For Immediate Release
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"A Night of Strings" Launches Inaugural Year Celebration
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS - FEBRUARY 15, 2010 - From some of the youngest musicians in the community to the leader of The University of Texas System, string performers christened The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College Arts Center with the facility's first public concert Monday, Feb. 15.
The sold-out student scholarship benefit event featured local students, including the Skinner Elementary Strings program, two UTB/TSC ensembles and The UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, Ph.D.
“It is wonderful to be here at The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College,” said Cigarroa, who performed “Farruca," a traditional flamenco piece. “I am delighted to be a part of this inaugural ceremony at this amazing Arts Center. This is a great impact on students in the great state of Texas, and I am honored that Dr. Juliet Garcia asked me to play.”
The audience enjoyed pieces from Johann Sebastian Bach, Paulo Bellinati and traditional flamenco music.
Still in its first year, the Skinner Elementary Strings program is comprised of elementary and middle school students. The instruments are provided by an outreach program established by UTB/TSC Fine Arts Department Chair Sue Zanne Urbis, Ph.D.
“I was a little nervous to play,” said 10-year-old Annette Galvan from the Skinner Elementary Strings program. “But it was so exciting. I like that in the (strings program) you have the opportunity to play in places like this.”
The Skinner group was followed by the Brownville Lopez High Lobo Guitars, the UTB/TSC String Ensemble and the One O’Clock Guitars.
UTB/TSC President Juliet V. Garcia, Ph.D. thanked the audience for their patronage and support over the years that helped the dream of The Arts Center come to fruition.
“The support we have had from the community has been remarkable,” she said. “Folks, like many of our special guests here, have made a personal decision to join us in our important work; however, each of you here tonight that bought a ticket is helping fund a student scholarship in the arts so that the enormous talent we have in this community can be nurtured.”
For most of the audience, it was their first opportunity to step inside the 808-seat center, and many who purchased seats of honor in their name were able to enjoy their first concert in their honorary chairs.
“Everything was wonderful, from the performances to the building,” said Nancy Rodriguez, who together with her husband and friends donated money for a seat of honor in the performance hall. “I cannot say enough. We were able to sit in our seats, and I am excited to be able to sit with my friends and children to enjoy many more concerts in the future.”
Other concert-goers were amazed by the performances, but were also taken back by the facility itself.
“It is just terrific as far as acoustics,” said Allan Brumely, a former band director and Harlingen resident. “You can adjust the building to any type of performer, and to have the ability to do that is state-of-the-art. I never imagined it would be this amazing.”
The concert was the first event in the inaugural year celebration of The Arts Center.