Music Students Travel to New York City to Study at Juilliard
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – JULY 23, 2012 –
Three music students from The University of Texas at Brownville and Texas Southmost College have been selected to participate at the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival from Sunday, July 29 to Tuesday, Aug. 7 in New York City.
Flutists Genesis Blanco, a senior music education major, Ileana Blanco, a freshman music major, and Clarissa Salinas, a junior music education major, are three of the 15 flutists selected nationwide to join fellow young musicians and composers from across the country in being mentored and immersed into all aspects of chamber music at the famous Juilliard School of Music at the Lincoln Center.
“I attended last year,” said Genesis Blanco. “It was very life-changing. My experience there made me grow not only as a musician but as a person.”
The Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival is a 10-day institute sponsored by the Imani Winds, a chamber music ensemble widely considered one of the top chamber ensembles in the United States.
“Participating in the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival at Juilliard is a tremendous opportunity for Genesis, Clarissa and Ileana,” said Dr. Cristina Ballatori, assistant professor in the Department of Music and the students' flute instructor. “Spending 10 days in New York City, studying with fantastic artists like the Imani Winds and being surrounded by other very talented student musicians in rehearsals and performances will be an incredibly inspiring and motivating experience for them.”
The tightly-scheduled, intensive summer institute includes: daily coaching sessions, concerts performed by top musicians and students alike, master classes taught by renowned guest artists, ensemble instruction, career building workshops, outreach training and composition and arrangement workshops.
The flutists will attend regular rehearsal and intense training within an assigned ensemble, which includes musicians specializing in other wind instruments. The evenings after rehearsals are free for students to explore the city.
Genesis Blanco began playing the flute in the sixth grade. She hopes to become a music teacher after graduation. She said that being accepted to the program is just as exciting the second time around for the opportunities to hone her skills under the mentorship of renowned musicians.
“I’m looking forward to the master classes more than anything,” she said. “You’re learning from renowned teachers from around the world. We’ll be working with Paula Robison and Carol Wincenc. Carol Wincenc came to UTB last year; it’ll be fun working with her again.”
Genesis Blanco traveled to New York City to study at the famous Juilliard School of Music.
Clarissa Salinas has been dreaming of playing in New York City her entire life. The chance to visit a city she has wanted to visit since she was a child while also getting to play and learn at Juilliard is what spurred the 19 year old Edinburg North High School graduate to apply for the festival.
“I’ve always wanted to visit NYC,” Salinas said. “So by applying for this and knowing that it was also at Juilliard, one of the best music schools in the nation or even the world, and learning from great musicians while being surrounded by other college students and playing with them I was trying to fulfill a dream.”
Salinas has been playing the flute since the sixth grade. She hopes to become a music teacher after graduation, and she is most excited to meet and perform with fellow music students from across the nation and learn from them.
“I really want to learn how to experience playing with people who are at a consistently high level, who have maybe been playing all their lives or come from a musical family,” she said. “I want to feed on their motivations. Going up there will boost my own motivation to keep going and maybe one day be a student at Juilliard and be as great as the higher level musicians who are playing there now.”
The excitement for Ileana Blanco is tangible. For her, this experience is looking to be something completely different than she is used to as a musician. As a student at Brownsville’s Hanna High School, she performed with the Texas All-State Band, but she feels that performing as part of the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival is a different level.
Ileana is most looking forward to learning how to improve her tonality to better communicate her expressions through her music.
“I hope to be a better musician after it’s through,” said Ileana, who began playing the flute at age 12. “Playing is a healthy way to express myself. I’m shy, normally. Music is an easy way for me to communicate. It’s probably the language I know best.”
The tuition and travel expenses for the three students have been paid for by a scholarship from the Department of Music and the Annual Fund: UTB Fund for Excellence.
Clarissa Salinas traveled to New York City to study at the famous Juilliard School of Music.
“After they notified me that I’d gotten the money, I was so relieved,” Genesis said. “I want thank the donors and my wonderful family for this amazing opportunity. Without this help, I would not have been able to do this.”
In recent years the Annual Fund has helped students pursue learning opportunities in Costa Rica, attend the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina and travel to conferences in Hawaii, New York, Texas and Canada.
“Thank you to the people who have given to the Annual Fund,” Ileana said. “Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to go. The money will help pay back a loan because my mom had to take out a loan for me to go to this so it really helps.”
Faculty members have also benefitted from the Annual Fund by most recently taking academic trips to Pennsylvania and Brazil.
“I want to thank everyone who donated to the Annual Fund and helped me fulfill my dream of going to New York City,” Clarissa said. “I can’t wait to play alongside these amazing musicians and experience the high caliber of music happening at Juilliard.”
To consider a gift to the Annual Fund: UTB Fund for Excellence, contact the Office of University Relations at 956-882-4334 or firstname.lastname@example.org.