Monthly Archives: November 2015

Students perform in Somos Músicos series

A group of musicians performed November 19 in the Somos Músicos concert series, a program that gives students majoring in music additional opportunities to perform in front of an audience. (Somos Músicos, Spanish for ‘we are musicians,’ is also the title of this School of Music news blog.) Performers included percussionists Sigifredo Santana and Luis Ramos; pianist Martin Kesuma; violinists Ryan Coppin, Joseph Waukechon, Shijun Chen and Kailey Johnson, violists Xavier Garcia and James Ximenez, and cellists Belinsol Martinez-Munoz and George McQuade.

Students are given the opportunity to perform material they normally would not perform for their required junior and senior recitals, said Paula Bird, senior lecturer who coordinates the series. “Somos Músicos is a great opportunity to show people their solo abilities,” percussionist Sigifredo Santana said. “There’s something different about showing your own voice, your own solo voice to an audience.”

Many students, especially freshmen and sophomores, would not otherwise have the opportunity to perform in front a large audience until their junior or senior recitals. For their exam juries students only perform in front of faculty. Somos Músicos gives them the opportunity to experience a real-audience environment, Bird said.

written by Andrew Blanton

TxState grads get teaching jobs

Our 2015 music teacher graduates were once again completely successful in gaining employment or entering the graduate program of their choice:

  • Randallyn Kelso – Asst. Band Director, Beckendorff Jr. High, Katy ISD, Katy, Texas
  • Lawrence Varela-Halbert – Asst. Band Director, S.C. Lee Jr. High School, Copperas Cove ISD
  • Haley Dougherty Kibodeaux – Music Teacher at Navarro Elementary School in Lockhart ISD
  • Lani Gil – Orchestra Director, Boerne Middle Schools, Boerne ISD, Boerne, Texas
  • Elizabeth O’Connell – Asst. Band Director, Stafford MS & HS, Stafford ISD, Stafford, Texas
  • William Cordova – Music Teacher, Havard Elementary School, Galena Park ISD, Houston
  • Arminda Velasquez – Asst. Band Director, Cedar Ridge HS, Round Rock ISD, Round Rock
  • Hector Bermea – Mariachi Director, Los Fresnos HS, Los Fresnos ISD, Los Fresnos, Texas
  • Arabella Stachura – Music Teacher, Hommel Elementary, Everman ISD, Everman, Texas
  • Riaz Mohammed – Assistant Band Director, Campbell Middle School, Cypress Fairbanks ISD, Houston
  • David Ortiz – Assistant Band Director, Scobee Middle School, Southwest ISD, San Antonio
  • Sol Ruppa – Assistant Band Director, Southside High School, Southside ISD, San Antonio
  • Joseph Menditto – Music Teacher, Hawthorne Academy and Washington Elementary, San Antonio ISD
  • Nikki Singer– Music Teacher, D.P. Morris Elementary School, Mansfield ISD, Arlington, Texas
  • Courtney Edwards – Band Director, Wilder Intermediate School in Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD
  • Cesar Gonzalez – Asst. Band Director, MacArthur HS, North East ISD, San Antonio
  • Brad Miller – Asst. Band Director, Lamar Jr. High, Lamar Consolidated ISD, Rosenburg, Texas
  • Tyler McClendon – Asst. Band Director, Canton MS/HS, Canton, Texas
  • Cesar Deleon – Music Teacher, Walnut Springs Elementary, Dripping Springs ISD, Dripping Springs, Texas
  • Austin Baker – Music Teacher, Del Valle Elementary, Del Valle ISD, Del Valle, Texas
  • Inez Rodriguez – Asst. Band Director, Goodnight MS, San Marcos CISD, San Marcos, Texas
  • Chris Diaz – George I. Sanchez Elementary School in Austin ISD, Austin, Texas
  • Gerald Martinez, Graduate School, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois
  • Matt Hurtado, Graduate School, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

More . . . Vocal music education graduates:

  • Ruben Morgan – Zachry Middle School, NISD, San Antonio, TX
  • Jason Gallardo – Shoemaker High School, Killeen, TX
  • Ashley Branson –Westwood High School, Austin, TX
  • Bethany Cowan – Harker Heights High School, Killeen, TX
  • Samara Neto – Wiley Middle School, Leander, TX
  • Ashley Haight – Eastern Hills Middle Schools, Killeen, TX
  • Garrett Dibble – Killeen, TX
  • Brittany Garza – Lockhart, ISD, Lockhart, TX
  • Samuel Parrott – Seguin, ISD, Seguin, TX
  • Richard Shehulski – Hays, ISD, Kyle, T

M.M. Graduates:

  • Nancy Lott – Asst. Band Director, McNair Middle School, Southwest ISD, Atascosa, Texas
  • Drew Saenz – Asst. Band Director, Westlake High School, Eanes ISD, Austin, Texas

Trombone master classes in LA, MA

Dr. Martin McCain recently completed two university residencies. November 2-4, he presented a masterclass and recital at Louisiana State University in addition to teaching lessons and coaching the LSU Trombone Choir. McCain then traveled to Boston November 9-12 where he presented a series of masterclasses to the trombone studios of Boston University, Boston Conservatory and the New England Conservatory. He also coached the Boston University Trombone Choir and Octet.


American Prize finalists include TxState maestro

Texas State Director of Orchestral Studies, Dr. Carolyn Watson, is a finalist in two categories of The American Prize for Conducting. The Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra, conducted by Watson, has also been selected as a finalist in the high school orchestra division of The American Prize for Orchestral Performance. The American Prize is a national, peer-reviewed non-profit competition in the performing arts. The American Prize winners will be announced next month.

Prof participates in Society for Music Theory meeting

Theory professor Cynthia I. Gonzales traveled to St. Louis to participate in the annual meeting of the Society of Music Theory, at which she chaired the session “Delight in Diversity” and delivered a paper titled “SMT Meetings 1978-2013: Which Composers and What Topics?” As Chair of the SMT Committee on Diversity, she hosted a luncheon for current and past travel grant recipients. She also met up with Texas State alums Jose Garza and Amy Dixon Hatch.


selfie under The Arch

selfie under The Arch

Busy month for saxophone prof

Todd Oxford is a new Artist/Endorser for the Andreas Eastman 52nd Street Saxophone Line. He performed as a featured soloist on the Texas State University International Concert Series Faculty Showcase in early September. On September 24, he gave a Texas All-State Saxophone Etudes Performance and Master Class for the Roma, Texas Independent School District. SoM Alumnus Eden Gonzalez was the host. On October 11, he was a featured soloist for the National Association of Wind and Percussion Instructors National Conference in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. On October 13, he and percussionist colleague Bobby Lopez gave a recital and master class at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. On October 28, they presented a concert for the Feed Your Soul Music Series at Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin.

Lopez (L) and Oxford

Lopez (L) and Oxford


Prof’s piano-duo composition recording released

The Khasma Duo released their debut album “Switchback” featuring Michael Ippolito‘s work pianoduo (2007) along with music by Marti Epstein, Symeon Waseen, Lawrence Moss, Cosimo Colazzo and Jean Ahn. The Khasma Duo was formed in 2012 by Ashlee Mack and Katherine Palumbo. The duo has dedicated themselves to the performance of works from the 20th and 21st centuries. The album title “Switchback” refers not only to the hiking term, as both Katherine and Ashlee are avid hikers, but to the “switchback” nature of four hands and two bodies at one piano.