The Dream Team Tuba Euph Quartet performed Christmas Carols for the Hays County Courthouse Lighting Ceremony San Marcos on November 27th. Pictured below, left to right: Peter Scott, William Fettig, Santa, Jacob Hernandez and Curtis McHenry.
TXST had a large contingent at the recent conference of the American Musicological Society and Society for Music Theory. Senior Lecturer Rebecca Eaton gave a paper, and she was able to reconnect with several TXST alumni participating in the conference, including Amy Hatch, Lois Osorio, and Justin Glosson. Eaton’s paper was well received, and another presenter based their paper primarily on her previous work.
Our first ‘Texas State Piano Day’ this weekend brought in over 60 visitors, including 21 potential students and several Texas teachers. A large number of students came from a significant distance: from Dallas, Houston, Corpus Christi, and one family from Gainsville, Texas, which is 10 miles from Oklahoma. TXST Faculty giving their expertise included Jason Kwak, Daria Rabotkina, Ezra Bartz, Alena Gorina, Kyung Ae Lee, and Kristin Roach.
TXST voice students had a remarkable weekend in Waco at TEXOMA NATS, the regional competition of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Fourteen of our students advanced to the semifinals, four of them placed as finalists, and two took prizes for Singer of the Year.
Edward Baird Singer of the Year Competition: Ivy Cantu – 1st Prize; Maeli Mesilemit Gonzalez – 3rd Prize.
Finalists: Michelle Sanchez Gascon – 1st prize Junior Women; Gabryella Carrelli – 3rd prize Freshman Women; Cassidy Wallace – 3rd prize Senior Women; Annisha Mackenzie – 4th prize Junior Women.
Semifinalists: Freshmen Women Christine Ashbaugh, Gianna Eason, Darrin Ruiz, and Paiton Seals; Lyndsea Woodall – Sophomore Women; Hunter Sabin – Sophomore Men; Martha Rose Hayes – Senior Women; Garrett Douglas – Senior Men; Karissa Kim – Graduate Women; Pedro Valdez – Graduate Men.
As part of Duo 35, Todd Oxford gave performances at College Music Society/National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors International Conference. Vancouver, British Columbiaat University of Texas at Arlington – International Students, Inc.; and at Texas A&M University. Commerce, Texas.
He also was soloist for the Dark and Stormy Concert at the Austin Theological Seminary.
Saxophone professor Todd Oxford has been nominated for Texas State Artist – State Musician. This designation is the highest designation that the Texas State Legislature gives in the arts. Texas State Artists serve one-year terms and represent the state’s artistic legacy, receiving statewide recognition.
On October 26, the Austin-based choral ensemble Conspirare, directed by Texas State School of Music’s Artist in Residence, Craig Hella Johnson, and TXST viola professor Ames Asbell performed at the interment of Matthew Shepard’s ashes at Washington National Cathedral. The service was live-streamed and covered by national news media.
The president of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education has announced that TXST music professor John Lopez will be the 2019 recipient of the William Aguilar Cultural Arts Award. This award “recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly to the understanding of the national Latino community and/or culture through the fine, creative, and performing arts.”
John Lopez has been a rising star of Texas State University since first graduating from the University as a music major, to earning his Master of Music degree here in 1992, to teaching part-time, then full-time, advancing to tenured Associate Professor. He founded and coordinated the Latin Music Studies area at Texas State University in 2003.
Starting with the creation of Salsa del Rio in 1995, the area has grown to include such award-winning ensembles as Mariachi Nueva Generacion, Mariachi Lince De Oro, and Orquesta del Rio. Under Lopez’s direction, the Salsa and Mariachi ensembles have gained much recognition throughout the state, as well as nationally and internationally through several performance opportunities. Salsa del Rio has performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Brienz Jazz Festival, Carnaval de Nice, Cancun and Mexico City, and at the prestigious Notre Dame Jazz Festival, where they have won several awards.
Mariachi Nueva Generacion has risen to one of the best university Mariachi ensembles in the state of Texas. They compete regularly at the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza held annually in December in San Antonio, TX, where they have won first place eight out of the last eleven years that they have competed. Internationally, Mariachi Nueva Generacion has toured Europe alongside the Texas State University Symphony Orchestra. In 2012, Mariachi Nueva Generacion and Salsa del Rio toured and performed in Chile.
Grammy-winner and Texas State Artist-in-Residence Craig Hella Johnson and his Austin-based choral ensemble Conspirare gave the first Chicago-area performance of Johnson’s monumental work, Considering Matthew Shepard, at the Ravinia Festival’s Martin Theatre. The performance included TXST instrumental music faculty Ames Asbell and Vanguel Tangarov. The Chicago Tribune published an admiring review of the performance and the piece, describing it as “a stylistically free-ranging score that carried echoes of Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber but also old-fashioned hymnody and raw and cathartic blues. It was dispatched persuasively by choristers, who took turns playing various characters; instrumentalists who provided atmosphere and color . . .” and as an expression that “became much more than just one man’s story. In some respects, it was everyone’s story, a reflection on human travails and heavenly aspirations.”
The Texas State Choirs have launched a new podcast, “Texas State Choirs Today.” Hosted by Associate Director of Choral Activities Jonathan Babcock, the podcast features interviews with guest artists and faculty. This season will include interviews with composers Gwyneth Walker and Jocelyn Hagen; Ralph Allwood, O.B.E. former Precentor and Director of Music at Eton College, UK; as well as faculty artists Marc Reynolds, Craig Hella Johnson and Lynn Brinckmeyer. Episodes are released the first and fifteenth of every month. You can find Texas State Choirs Today on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe today!