Percussion Student Keeps to the Beat and Receives Scholarship
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 7, 2012 – Manny Treviño is entering his sophomore year at The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College with the extra flourish of a dramatic drumroll. Treviño has been awarded the $24,000 Clara Freshour Nelson Music Scholarship through the Texas Association of Music Schools.
“This is a wonderful honor for Manny, his teacher and our university,” said Dr. Sue Zanne Urbis, Chair of the Department of Music. “The Texas Association of Music Schools includes all private, community and public university schools of music in Texas, and its scholarships are extremely competitive.”
Treviño is a percussion music education major studying under Dr. Thomas Nevill. The scholarship will provide for the remainder of his undergraduate education.
“I had to send in a recording, letters of recommendation and write an essay,” Treviño said. “Several months went by, and I figured, well, it’s not going to happen, so I’ll have to take out another loan, but then the letter arrived in the mail. My mom and I were so excited.”
A 2011 graduate of San Benito High School, Treviño said he was in his senior year when he discovered that music would become his life’s work.
“I spent a lot of time talking with my percussion instructor, Mr. Jorge Mujica, and I could tell how he really enjoyed his profession,” Treviño said. “He encouraged me to follow a career path with something I felt strongly about and not just something that would bring in a big paycheck.”
Treviño followed those words of wisdom and his heart and said he looks forward to the day he will be the one to instruct youngsters and help them be more prepared for college than he was.
Now studying with Nevill, Treviño continues developing as a musician and as a more focused student. He gives the Music Department faculty high praise, saying their goal is to teach and mentor their students into becoming successful.
Treviño started playing percussion in his sixth grade school band and has never stopped.
“It’s always there, whether I’m listening to music or just walking or I hear someone’s radio, I’m always conscious of it and feeling the beat,” he said.
Summers are not a rest from practicing his craft either. Treviño is a charter member of RGV Genesis Drum and Bugle Corps, now completing its third year. Genesis is “dedicated to promote the existence and marketability of drum and bugle corps through social events, music, marching and competitive performances,” according to its website mission statement.
For the third summer, Treviño traveled with Genesis to participate in shows and Drum Corps International’s competitions. The group of about 80 Genesis musicians trained in the early weeks of the summer at several schools throughout the state, including UTB and TSC. The training period is rigorous, with early morning physical exercise followed by hours of practicing and learning drills and routines.
“It’s very demanding – pretty much practice, sleep and eat healthy food,” said Treviño, now 40 pounds lighter than at the beginning of the summer.
Bentonville, Ark., was the group’s first summer 2012 exhibition as part of the Music on the Move show. Their travels and performances include venues in Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana, where they topped off their summer’s activities competing in the DCI World Championships Open Class, with the finals held at Colts Stadium in Indianapolis, garnering a position in the Top 10.
The UTB and TSC drum line was an important part of Treviño’s freshman year.
“It was fun to attend the activities and athletic events, and really be connected with what was going on,” he said.
As much as he enjoyed that extracurricular activity, he is bowing out this year to devote what little free time he has to be the drum line technician at Brownsville’s Pace High School, helping the drummers at afternoon practice starting daily at 4:30.
“Dr. Nevill and Mr. Mujica have both helped me get to where I am today,” Treviño said. “I look at what they have accomplished, and then I realize, they are just people like me, and I think, if they could make it, why can’t I?”