Category Archives: alumni students faculty NEWS

Pi Kappa Lambda Welcomes 12 New Inductees

The Epsilon Tau chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society at Texas State University has chosen 12 new inductees into their prestigious organization:


Melanie Goldstein

Amy Gravell

Kaley McDonald

Payton McIntyre

William Phi

Caroline Reedy

Cole Spengler

Sara Trogdon


Graduate students:

Marissa Hernandez

Gregory Hilliard

Andrew LaRusch

Joshua Torres

Congratulations to these students! Their induction is a recognition of their academic excellence and outstanding musicianship. The Epsilon Tau chapter has been at Texas State since 1984.

Pi Kappa Lambda crest

Recent TXST Graduate to Be Published in Academic Journals

Headshot of graduate student John Vinzant

Recent TXST Master of Music–Composition Graduate John Vinzant has had his paper Sed Non Eodem Modo: Comparing Ludomusicology to Nineteenth-Century Musikwissenschaft accepted for presentation at two international video game conferences.

The first conference, Ludo 2020, was an international conference hosted by the Ludomusicology Research Group and the University of Malta. The conference took place virtually on April 25th, May 2nd, and May 9th, with Vinzant’s virtual presentation on the 2nd. The conference was originally scheduled to occur at the University of Malta – Valletta campus.

The second conference, North American Conference on Video Game Music, is scheduled to take place virtually on June 13th and 14th. The conference was originally scheduled for April 4th and 5th at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY.

Following his first presentation, Vinzant was invited by Journal of Sound and Music in Games and Game Studies to submit his work for publication in their journals! Congratulations Mr. Vinzant!

TXST Mysterium for New Music Featured Ensemble for MuTeFest

Left to Right: John Vinzant, Wesley Uchiyama-Penix, Dan Christenson, Evan Ebert,  Andi Ivins, James Thistleton, Sean Eure, and Richard Hall.

The Texas State Mysterium for New Music Ensemble was recently the featured ensemble for the University of Texas at San Antonio MuTeFest (Music Technology Conference).  Works performed included original student pieces, structured improvisational works, video game music and a piece by School of Music Director Dr. Tom Clark.  Members were graduate students Dan ChristensonAndi IvinsWesley Uchiyama-PenixJohn Vinzant and undergraduate students Evan Ebert, Sean Eure, and James Thistleton.  The ensemble is directed by Senior Lecturer of Music Richard D. Hall.  Richard also gave a workshop on the “Aesthetics and Techniques of Live Electronic Music Performance,” a performance/lecture demonstrating the various techniques of performing live electro-acoustic music with live digital video art.

School of Music GIA First College of Fine Arts & Communication Recipient of Prestigious Scholarship

Fifteen Texas State Graduate students have been awarded Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.) International Peace Scholarships. The P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund, established in 1949, is a highly competitive, prestigious scholarship program which provides funding for women pursuing graduate studies internationally in the United States and Canada. Scholarships awarded by the Fund grant up to $12,500 in an effort to support education as fundamental to world peace and understanding.

Our 15 students selected this year represent the largest group of recipients in University history and includes the first recipient from the College of Fine Arts & Communication, the School of Music’s own Graduate Instructional Assistant Sa Ra Park. Ms. Park is pursuing a Master of Music with a Music Theory Concentration. Ms. Park originally hails from the Republic of Korea. Congratulations Ms. Park on this outstanding achievement!

TXST Mariachi Releases Video Collages

Mariachi Lince de Oro guitarist during February 2020 TXST TEDx Performance

TXST’s Mariachi Lince de Oro and Mariachi Nueva Generacion have assembled video collage performances which were shared on their Facebook last Friday. Below are links to these at-home performances:

Thank you TXST Mariachi for sharing your art with us and helping to further prove that Music is essential!


Associate Professor Elected to Society of Music Theory Board

Dr. Cynthia Gonzales

Dr. Cynthia I. Gonzales, Regents’ Teacher and Associate Professor, was elected to the Society for Music Theory’s Executive Board as a Member-at-Large. Her three-year term begins at the conclusion of the SMT conference in November. Dr. Gonzales is currently President of the Texas Society for Music Theory, a three-year term that concludes in March 2021.

Choral Student Awarded Scholarship to Produce Album

Joshua Rodriguez

Joshua Rodriguez, Bachelor of Music in Music Studies (Choral Concentration) minor in Music Composition student, has been named the recipient of the 2020 Mu Phi Epsilon Foundation Bettylou Scandling Hubin Scholarship for Music Technology.  This scholarship will fund the professional production of an album featuring his latest compositions. The production will take place at the Texas State University Fire Station Studios and will be produced by students in the Sound Recording Technology program. The ensemble and collaborative artists featured on the album will be students in the School of Music.

