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On behalf of the University of Texas at Brownsville Department of Music faculty and staff, welcome to our Fall 2014 newsletter.  As we continue our transition into the newly formed University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), this newsletter provides a wonderful opportunity to highlight the most recent student and faculty achievements on the Brownsville campus--what I believe to be the premiere music program in South Texas.  I invite you to share in our pride and learn about the latest accomplishments that our music students and music professors are making throughout the world.

On July 10, 2014, the University of Texas Board of Regents approved a request for funding sent to the Texas Legislature for the construction of a New Fine Arts and Classroom Building at UTRGV (Brownsville Campus) for $50,600,000.  This 155,174 gross square foot building will be built to provide music education teaching space and will include 30,000 gross square foot of flexible learning space for not only music education but other disciplines as well.  We offer deep thanks and sincere appreciation to Dr. Guy Bailey, newly appointed president of UTRGV, for fully supporting and recognizing the importance of continuing with the successes of the music program in Brownsville and providing the space for students to achieve their dreams of pursuing a music degree.

If your plan is to further your education in music as a music major, advance your studies with a master’s degree in music, further your passion of learning music through our Music Academy, or become a member of our 30th anniversary season for Patron of the Arts, we invite you to explore all that the Department of Music at UT-Brownsville has to offer.  If you are looking into a musical future for your son or daughter, I invite you to visit our campus, hear our performances, and meet our faculty to discover the richness of the musical community that we deliver.  Our music faculty is made up of truly dedicated teachers, researchers and performers that will provide you the foundation for success.

Dr. Tom Nevill, Chair, Department of Music


UTB Guitars play Schoenbrunn 2014Dr. Quantz, Sergio Hernandez, Freddy De La Garza, Clemente Rivera, Daniel Flutur, Ramiro Rubio playing at the palace in Vienna
The UTB One O’clock Guitars--Daniel Flutur, Clemente Rivera, Sergio Hernandez, Ramiro Rubio, Federico de la Garza, and Dr. Michael Quantz--were invited to present a concert tour in Austria in July, 2014. The group performed in prestigious venues in Vienna including the Schönbrunn Palace, the US Embassy Amerika Haus, and the Rankweil basilika in the state of Vorarlberg. This was the first time a guitar group from a university in the U.S. has toured in Austria.  It is ironic that Vienna, the city famous as the birthplace of classical music and the development of classical guitar in the late 1700's, could be introduced to any sort of music. Yet, in every venue the UTB guitarists played, the audience responded with surprising enthusiasm for this musical ensemble and the audiences demanded four encores from the ensemble during the tour. The UTB One O'clock Guitars closed out the concert for the U.S. Embassy in Vienna with the largest audience for the year. The concert marked the first time that a guitar ensemble had ever played for the series and our students drew a standing room only crowd. The guitarists' biggest concert of the tour was held at the Schӧnbrunn Palace in Vienna. The UTB guitarists were also the first guitar ensemble to ever play in this hall.  In the western Austrian town of Rankweil the guitarists played for two services in the oldest basilica in Austria (built in the year 700) and provided mini concerts after each. The ensemble experienced one of the most influential countries in Western culture as they visited museums, castles, a pipe organ factory, universities, marveled at beautiful architecture, and sampled culinary staples of the land. They also experienced musical events on a grand scale, like the concert at the St. Augustine's church in Vienna, which had selections played on an organ that Johann Sebastian Bach had actually played 300 years ago. The group also attended an incredible production of Mozart's The Magic Flute at the Bregenzer Festspiele, which is the most popular summer opera production in Europe. 



