentations by internationally-recognized educators from Wednesday, Feb. 12 to Saturday, Feb. 15 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.

The flautarra ensemble rehearses under the direction of Dr. Michael Quantz and Dr. Cristina Ballatori (not pictured) on Tuesday, Feb. 04, 2014 at Eidman 204. Paul Chouy / UT Brownsville

This is the first time the flute, guitar and clarinet students from UTB have been invited to perform at TMEA. 

Another first, the clarinet choirs of UTB and The University of Texas – Pan American in Edinburg will perform as one ensemble. Sixteen UTB students and 10 UTPA students have been rehearsing for their debut performance.

Dr. Jonathan Guist, UTB Associate Professor of Clarinet, and Dr. William O’Neil, UTPA Professor of Clarinet, came up with the idea to create a combined university clarinet choir.

These types of collaborations are especially appropriate given the formation of the new UT RGV, and we look forward to continuing working together in these ways,” said Guist.

​Clarinet students said they are enjoying getting to know their fellow student musicians at UTPA at their rehearsals.

“It feels nice to be able to collaborate with the UTPA Clarinet Choir,” said junior music education major Laura Maldonado, a 2009 graduate of San Benito High School. “It feels like we made the first step joining as a university. Our rehearsals have been quite fun, because we’ve never had the chance to perform in such a big group of clarinetists.”

The clarinet choirs will perform Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony” and Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” narrated by Dr. Nicole Asel, Assistant Professor of Music on Friday, Feb. 14 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.

Members of the UT Brownsville Clarinet Choir rehearse under the direction of Jonathan Guist, Associate Professor of Clarinet, on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 at Eidman 218. Paul Chouy / UT Brownsville

The UTB clarinet students will also perform several selections on their own, including “Chorale and Danza” by Vaclav Nelhybel and “Paquito” by Andy Scott.

“To be invited to perform at this event is a testament to the hard work of our students and the tremendous growt​h that is occurring in our clarinet program,” said Guist. “Through these types of opportunities, we hope music educators and potential students will see the great things going on here, and this will help fuel the future development of the program.”

The other group of musicians that will perform at TMEA will be Flautarra, a combined flute and guitar ensemble.

Dr. Cristina Ballatori, a UTB Assistant Professor of Music and Director of the Flute Choir and Dr. Michael Quantz, a UTB Associate Professor of Music and Director of the One O’clock Guitar Ensemble, have worked with their students in the combined group since last year when Flautarra made its debut at the 41st Annual National Flute Association Convention in August in New Orleans.

“Flautarra was selected by competitive audition, and this is the first time that flute and guitar students will be featured in a performance at TMEA,” said Ballatori. “It is a tremendous achievement for our music students. We are very excited for them to have this opportunity.”

The ensemble will perform a musical program of works with Latin American roots including “La Milonga” by Christopher Caliendo, “Odeon” by Ernesto Nazareth, “Peripecias do Guajara” by Liduino Pitombeira and selections from composers Heitor Villa-Lobos and Wil Offermans.  All pieces were arranged by Ballatori, Quantz and student musicians. Flautarra is scheduled to perform at 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13 at the convention center.

“We were chosen to represent the school, the department and, of course, the community,” said sophomore music education major Camila Fabela of Toluca, Mexico and Brownsville and  a 2010 graduate of Hanna High School. 

“Besides the performance, those of us that are attending the convention get to attend the numerous clinics, master classes and workshops available to us,” said Fabela. “TMEA is a wonderful opportunity to learn and start building a network and have some fun along the way.”

The annual convention features more than 200 workshops, performances and exhibit booths representing the music education industry.

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