Josh is a Brother of the Alpha Pi chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon, where he has served as Chorister, and a member of the Texas State Chorale for whom he composed “Rise,” which premiered Fall 2019.

School of Music GIA Appointed to Graduate House of Representatives

Grad student Andi Ivins with her dog and her boyfriend

Graduate Instructional Assistant Andi Ivins (Left) with her family.

Graduate Instructional Assistant (GIA) Andi Ivins was recently nominated by John Fleming, Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication, to be part of the Graduate House of Representatives–a position which she happily accepted!

Ivins is a native of San Antonio, Texas and received her undergraduate in Music Composition from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2019. Throughout the 2019-2020 academic year, she has served as a the Marketing Assistant for the School of Music. In this position Ivins has handled press releases for the School of Music, created print and digital media for our Stars At Night concert series, and has worked closely with Dr. Tom Clark, Director of the School of Music, and Ben Felts, Administrative Assistant in charge of News & Social Media, on various projects. She is pursuing a Masters of Music in Music Composition.

The Graduate House of Representatives serves as the graduate students’ branch of the Texas State University Student Government. Each college has two representatives appointed by their Dean. Representative duties include addressing issues directly related to graduate students and volunteering at various on-campus graduate student events. As a representative of the School of Music, Ivins will present new and ongoing projects on behalf of the Department to the Student Government.

Congratulations Andi! We are proud of you and extremely excited to see what you accomplish throughout the 2020-2021 academic year!

TXST Students Receive Collegiate Music Educators Award

Congratulations to the following students who have been named recipients of the Texas Music Educators Association Collegiate Music Educators Award:

Christian Clow

Rachel Fredrick

Rebecca Martinez

Matt Pehl

Kate Thane

Sara Trogdon

Anarra Whitcher

These Bobcats will be awarded an honors cord to wear during commencement and certificates from the TMEA office. We are incredibly proud of these student teachers and greatly appreciate all of the support and guidance provided to them by their respective teachers!TMEA 2020 Logo

TXST Student Teachers Continue to Shine During Pandemic

TXST School of Music Student Teacher Mr. Christopher Murphy

This week we checked in with one of our student teachers, Christopher Murphy, on how the transition to online delivery has altered his field experience.

Murphy is currently serving his elementary student teaching placement within Austin ISD. With the outbreak of COVID-19, AISD elected to move to online instruction a few weeks before Governor Abbott’s announcement to end the in-person school year last Friday. This process left many educators in both the district and state uncertain how to proceed.

Despite this, many teachers and student teachers alike rose to the challenge, including Murphy. He made it his mission to “be as helpful and involved in instruction as possible” despite having to move to online delivery. While this transition was a large undertaking, Murphy personally found the switch to be a relatively smooth one. “I have had tremendous guidance from my cooperating teacher and university faculty mentors,” Murphy shared. “The student teaching faculty has guided me a lot by providing [all the student teachers] with access to a ton of online music teaching resources…” In addition to these resources, the student teaching faculty has maintained weekly check-ins with our student teachers to help with productivity and also to check on their mental well-being.

Murphy said that Texas State definitely laid a solid foundation for their student teachers that has “translated well to remote learning.” He explained that they were always taught to “be ready to jump in and do things,” something that has been a key piece of advice. Within his placement, Murphy has relied heavily on this advice and on the support of his cooperating teacher, Ms. Katie Riordan. Riordan has helped to keep Murphy involved with his student teaching by workshopping lesson ideas and inviting him to attend weekly Zoom staff meetings and elementary music meetings for AISD. This experience has been valuable, allowing Murphy to see firsthand how a district could potentially handle a crisis situation.

However, at the end of the day, the most important thing to Murphy has not been his own experience, but  the experiences of his students. He feels that “continued exposure to music is helpful for students in these crazy times, as for some, it is the bright spot in their school day.” This sentiment echoes our own School of Music Director Dr. Tom Clark’s mantra during this outbreak: “Music is essential.” Murphy and Riordan have developed creative ways to teach remotely, such as creating videos for students to follow along (which Murphy likens to “Blues Clues),” giving students parameters for their own creative musical exploration by creating their own instruments or sharing their favorite songs, and many other non-traditional lessons Murphy never thought he would utilize during his student teaching.

Dr. Vanessa de Macedo Higgins Joyce, Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and parent to a child in Murphy’s elementary placement, has recognized his enthusiasm and dedication to his field. “Our school has many Texas State teachers,” Dr. Higgins Joyce wrote to Dean John Fleming “and this student teacher is doing so awesome online.” She said Murphy’s readings with beats has brightened her family’s day. “Mr. Murphy rocks.” We would have to agree, Dr. Higgins Joyce!

We want to congratulate Murphy and all our student teachers on a job well done! You continue to make us proud every day with your leadership and dedication to your passions. Because of you, it is always a great day to be a Bobcat.