Dr. Andrade (center) with students in Italy
UTB piano faculty Dr. Juan Pablo Andrade and three piano students from the UTB Department of Music attended the world renowned Schlern International Music Festival in northern Italy this summer. Dr. Andrade was invited as a guest teacher and performer at the festival and brought along students Linda Chavez, Sean Bolkcom, and Josue Medellin. They were also joined by UTB alumni Antonio Durant, Russian exchange student Arina Timofeeva, and Eastern Kentucky University student Yuhan Liu. During the three week festival the students performed in several student recitals, received two weekly lessons, participated in daily master classes, and enjoyed performances with world class artists such as cellist Misha Maisky and pianist Paul Badura-Skoda. Spring 2014 graduate Linda Chavez said of the experience, “The Schlern Music Festival not only enhanced my connection to music, but it enhanced my connection to people from all over the world. It has been one of the most incredibly rewarding experiences.” Josue Medellin, a UTB senior who travelled to Europe for the first had a similar reaction, “It was a life-changing experience. It greatly expanded my view of the world and changed my perspective as a musician and person.”


Albert Lo is the newly appointed Director of Bands at the University of Texas at Brownsville. He is completing a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree at The University of North Texas in Denton, Texas where he is under the tutelage of Professor Eugene Migliaro Corporon, Professor Dennis Fisher, and Dr. Nicholas Enrico Williams.  A native of Chicago, Illinois, Professor Lo received his Bachelors of Music Degree from Northern Illinois University and his Master’s Degree from Western Illinois University. Mr. Lo served as the Director of Bands at Winston Churchill High School in San Antonio, Texas. Under his direction, Churchill High School continued their tradition of excellence, placing in the finals at consecutive Texas 5A State Marching Contests. Both Churchill Jazz Ensembles have been awarded Outstanding Jazz Ensembles at the Northern Colorado Jazz Festival in Greely, CO, and the North Texas Jazz Festival in Addison, TX.  The Charger Band was selected to participate in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. In addition to his career as a music educator in the public schools, Mr. Lo was a brass instructor and Caption Head for the nationally renowned Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. He is currently an adjudicator for Drum Corps International, Music for All, Texas University Interscholastic League, as well as other Judges’ associations throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Mr. Lo is an active clinician and guest conductor who has taught, conducted and performed concert and jazz ensembles throughout Europe and Asia. Mr. Lo is a two-time Teacher of the Year recipient and was awarded Certificate of Recognition by the Texas Academy of Math and Sciences at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX. 

Dr. Sean Taylor is the new Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at the University of Texas at Brownsville where he conducts the UTB Master Chorale and Chamber Singers, and teaches applied voice, conducting, and choral methods.  Originally from Brookville, Pennsylvania, Dr. Taylor has served on the faculties of Washington & Jefferson College (PA), Central State University (OH), and the Berkshire Choral Festival (MA).  He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.  Dr. Taylor’s primary area of research is Latin diction.  He is a diction specialist with SingersBabel (, for whom he authors phonetic guides and recordings of Latin texts.  Before moving to Brownsville, he sang professionally as a soloist and with opera choruses, symphony choruses and professional chamber and church choirs in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.

photo by Glen McClure
Michael Christensen joins us as Lecturer of Saxophone and Director of Jazz Ensembles at the University of Texas at Brownsville. Mr. Christensen has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and in Europe, including performances with numerous ensembles such as the University of Oklahoma Civic Orchestra and the OU Symphony Orchestra, Norman Philharmonic Orchestra, Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, Quartet Exordium, Mirasol Quartet, Quartet 35, and was in the United States premiere of The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber under the direction of Richard Zielinski and London director/producer Hugh Wooldridge.  He has appeared at the International Saxophone Symposium, North American Saxophone Alliance Conferences, Texas Music Educators Association Conventions, World Saxophone Congress, and numerous university recital halls as a guest performer.  Mr. Christensen’s debut CD Missa Prolationum was recorded with Quartet Exordium, a saxophone ensemble specializing in ancient and medieval music and is available commercially on CD Baby,, and iTunes.  Michael Christensen holds a Bachelors and Masters degree of music from the University of Oklahoma, and is completing his Doctoral of Musical Arts degree at Texas Tech University.  His primary teachers include Glen Gillis, Gail Hall, David Dees, Stephen Jones, and has had additional instruction with Jerry Neil Smith, Keith Talley, Kelland Thomas, and Timothy McAllister.

