Graduate Profile: Music Student’s Passion for Music Leads Him to Graduation
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS –DECEMBER 10, 2012 – Noe García’s talent for classical guitar brought him to the Department of Music at The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College. As he prepares to leave, García recalls the journey that brought him to calling himself a college graduate.
“I’m really happy to be at this part of my life, to actually be graduating,” said García. “It’s been a long process, but this is it, this is my last semester as an undergraduate student. I’m nervous, but it’s time to move on to better things.”
While García will graduate from the University this December, he decided to delay walking until spring Commencement so that he and his younger sister, Coral García, can receive their diplomas on stage together.
“Since spring semester will be a transitional semester for me, I wanted to wait until the spring commencement in order to graduate with my sister,” said García. “Being in the first generation of college graduates, I think it would be very rewarding for my parents to see both of us walk together at commencement. I’m sure they will be very proud of us both.”
García, 25, first picked up a guitar during his sophomore year at Brownsville’s Lopez High School. After graduating, he enrolled in the music program at UTB and TSC.
“I was very comfortable with guitar,” García said. “So I decided why not study it as a profession?”
The music program taught him about the theories, the intricacies of composition, the history and hard work behind the music he was playing. As a result, García gained the tools he felt were necessary to become the well-rounded, talented musician he is today.
“What UTB has done is taught me how to be a more progressive player in the sense that you have keep up with everything that’s going on and learn to apply it to your instrument,” said García. “[The music program] does a good job of leading us and teaching us all we need to know to be a good musician.”
As he looks forward to graduating from UTB and TSC, García leaves knowing that during his time here he became one of the premier classical guitar musicians on campus.
He has won many scholastic and performance awards for his musicianship. He is a recipient of the Guitar Club Scholarship and the College of Liberal Arts Talent Scholarship.
In the spring of 2010, García and the UTB and TSC Guitar Orchestra played at the Texas State Capitol in Austin for Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-TX). Later, he performed for University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) at the 2011 Santa Rita Award Ceremony at The University of Texas at Austin.
“I think those were some of the best performances I think we’ve had because we had people in attendance that really have a big impact [in our state],” said García.
In April, he won the 2012 Concerto / Aria Competition and was allowed to perform with the UTB and TSC String Ensemble as a special guest soloist.
“That was a wonderful experience being the only guitarist on stage and having the whole orchestra back you up,” said García. “It was an amazing experience.”
García said his biggest accomplishment, however, was this past June when he placed 4th in the 2012 ‘Classical Minds Guitar Institute & Competition’ at The Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival at The University of Houston.
“At first I didn’t know if I would do so well because I didn’t know how good I was comparatively,” said García. “But I decided to do it anyway, and I got 4th place. It was a very, very good situation and performance for me.”
García has been working as a guitar instructor for the past two years in-between classes. He currently holds a position as Little Mozart’s Musical Academy in Brownsville teaching electric and classical guitar teaching all ages from four years old to senior citizens.
“It’s great to see your students’ progress,” said García. “It’s great to see the really dedicated students grow. It’s really gratifying to me to know, ‘wow, when that student came in he didn’t know anything, but look at him now, he’s playing, he’s sounding great, he’s being a musician.’ That’s the most rewarding part about teaching.”
García looks forward to continuing his work as a guitar instructor in the future. He said he feels he can offer his future students a different take on traditional guitar instruction because he was in their same shoes, learning one chord at a time. He wants to instill the love for guitar that he possesses into future generations.
“When I first started learning guitar I realized there’s a lot missing from instruction,” said García. “There are certain things that I wish I would have learned in a certain way. I feel like I can teach them in that way, in a way that I think I would have understood when I was in high school a little better.”
However, before entering the teaching field García hopes to pursue a master’s degree in performance from UT Austin. He wants to become disciplined in both the education and performance side of music.
García offers the following advice to incoming and prospective music students: practice, practice, practice.
“Take it very seriously because they can be very hard on you in the music department,” said García. “They do it because they want to create really good musicians and they want an amazing product at the end of the four years. Don’t skip class, show up to all your classes, and practice all you can.”
For more information on the Department of Music, contact Carlo Tamayo in New Student Relations at 956-882-8959 or email@example.com