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An "Incredible" Performance

By Christine Rojas
On April 1, 2010

The Texas A&M International Wind Ensemble and Jazz Big Band took the stage on March 7 at the Fine and Performing Arts Center (CFPA) with "An Incredible Concert".  Under the direction of Dr. David Manuel Garcia, both bands featured a varied repertoire which consisted of selections from "Pirates of the Caribbean" to Gene Kupa's "Boogie Blues".  The concert was free and open to the public.

The Wind Ensemble opened with music from "The Incredibles". Also featured was student saxophonist Gabriel Vasquez, who arranged and conducted the Finale from "Final Fantasy". Additionally, the Wind Ensemble preformed "March of the Republic of the Rio Grande" which was arranged by Eddie Lewis who was in the audience. Honorees that were recognized during the concert included Mr. Elmo Lopez for his dedication to the musical history of Laredo.

The Jazz Big Band preformed for the first time and opened with "Malagueña" and continued with hits like "Orange Colored Sky" and "Take the A Train". Many of the musical selections contained improvisations by band members in addition to vocalists, Joel Bazán-Gómez, Marisol Muñoz, and Erica Salinas who were showcased in several songs.

Members of the Wind Ensemble were anxious to perform in their first big concert of the semester. Additionally, ensemble sizes increased exponentially, from nine to 40 members within one semester as explained by musician Alejandro Barrera

"It was a really fun program. Everyone in the band was really excited for the first big performance of the year. Last semester there were only nine members and now we're 40 and a jazz band. It's a lot more fun."

Many of the jazz musicians had a limited experience in performing jazz music and were able to learn quickly, according to Garcia.

The concert itself was a success due to the efforts of the budding musicians under Garcia's tutelage, remarked Salinas.

"It's new, exciting; it's really awesome to be a part of it. We're trying something new thanks to Dr. Garcia. If it weren't for him, pushing for this program, it almost didn't happen. But he got the ball rolling and it's the start of something new." 

Garcia continues to emphasize the growth of the ensembles, particularly the Jazz Band due to the interest of TAMIU students as mentioned in a press release.

"Interest in our jazz big band has been a major factor in the rapid growth in both numbers and quality."

The next performance for the Wind Ensemble is scheduled on April 20 at 7 p.m. in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts. For additional information, contact david.garcia@tamiu.edu or visit offices in CFPA 116.

(Christine Rojas may be contacted at christine_r7@dusty.tamiu.edu)


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