Dr. Joe W. Moore III, as Lecturer of Percussion and Director of Percussion Studies at the University of Texas - Brownsville. Moore received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Central Florida, a Master of Music degree from the University of South Carolina, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree with a minor in composition from Louisiana State University. His primary percussion teachers include Jeff Moore, Kirk Gay, Scott Herring, Jim Hall, Brett Dietz, and Troy Davis. His composition teachers include Jay Batzner, Brett Dietz, and Dinos Constantinides.  Dr. Moore performs regularly as a member of the Omojo Percussion Duo and the Black Sheep Percussion Quartet. He has performed for Walt Disney World, the Baton Rouge Symphony, and as a member of the Rhythm -N- Blue Drum Line for the Orlando Magic NBA team. In 2008, he performed in Ukemerge and Kaunas Lithuania as a soloist with the UCF Percussion Ensemble during the 2008 Ukemerge Annual Percussion Festival.  In addition to teaching and performing, Dr. Moore is also an active composer. Most recently, percussionist Brett William Dietz included Moore's “Five Pieces for Solo Glockenspiel” on a solo percussion album entitled “Nocturne.” The University of Central Florida Percussion Ensemble will be performing “Denkyem,” one of Dr. Moore’s percussion ensemble works, at the 2014 Percussive Arts Society International Convention. C. Alan Publications and Innovative Percussion Publications publish Dr. Moore's music. He also self-publishes many of his own manuscripts, which can be found at  Dr. Moore is an active member of the Percussive Arts Society, currently serving on the Composition Committee. Moore’s sponsors include SABIAN Cymbals and Promark drumsticks.


The weekly radio Excursiones Musicales celebrated its one hundredth show broadcast on August 28th, 2014.  The show is associated with the UTB Department of Music and the Center of Excellence for Latin American and Iberian Music (CELAIM). Written and produced by Dr. Susan Hurley-Glowa (Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology & Horn), the show is broadcast every Friday at noon on 88 FM community supported public radio located in Harlingen, Texas. Excursiones Musicales moves freely between world music, jazz, and classical styles. Faculty members from the UTB Department of Music are often featured on the show to discuss upcoming recitals or favorite works. The broadcasts are archived as streaming mp3 files which are available to the public. The archive’s web address is:



cid:image006.jpg@01CF988B.AFC8EB10The UTB Flautarra Ensemble, directed by Dr. Cristina Ballatori and Dr. Michael Quantz, were selected to perform at the 42st Annual National Flute Association Convention, which was held in Chicago, Illinois in August 2014. The group performed a Musical Showcase Concert, featuring a program of Latin American music, at the 2014 Texas Music Educators Convention in San Antonio, Texas in February 2014. This was first time that UTB flute and guitar ensembles were featured at a TMEA convention.

Oscar Alvarez, junior music education major, and Clarissa Salinas, senior music education major, were selected by national audition as winners of the National Flute Association's Collegiate Flute Choir Competition. Clarissa and Oscar rehearsed and performed with a select group of twenty flute students from top music programs throughout the U.S. at the organization's annual convention in Chicago, Illinois in August 2014.

The University of Texas-Brownsville Department hosted the three day summer flute workshop, Floot Fire Brownsville, on the UTB campus from July 1-3, 2014.  Floot Fire, a non-profit, summer workshop based in Dallas, celebrated its 20th anniversary by establishing the Rio Grande Valley's very first Floot Fire workshop. Seventy-five flute students, in grades 6-12, from Brownsville ISD, San Benito ISD, Edinburg ISD, McAllen ISD, and La Joya ISD, participated in this inaugural event. Floot Fire Brownsville featured three full days of flute master classes, clinics, faculty recitals, elective classes, chamber ensemble and flute choir rehearsals with Floot Fire faculty members from the University of Texas at Brownsville, University of North Texas, Dallas, Houston and area band programs. UTB flute students worked alongside faculty members, honing their teaching skills by rehearsing and conducting flute chamber ensembles and assisting directors with flute choirs. The workshop concluded with a Grand Finale Concert that was held at the TSC Arts Center on Thursday, July 3, 2014. The free concert featured small ensemble and flute choir performances presented by Floot Fire Brownsville participants, and concluded with a mass flute choir of nearly 90 flutists performing an arrangement of J.S. Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze.”

