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Trombones around Texas

The Texas State University Trombone Choir recently performed at the Big 12 Trombone Conference held at Texas Tech University January 16-18. The Trombone Choir was the special featured ensemble of the convention and the only collegiate group to receive a standing ovation. The Trombone Choir also performed an outreach concert at Round Rock High School. The ensemble also performed on the CPC Noonday Concert Series on Thursday January 29 at Central Presbyterian Church in Austin. Watch highlights from their performance at the Big 12 Trombone Conference.


Trombone prof wins Global Gold

Dr. Martin McCain was recently the recipient of two Global Music Awards. He received a Bronze medal for the CD Shades in the Album category and a Gold medal for Best Instrumentalist. He also received an $8000 Research Enhancement Program grant. On January 8, McCain was interviewed and performed on KUTX’s John Aillee Show. He also was an adjudicator for the Big 12 Trombone Conference solo competitions and conducted the Texas State University Trombone Choir in a featured performance.

faculty photo


Choral clinician in Michigan

During the 10th Annual Michigan Music Conference, January 22-24, Dr. Joey M. Martin served as the conference headline clinician for the Michigan State Vocal Music Association (MSVMA) track.  He provided five presentations during the conference, often to standing room only audiences.  The conference culminated with a roundtable presentation called “The View” where presenters and headliners joined MSVMA Executive Director Virginia Kerwin for a question and answer forum with the conference attendees.

Martin on the right with other presenters

Martin on the right with other presenters

Texas State students Evan Fowler, Alex Szabo, Matt Valentine, Connor Towns, and Victor Figueroa were  just informed that their quintet is one of the semifinalists in the prestigious National Trumpet Competition. Their group will be performing on March 19th in Harrisburg PA, with the finals scheduled on March 21st.  Other ensembles invited include groups from Eastman, Curtis Institute, Arizona State, UMKC, and Indiana.

Left to right -Evan Fowler, Victor Figueroa, Alex Szabo, Matt Valentine, Connor Towns

Left to right -Evan Fowler, Victor Figueroa, Alex Szabo, Matt Valentine, Connor Towns

Jazzers in San Diego

TxState School of Music jazz faculty members Russell Haight, Russell Scanlon, and Hank Hehmsoth gave lecture presentations, performed with the Grammy nominated Austin based group Times Ten, and recruited at the International Jazz Educator’s Convention JEN in San Diego, California.

From left: Haight, Scanlon, Hehmsoth

From left: Haight, Scanlon, Hehmsoth


Sax professor featured, nominated

Todd Oxford was a featured soloist for the annual Hawaii University International Conference on the Arts. He also presented a master class as part of an educational series including saxophonists Pete Christlieb and Jon Gordon sponsored by Hawaii Saxophone Foundation at the University of Hawaii.

Oxford Hawaii Concert Poster

Oxford was an adjudicator for Music Teacher’s National Association Young Artist Competition at Sam Houston State University School of Music.

In other news, Oxford was also nominated for Texas Commission on the Arts Texas State Artist Award. Selections will be made by the Texas Legislature this spring.

Students compose new choral works

In the fall semester, student composers Kristian Rodriguez, Charles Wolf, David Gonzalez, Thomas Franki, Adrian Coburn, Elizabeth Massad and Nathan Mays collaborated with the Texas State Chorale and University Singers to create new choral pieces. Visiting professor Matthew Oltman led several sessions with the composers to discuss idiomatic writing for choir and to give feedback on their drafts. At the end of the semester, each piece was rehearsed and the composers had a chance to make small improvements in preparation for a recording session in the new Performing Arts Center. The whole workshop experience was planned by Oltman and new composition professor Michael Ippolito, with support from Director of Choral Activities Joey Martin.

Prof. Oltman leads the Texas State Chorale December 4th with the composers in the Recital Hall audience.

Prof. Oltman leads the Texas State Chorale December 4th with the composers in the Recital Hall audience.


Gordon Jones, director of Texas State’s Gamelan Lipi Awan, gave a workshop November 22 for students of a UTSA world music class. In thanking him, UTSA Associate Professor Mark Brill wrote to Gordon, “The students profited enormously from your expertise and gentle guidance on how to play the various instruments. It was a rare opportunity for them to familiarize themselves directly with an instrument they may not soon encounter again. Your analyses of Indonesian song structures and functions were of great interest.”


Dr. Martin McCain spent a week in October performing with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in South Carolina on their subscription concert series.

A few weeks later, McCain was the trombone guest artist at the 6th Annual Zagreb Brass Festival in Zagreb, Croatia. He presented a 3-day masterclass at the Croatian National Theatre of Zagreb in addition to performing a recital. McCain gave the bass trombone world premiere of Joseph Spaniola’s arrangement of Alexey Lebedev’s Concerto No. 1 for Bass Trombone and Wind Band with the Symphonic Winds of the Croatian Armed Forces.


Dr. McCain also served as an adjudicator for the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Chamber Competition.


Steinway & Sons has named Washington Garcia as an official Steinway Artist.

Washington Garcia

This distinction is given to the elite pianists of the world. As Steinway describes,”For decades Steinway & Sons has cultivated special relationships with pianists from every genre. From classical pianists like Lang Lang, to jazz stars like Diana Krall, to pop icons like Billy Joel, to “immortals” like Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Arthur Rubinstein — more than 1,600 artists make the Steinway their own.” Dr. Garcia now joins their ranks.

He was congratulated by State Senator Donna Campbell, M.D., who wrote to him that the award “is a testament to your hard work, motivation and dedication to your significant talent. Having you teach the next generation of the musically gifted is reassuring that the arts are in good hands.”

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