Music Academy Students Join Lineup of
Musicians at Symphony in the Park
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – APRIL 26, 2013 – Eight-year-old
Bethany Najera, seven-year-old Katie Najera and 11-year-old Jimena Escobedo have
been practicing piano and violin to perform at Brownsville Literacy
Center’s Symphony in the Park on Saturday, May
Bethany Najera (violin on left), Jimena Escobedo (violin on
right) and Katie Najera on the piano practice for Symphony in the
The Najera sisters began learning about music as toddlers in the Music
Academy pre-school class, and Jimena first picked up her child-size violin to
start lessons at the age of four.
“At the Music Academy, we offer pre-school music activity groups; also,
we have group lessons in piano and guitar, and choir is a group activity, too,”
said Rocio Molina, Music Academy Coordinator. “For private lessons, we offer
piano, guitar, violin, flute, clarinet, percussion and
Katie said the piano is very special to her, and she is happy when she
is learning new songs to play. One of her favorites is “Joanne the
Bethany said she likes the pretty sounds of the
“My grandpa and grandma gave it to me; it was a surprise,” she said of
her beautiful child-size violin.
Jimena has been studying violin since the age of five. She comes from a
musical family, where she listened to her father play the guitar. Her first
instrument was the flute, inspired by the opera “The Magic Flute,” and she has
now progressed to not only violin but also piano.
“Music is one of those things that has to be present early in life,”
said Dr. Juan
Pablo Andrade, Professor of piano in the Department of
Music and Director of the Music Academy. “We always say we
teach students from two years old to 99 years old – but that’s just a saying.
You can be older than that, too – you are welcome.”
Several other young pianists and violinists will perform for the
Symphony in the Park audience; also, 14 youngsters in the Music Academy choir
will sing several selections they have been practicing.
Afterward they play, from 6:30-7 p.m., the young violinists will let
children look at and touch their special instruments in an “instrument petting
About 70 students, or “Play Advocates,” will enhance the evening’s
enjoyment for everyone – children as well as moms and dads – with a smorgasbord
of activities, including cardboard box play, bubbles, art, face painting and
hoopla hoop twirling to keep children occupied before and during the
“A play day focuses on the creativity of children and adults and not on
prescriptive games and sports,” Duarte said. “Play is essential to live a
healthy, productive and joyful life. A huge factor of mental and physical health
is the right to play, and the reality is that children are not engaging in
active play, keeping fit and healthy. My students and I are honored to host Play
Day at Symphony.”
Play Day at Symphony begins when the gate at East Madison Street and E.
7th Street opens at 5 p.m.
Other family-friendly activities during the evening include Gourmet
Central’s cupcake decorating, Rodeo Dental’s face painting and game table and
the Zoomobile from Gladys
Porter Zoo will have animals to pet.
Other music performances will include the children’s B-SMART Orchestra,
the Los Fresnos High School Jazz Band, the UTB and TSC Taffelmusik Quartet, and
the headliner for the evening, the Dean Canty Big
“This is Brownsville Literacy Center’s 15th Annual Symphony in the
Park, one of the favorite community events of the year,” said Victor Rivera, BLC
Director. “We encourage concertgoers to arrive early to set up their blankets,
lawn chairs and picnics – then relax and let the children
Symphony in the Park benefits Brownsville Literacy Center, a 501(c)(3)
nonprofit organization dedicated to improving reading and writing competency in
our area through appropriate and accessible educational programs.
Ticket prices are: children three and under, free; ages 4-12, $4; ages
13 and above, $8; VIP, $50. Seniors 65 and above receive a $2