The 2014 Brownsville Flute & Clarinet Festival was held on Saturday, April 12, 2014. The event drew 583 junior high, high school, and college students, teachers, and professional musicians from across South Texas. The festival featured a master class and recital with guest artist Marianne Gedigian, Professor of Flute, at the University of Texas-Austin. In addition, participants of all ages and ability levels enjoyed a full day of hands-on clinics, master classes, concerts, and flute choir reading sessions with guests Francesca Arnone (Baylor University), Helen Ann Shanley (Baylor University, Retired), Elizabeth Janzen (TAMUK), and Mr. Ernest Cantu (Brownsville ISD). Exhibitors included Music & Arts-Houston, Melhart Music and Mr. Music.  Please plan on joining us on April 11-12, 2015 for next year’s festival!

Faculty News. Dr. Cristina Ballatori, Associate Professor of Flute (, enjoyed numerous performances as a member of the Semplice Duo with pianist, Dr. Kevin Chance, and the Frontera Chamber Players. Performance highlights for spring/summer 2014 included recitals on the Atelier Concert Series in Paris, France and the 2014 National Flute Association Convention in Chicago, Illinois. In fall 2014, upcoming appearances include guest artist recitals and master classes with the Frontera Chamber Players (Dr. Jonathan Guist, clarinet, and Laura Brumbaugh, piano) at the University of North Texas, Texas A&M University- Commerce, and Texas Women’s University, and a faculty recital on the UTB Patron of the Arts Series.

In February 2014, Dr. Ballatori, along with Dr. Jonathan Guist, Associate Professor of Clarinet presented their clinic, “Pay It Forward: Training Future Music Educators through Service Learning,” at the 2014 Texas Music Educators Convention in San Antonio, Texas.  She served as adjudicator for performance competitions sponsored by the Houston Flute Club and Texas Flute Society and completed a five year term as coordinator of the National Flute Association’s High School Soloist Competition.  In July 2014, Dr. Ballatori served as assistant director/faculty at the Floot Fire Brownsville workshop on the UTB campus.



Faculty News. Dr. Carol McNabb Goodwin, UTB Professor of Double Reeds, taught the advanced bassoonists and performed in daily faculty recitals at the Bocal Majority double reed camp at Hanna High School in July.  She studied oboe reed making with nationally-known oboist, Dr. Dan Stolper at Bocal Majority’s Advanced Double Reed Institute in Frisco, Texas in July.  She gave two concerts in June at UTPA, a reed trio concert and a concert by the Valley Symphony Chamber Winds.  She performed in pieces from both concerts at UTB in August 2014.   


On July 31, 2014, the UTB Clarinet Choir was a featured performer at ClarinetFest 2014, the annual conference of the International Clarinet Association.  They were joined for this performance by the UTPA Clarinet Choir.  The combined groups performed Claribel by Roland Cardon and an arrangement of Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.  UTB students Edgar Park (E-flat clarinet) and Isai Reyes (A clarinet) were featured soloists, playing the parts of the “Bird” and the “Cat”, respectively.  The performance was very successful and all of the students had a terrific experience attending recitals, lectures and master classes by many of the top clarinetists in the world.  A review of the clarinet choir’s performance can be found here:

The UTB Clarinet Studio now has a YouTube Channel! The channel features video of UTB Clarinet Choir performances and recital performances by members of the UTB Clarinet Studio.  Subscribe to our page and check back as new performances are added!

