Music Graduates Sing Goodbye and Prepare for their Next Act
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – MAY 7, 2012 – Graduating seniors Victoria Rodriguez and Eradio Martinez said goodbye to the Department of Music at The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College in appropriate fashion.
Along with 150 fellow music students, they took the stage of The Arts Center on Thursday, May 3 for “In Celebration - Fifteen Years of Making Musicians,” a concert commemorating the 15th anniversary of the university’s music degree program.
Music majors Eradio Martinez and Victoria Rodriguez will graduate on May 19.
At Commencement on Saturday, May 19, Rodriguez and Martinez will be among the eight music majors who will walk across the stage to receive the Bachelor of Arts in Music Education; two others will be awarded the Master of Arts in Music Education.
“Being a part of this special event was a wonderful way to end my days with the Master Chorale,” said music education voice major Rodriguez, a 2007 graduate of James Pace High School, who has just completed her student teaching at Rivera High School and Cromack Elementary School.
“Now I am focusing on becoming an educator and being a bright spot in a student’s day,” she said. “People will be trusting in me, in a sense, to help raise their children, and I will have a say in what kind of day a child has.”
Martinez, also a music education major, is specializing in voice and piano. In addition to singing with the Master Chorale at the concert, Martinez performed “La Campanella,” a piano solo by Franz Liszt.
Martinez comes from a family of educators. His father is a school counselor and his mother has retired after 30 years of teaching. One of his brothers is also a teacher and the other is studying counseling, with plans to follow in their father’s footsteps.
A University Scholar with a four-year scholarship towards his bachelor’s degree, Martinez is a 2008 graduate of San Benito High School. Like Rodriguez, he just completed his student teaching at Hudson Elementary School and Hanna High School. Martinez is hoping to receive a graduate assistantship to continue his studies and achieve his master’s degree.
Martinez and Rodriguez reflected on their time at UTB and TSC with fondness. Both traveled to Italy with the Master Chorale on its concert tour during spring break of 2009.
“It was an awesome, amazing experience,” Rodriguez said. “The Vatican was beyond belief, and I still get goose bumps when I recall everyone singing the alma mater, impromptu, at the Coliseum.”
Both Rodriguez and Martinez said music study, like any other discipline, takes not only talent but also dedication and years of practice.
The Arts Center was filled with family, friends and community members for the 15th Anniversary Concert.
“Music is a necessity in education,” Martinez said. “It is proven to increase students’ skills in all areas – history, the sciences, math. Actually, music is very mathematical. Language skills are sharpened in music, too. Studying French and German are required for the bachelor’s degree.”
Rodriguez echoed Martinez’s comments and expressed her personal experience.
“Back in high school, music is what made me study and keep up my grades,” she said. “It’s the same as with athletes; music students have to pass their classes to participate in all the fun things like trips and going to conferences. All the best students were in music.”
In May of 1997, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the UTB Bachelor of Arts in Music degree.
Since then, the Department of Music has awarded more than 150 bachelor’s degrees and more than 20 master’s degrees. Graduates also have a 100 percent pass rate on the music portion of the state teacher certification exam.
For more information on the Department of Music, contact Carlo Tamayo in New Student Relations at 956-882-8959 or email@example.com.