The Texas A&M International University Band will make its much awaited debut in Laredo when it presents a prelude ensemble at the opening of the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra symphonic concert scheduled for Jan. 31 at the Laredo Civic Center.
The 45-member band will make its appearance from 7:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. The Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra will begin its presentation at 8 p.m.
Dr. Ray Keck, chair of the English, Spanish and Fine Arts Department, said that orchestra conductor Terence Frazor, a close friend of Elmo Lopez Sr., the University's band director, invited the University's musical group to open the night of gala.
"It's a big moment for the band," said Keck, referring to the performance night. "This is the first time we have a band sponsored by the University but that is open for participation by the entire city of Laredo."
Among the pieces the band is scheduled to play are march pieces such as Fairest of the Fair by John F. Souza, Zacatecas by Genera Codina, Stars and the Stripes Forever by John F. Souza and Beautiful Paso Doble by Pepita Greus.
"The public is invited for an evening of march music," Lopez said. "It's all enjoyable, fun music."
Lopez said that the band is overjoyed with the opportunity to open for the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra.
"We are very excited because this is the first time that we play in a concert stage for the public," Lopez said.
The University has been supportive of the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra, and inviting the band to perform at its ensemble was a way for the orchestra to help the new group, Frazor said.
The Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra's selection for the night includes selections from Mendelssohn and Beethoven.
Meanwhile, Keck said that both the University and the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra dedicate themselves to pedagogical work and that it is a pleasure for the University to be able to participate in a common activity with the orchestra.
"The University and the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra feel a mutual appreciation for each other and that is very important," Keck said.
Ticket prices at the door are $15 for the general public and $5 for students. The next concert for the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra will be March 2.
The Texas A&M International University Band holds its weekly practice on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. at the Kinesiology/Convocation Building.
For more information, please call the English, Spanish and Fine Arts Department at 326-2470. University office hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.