Faculty News. UTB Associate Professor of Clarinet, Dr. Jonathan Guist ( ), will perform a faculty recital on Thursday, October 23, 2014 in the TSC Arts Center.  The recital will feature works by Johannes Brahms, Joseph Horovitz, Eric Mandat, and Guillaume Connesson.  Dr. Guist will be joined by Laura Brumbaugh, UTB Staff Pianist, and Dr. Cristina Ballatori, UTB Associate Professor of Flute. In October, Dr. Guist will perform recitals and give master classes with the Frontera Trio (Cristina Ballatori, flute; Jonathan Guist, clarinet; Laura Brumbaugh, piano) at the University of North Texas, Texas A&M-Commerce and Texas Women’s University and Liberty High School in Frisco, TX. Dr. Guist will also be a featured soloist with the UTB Symphony Orchestra on November 19, 2014, performing Carl Maria von Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in f minor.



FACULTY NEWS.   Dr. Susan Hurley-Glowa, Ethnomusicology and Horn, was awarded tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in August 2014. Dr. Hurley-Glowa remains active as the hornist in the UTB Faculty Brass Quintet.  During the summer of 2014, Dr. Hurley-Glowa performed as Guest Artist for the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival where she performed under conductor Robert Franz of the Houston, Boise, and Winnipeg orchestras.  The FSAF chamber orchestra played standard repertoire, as well as the premiere performances of new works associated with the “Composing the Wilderness” program at Denali National Park in Alaska. In 2014, ten composers from around the globe spent several days at a Denali field camp learning about the soundscapes of Denali and composing new works. Their compositions were then premiered at the Davis Concert Hall in Fairbanks, Alaska and performed by the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival orchestra.   



Martha Placeres Conducting 1.jpgUTB violin students Victor Flores, Yolanda Vidana, and Cristian Martinez were invited to perform with the Lustenau Symphony Orchestra in Austria in May 2014. In addition to several rehearsals with the orchestra, and attending the Feldkirch Symphony Orchestra concert, students took violin master classes at the Rheintalische School of Music with Mr. Ellensohn Markus, and at the Vorarlberg State Conservatory of Music in Feldkirch with Maestro Rudolf Rampf.

Faculty News. Martha Placeres, Director of UTB String Studies and Symphony Orchestra Director, completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Orchestral Conducting from Texas Tech University in July 2014. Under the tutelage of renowned conductor Maestro David Becker, she conducted concerts with the Texas Tech University Orchestra and presented a Lecture Recital based on her thesis research of chamber music by Latin American composers. In May 2014, Dr. Placeres was invited by the Rheintalische Music School by director Doris Glatter-Gӧtz to guest conduct the Lustenau Symphony Orchestra in Austria. While in Austria, she had opportunities to work with students and music faculty from the school and community, and to conduct the famous Rhapsody in Blue by American composer George Gershwin with Hungarian pianist Ferenc Röczey.  (To learn more about this story, please visit: Dr. Placeres was recently invited to be orchestra clinician for the Harlingen CISD Orchestra Extravaganza In-Service 2014. She presented lectures on bowing styles, string techniques, rehearsal strategies, musicianship, and fundamentals of conducting to all middle and high school orchestra directors. In September 2014, she will present a clinic for violin and violas for the UTB Annual Orchestra All-Region Help Session. There will be sessions for both middle and high school students preparing for the 2014 All-Region Orchestra Auditions.


Faculty News.  This past August, at the International Clarinet Association’s Clarinet Fest 2014 in Baton Rouge, LA, Dr. Katherine Decker, UTB Assistant Professor of Low Strings, and her chamber ensemble enhakē, gave a lecture and mini-recital entitled “Exploring New Opportunities with Mixed Chamber Ensembles.”  In the lecture, members of enhakē discussed how emerging unconventional chamber ensembles can maximize their resources and distinguish themselves among their peers. They also performed selections from works by John Mackey, Astor Piazzolla (arr. Brent Williams), and Libby Larsen. In April 2014, Dr. Decker was invited to be a guest artist and master class presenter at the "Valley On Cello" Cello Festival at UTPA.  She worked with over one hundred cellists and performed with Dr. Tido Janssen and Josephine van Lier. Her UTB cello student Orlando Pedraza was invited to attend and perform as a guest artist with the High School Cello choir, as well as, to perform with the Collegiate Cello Ensemble.


