String Quartet on NPR

The Attacca Quartet was recently featured on National Public Radio’s Tiny Desk Concerts. They played John Adams, Haydn, and a new piece by Texas State composer Michael Ippolito, Smoke Rings, from their upcoming album. Attacca recently did its first campus visit as Texas State’s official “resident” string quartet. They performed two concerts and gave many master classes for performance and composition students. They will return to San Marcos in April for the second installment of their ongoing quartet residency at Texas State.

Studio teacher award

Texas State violin professor Dr. Lynn Ledbetter  has been named the recipient of the 2016-17 American String Teachers Association – Texas Chapter “Phyllis Young Outstanding Studio Teacher of the Year Award”.  The award was announced at the Texas Orchestra Directors Association Convention in July and will be presented during the 2017 Texas Music Educators Convention in San Antonio in February.

The award, begun in 2006, is named for Phyllis Young, Professor Emeritus of Cello and String Pedagogy at the University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music.  Young was director for 35 years of the UT String Project, which has provided an important stepping stone for thousands of young musicians, including Ledbetter, who began her first violin studies there at the age of four.

More American Prize nominations

Texas State Symphony Orchestra directed by Dr. Carolyn Watson has been named a semifinalist for the 2016 American Prize in Orchestral Performance, College/University Division. This award is for general orchestral excellence, and comes in addition to their already-announced semifinalist status for the Bacon Award for American Music. Both are for the Texas State Orchestra’s performance of the opera, Lady Bird.

Dr. Watson is also an American Prize semifinalist for her conducting work with the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra.

Scholars in Vancouver

Texas State faculty, students, and alumni attended the joint meeting of the Society for Music Theory and the American Musicological Society recently held in Vancouver, Canada. Drs. Rebecca Eaton and Cynthia I. Gonzales (2nd row below) both presented papers, while current graduate students David Lester (back), Lois Osorio (right), and Kaylie Young (center) participated in the SMT Graduate Student Workshop, which alum Jose Garza (BM 2012, MM 2014, left) attended when he was a Texas State graduate student.  Current students Sarah McGriff and David Catchpole also attended, though not pictured.


NATS singing successes

More than 500 students from across the Texas/New Mexico/Oklahoma region competed this weekend in Canyon, Texas, in the student audition competition for NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing). Of the 29 Texas State students competing, 15 made it to the Semi-Finals, and 7 of those made it to the final round.  Jordan Van De Vere won the Singer of the Year award, accompanied by  Joey Martin.

Texas State faculty Soon Cho, Ames Asbell, Joey Martin, and Richard Novak also gave performances, and Sam Mungo did an expert presentation. In addition to Dr. Martin, Eric Thompson, Ashley Stone, and Carlos Quesada provided excellent accompaniment.

2016 Texoma NATS Texas State student results:

Freshmen Women Semi-finalists –
Annisha Mackenzie, BM – Performance (student of Brigitte Bellini)
Michelle Sanchez, BM – Music Studies (student of Oliver Worthington)

Sophomore Women Semi-finalist – Cassidy Wallace, BM – Performance (Bellini)

Junior Women Semi-finalist – Lauren “Bailey” Galindo, BM – Performance (Bellini)

Junior Men Semi-finalist – Caleb Rech, BM – Performance (Bellini)

Senior Women Semi-finalists –
Sarah Jacob, BM – Performance (Worthington)
Mallorie Gabbert, BM – Performance (student of Ronald Ulen)

Graduate Women Semi-finalists –
Keeley Hooker, MM – Performance & Pedagogy (student of Cheryl Parrish)
Charissa Memrick, MM – Performance & Pedagogy (Parrish)
Emily Thomasson, MM – Performance (student of Soon Cho)

Freshmen Men Finalist – Trenton Floyd, BM – Music Studies – 2nd Place (Cho)

Sophomore Women Finalist – Martha Rose Hayes, BM – Performance – 4th Place (Parrish)

Sophomore Men Finalists –
Alex Vanderpot, BS – Sound Recording Technology – 5th Place (Cho)
Benjamin Ruiz, BM – Performance – Honorable Mention (Ulen)

Junior Men Finalist – Joshua Meza, BM Performance – 5th Place (student of Richard Novak)

Senior Men Finalist – De’Evin J. Johnson, BM – Music Studies – 4th Place (Worthington)

2016 Texoma NATS Singer of the Year Competition Winner –
Jordan Van de Vere, BM – Performance (Cho)

Conference master class selection – Mallorie Gabbert, BM – Performance (Ulen)

Mysterious Bobcat sightings in Santa Fe

The Texas State Mysterium Ensemble gave a multi-media performance of new and experimental music for the College Music Society Fifty-Ninth National Conference October 28 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The ensemble is led by Senior Lecturer Richard Hall, and the program included a composition, LIGHTFORMS 1: Constellations, by School of Music Director Thomas Clark.

Faculty Todd Oxford and Bobby Lopez performed at the conference, and music professors Cynthia Gonzales, Amanda Soto, and Carolyn Watson gave presentations.

From L: Soto, Watson, Benjamin Felts, Hall, Ellie Ocampo, Adam Koch, Gonzales, John Sessions

From L: Soto, Watson, Benjamin Felts, Hall, Ellie Ocampo, Adam Koch, Gonzales, John Sessions

From L: Lopez, Oxford

From L: Lopez, Oxford



98 students explore art in Fort Worth

Two bus loads with 98 Texas State students traveled to Fort Worth recently, all members of Intro to Fine Arts classes taught by Daris Hale or Ian Davidson. They had great fun experiencing with their instructors’ guidance the art and architecture in the Kimball Art Museum, its new auditorium designed by Lorenzo Piano, and the nearby Japanese Garden.



American Prize finalist

Todd Oxford has been named as an American Prize Finalist in the Professional Instrumental Solo Division. Winners will be named next month. The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit, national competitions designed to recognize and reward the very best in the performing arts in the United States.


Oxford performed as a guest musician with Austin Opera’s orchestra during the regional premiere production of composer Kevin Puts’s Manchurian Candidate. He also recently presented master classes for the Copperas Cove ISD Bands. Alumnus, Lawrence Varela-Halbert, is a Band Director for the district.