Members of the UTB percussion studio participated in a front ensemble clinic given by Dr. Mark Eichenberger at the Valley Day of Percussion on April 26, 2014.

On May 2, 2014, Edgar Belranga and Kevin Guerra performed Blue Motion by Stefhen Wibley at the Brownsville Marimba Festival. Edgar was also hired over the summer as the front ensemble tech for the Mercedes High School Marching Band. Kevin marched snare drum as a member of the Genesis Drum and Bugle Corps over the summer, taking the bronze medal in Open Class Competition.

Justin Wilson, Manuel Trevino, and Kevin Guerra all participated and placed in the annual Island Individuals Marimba Competition 2014. Justin placed 1st, Manuel placed 2nd, and Kevin placed 3rd. Justin has now placed 1st in this competition two years in a row.

On August 31, Mathew Campbell performed the timpani part on an arrangement of Serge Prokofiev’s "Peter and the Wolf" for clarinet choir. He performed the arrangement with the UTB Clarinet Choir at ClarinetFest 2014. The event was held at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Mathew will also be performing his senior recital on Tuesday October 14.

This fall the UTB Percussion Studio will be hosting a clinic given by Dr. John Wooton, Professor of Percussion at the University of Southern Mississippi. The event will take place in the Music Building on September 18, 2014 from 3:15pm-4:05pm.

The UTB Percussion Ensembles will present their fall concert on November 17, 2014 at 7:30pm in the TSC Arts Center. The concert will feature the Rio Bravo Percussion Ensemble, UTB Marimba Quartet, and the Brownsville Samba School. The concert will also include the world premiere performance of the percussion ensemble work entitled Nova by Joe W. Moore III. 


The 7th annual Young Artists Piano Camp, hosted by theUTB Clavier Club, and directed by Dr. Kenneth Saxon, was held July 7- 11, 2014. The camp welcomed 11 high school pianists to campus for a week of master classes, recitals, lessons, and fun culminating in a gala recital featuring solo and ensemble performances by every student. Special guest artist Rick Rowley (UT-Austin) was the featured performer and teacher.  The UTB Clavier Club celebrated it first year with a membership that included piano students from Mexico, Russia, and the United States. Activities included the presentation of two fund-raising recitals that featured performances by club members and a trip to hear the laureates of the 2013 Van Cliburn competition in concert with the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra. In the spring of 2014, the UTB Clavier Club combined with pianists from UTPA to host a master class by concert pianist, James Dick

Faculty News. In the spring of 2014, Dr. Kenneth Saxon, Associate Professor of Piano, presented solo recitals at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas and at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana where he also presented a master class. Dr. Saxon was also active in the Texas Music Teachers Association serving as the Coordinator for the Student Affiliate Performance Competition at the local level and Assistant Coordinator at the state level.


The Brownsville Guitar Ensemble Festival & Competition was produced in March, 2014 for the 12th year by Dr. Quantz and it was attended by student groups from as far away as Orange County, California. Thirty-eight ensembles of all sizes performed in the competition from the elementary to university levels. Concerts, master classes, and clinics were presented by internationally known artists Dr. Martha Masters and Rovshan Mamendkuliev (from Russia) who gave one of the most amazing and virtuosic concerts in the history of the festival.  Handmade classical guitars were displayed by Texas Guitar Gallery (Houston) and luthier Aaron Ringer (Dallas). Austin area guitarist/composer Mark Anthony Cruz gave a "discussion and performance" of his original music for guitar solo.
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The 17th Annual La Noche de la Guitarra will be held on Saturday November 22, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at the TSC Arts Center. Come join us for a celebration of guitar music performed for our community by our community featuring the UTB One O'clock Guitars.

The 14th Annual Brownsville Guitar Ensemble Festival & Competition will kick off March 26, 2015 and run through Saturday March 28 featuring world-class concerts, clinics, displays of finely made acoustic guitars, and master classes.

Faculty News. Dr. Michael Quantz, Professor of Music, had a very busy summer of world travel which included teaching, conducting, performing, and lectures.  In June 2014, Professor Quantz presented his paper focusing on digital resources for applied music teaching, entitled, "Flipping the Guitar Studio,”  during the Guitar Foundation of America convention in Los Angeles.  He then traveled to Nicaragua for a one week stay as the guest conductor and master class instructor for the Congreso Nacional de Guitarra de Nicaragua. While in Esteli, he taught four master classes, 16 private lessons, and conducted the largest guitar orchestra in Nicaragua's history (video:  Following his return to the US,  he led the UTB One O'clock Guitars on their concert tour of Austria in July which included concerts at the Schӧnbrunn Palace and the U.S. Embassy in Vienna and also in the town of Rankweil in far west Austria.  One week later, Dr. Quantz flew to El Paso to conduct a day of teacher training workshops for the Ysleta I.S.D. guitar teachers.  Topics included repertoire diversity, technique clinics, a conducting workshop, and digital resources for the music classroom.


The National Association of Teachers of Singing - South Texas Chapter Auditions were held in April 2014 at Texas State University.  Approximately 50 teachers entered over 300 students for the competition; schools represented included: UT San Antonio, Texas State, University of Mary Hardin Baylor, Del Mar College, UT Pan American, Texas A & M University, TAMU-Kingsville, TAMU-Corpus Christi, TAMU-International, University of the Incarnate Word, Our Lady of the Lake University, Temple, and Southwestern.  The students from UT Brownsville did extremely well: Nohemi Loza - First Place in Graduate Women, Robert Reyna - First Place in Senior Men, Azalea Laredo - Second Place in Senior Women,  Miguel Zuniga - Third Place in Junior Men, Leslie Atkinson - Finalist in Musical Theater, Brandon Binder - Finalist in Freshman Men, Meagan Contreras - Finalist in Musical Theater, Connie Lopez - Finalist in Junior Women.

Through competitive national auditions, two voice students were invited to participate in music workshops this past summer: Robert Reyna attended the Cornish-American Song Institute which took place at Oxford and in Falmouth, England.  The focus of the program was William Shakespeare; students studied Shakespeare and performed songs and arias that used Shakespeare’s text.   Ricardo Garcia attended the Greensboro Light Opera and Song festival (GLOS) where he sang the role of Francesco in The Gondoliers, and also participated in a production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

UTB voice students will be starring in Camille Playhouse’s fall production of West Side Story (September 12-14, 19-21): Leslie Atkinson as Maria, Brandon Binder as Diesel, and Meagan Contreras as Rosalia.

Bravo Opera’s outreach production of Hansel and Gretel (October 17) continues to introduce opera to hundreds of local school children! This year, elementary and middle school children from throughout the Rio Grande Valley will come to the TSC Arts Center to see the opera - for most, it will be their first opera, first time in a concert hall, and first time on a college campus.  It is always a thrilling event!

On November 15 & 16 Bravo Opera’s Fall Gala will present two classic tales in a mash-up of theatrical works spanning nearly 400 years!  A retelling of Romeo and Juliet will include scenes from Shakespeare’s play, as well as arias, duets, and choruses from I Capuleti e i Montecchiby Bellini, Romeo et Juliette by Gounod, and West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein.  The second half of the program will present the story of Cinderella  weaving together scenes from works by Rossini, Massenet, Pauline Viardot, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and Stephen Sondheim.



At the invitation of the Berlin Ethnomusicology Research Group (BEAM), Dr. Susan Hurley-GlowaAssociate Professor of Ethnomusicology and French Horn,  presented her documentary film Journey of a Badiu: The Story of Cape Verdean-American Musician Norberto Tavares and led a discussion about it at Das Filmcafé in Berlin, Germany on June 19, 2014.  Dr. Thomas Hilder from the University of Hildesheim, Germany organized the event.  Dr. Hurley-Glowa was also an invited guest lecturer at the Akademie für Internationale Bildung (AIB) in Bonn, Germany on June 5, 2014 where she presented an hour lecture titled:  “Opera for the Uninitiated: Focus on Verdi’s Aida.”  She has also been invited to present an hour-long guest presentation at the conference "Vom Terrain auf die Bühne: Form- und Funktionswandel improvisierter, performanzorientierter oraler Diskurstraditionen" at the University of Freiburg, Germany on November 22, 2014.   The conference will feature twelve talks by linguists and scientists from the field of cultural studies and ethnomusicologists from Germany, the US, Spain, Cuba, Portugal and Mexico. Her paper is titled: “The Metamorphosis of Funana Songs in Independent Cape Verde: A Comparison of Lyrics, Structures, and Melodies in the Songs of Kodé di Dona (1940-2010) and Norberto Tavares (1956-2010).” Dr. Hurley-Glowa is also invited to present a conference paper at the 59th Annual Meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM) in Pittsburgh, Nov. 13-16, 2014 as part of the panel “Big Men versus Big Sounds: Charismatic Musicians and Unsung Heroes in Four African Musics.”


Patron of the Arts 2014-2015 Season
We hope that you will join us for the 30th season of the UTB Patron of the Arts Series in 2014-15! Since its inception, the Patron of the Arts Series has brought world-class guest artists to our community for memorable and inspiring musical experiences.

Highlights of our upcoming season include internationally renowned guest artists:

  • New Century Saxophone Quartet: October 10, 2014
  • Marc Webster, bass: October 18, 2014
  • Richard Urbiš, piano: January 12, 2015
  • New York Woodwind Quintet: January 27, 2015
  • Rick Rowley, piano: January 30, 2015
  • enhakē: March 19, 2015
  • Pius Cheung, marimba: May 02, 2015

Visit for full details about our 30th Season, including a full slate of concerts by our outstanding faculty and student ensembles!

The UTB Master Chorale and Chamber Singers will present their Fall concert, “Classical Elements” on Thursday, October 30th at 7:30pm in the TSC Arts Center. Directed by Dr. Sean Taylor and accompanied by Dr. Stacy Kwak, the choirs will perform music from the Renaissance through the Modern Era with connections to earth, air, fire and water. Tickets are available through Patron of the Arts.


October 17 Bravo Opera’s Hansel and Gretel
November 15 & 16 Bravo Opera’s Fall Gala
November 22 17th Annual La Noche de la Guitarra
December 5 Home for the Holidays Scholarship Benefit Concert
March 26-28 13th Annual Guitar ensemble Festival & Competition
April 11-12  South Texas Flute & Clarinet Festival



Nohemi Loza (2014) is the Head Choral Director at Cummings Middle School

Gerardo Ledesma (2014) is the Head Choral Director at Mathis Middle School.

Azalea Laredo (2014) is pursuing her master’s degree in Vocal Performance at the University of North Carolina Greensboro

Samantha Luna (2014) is pursuing a master’s degree in Vocal Performance from Arizona State University

Jessica Rosas (2014) is pursuing a master’s degree from Texas Tech University.  Jessica has already been cast as Norina in the university’s production of Don Pasquale; she also has the honor of being one of five students selected to sing during Renee Fleming’s recital with the Lubbock Symphony on September 9, 2014.

Jason Whitney (2013) is an Assistant Choral Director at Lopez High School

Cristian Torres (2013) is an Assistant Choral Director at Manzano Middle School

Ivan Hernandez (2014) was awarded full graduate assistantships to study Clarinet Performance from Washington State University and Baylor University.  Ivan entered Baylor University this fall and will study clarinet with Dr. Jun Qian.  Ivan will be Dr. Qian’s graduate assistant, teaching secondary clarinet lessons and the clarinet methods course for Baylor undergraduates.


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