LPO Sets Special Children's Concerts Jan. 9-10

The Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra, in conjunction with Texas A&M International University and Laredo Community College, recently announced the inauguration of its Rising Stars Non-Subscription Concert Series, sponsored by HEB.

LPO president Theresa Nimchan explained the Series will feature child musical prodigies from around the world and will be the first of its kind in Laredo.

She said this year's Rising Stars Concert will feature ten-year-old pianist Katelyn Tran in a free recital for Laredo school children on Friday, January 9, 2004 at United Independent School District's Student Activity Center. (photo)

The concert will be repeated for the general public, also free of charge, on Saturday, January 10 at 7:30 p.m., in the TAMIU Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Recital Hall.

Tran has been studying the piano since she was four years old with Velda Zuponcic, professor of music at Rowan University in New Jersey, and wants to share with other children the beauty of classical music.

In addition, Tran's teacher Zuponcic will offer a master class for local piano teachers and students, the first of its kind for the LPO, said Nimchan.

Brendan Townsend, LPO musical director, explained that a vital, well-supported orchestra is a clear sign of a vital, culture-rich city.

"One way to ensure support for the Orchestra is to educate community members about the music we perform. Cultivating a knowledgeable audience and an appreciation of classical music in South Texas must begin with our children. What better way than to bring child performers here, so that our own children can see what they might accomplish?" said Townsend.

Nimchan concurred.

"We are especially excited about the prospect of being able to provide the children of Laredo with a opportunity to meet these young musical prodigies personally," said Nimchan, "The free student recital will give school children the chance to experience the incomparable thrill of hearing a classical piano performance ...in many cases, for the first time in their lives... and see for themselves that dreams can be realized with determination and hard work."

For more information, please contact Townsend at LCC at 721-5330, at TAMIU at 326.3039 or by e-mail at btownsend@tamiu.edu . LPO offices are now located in room 216C, of the TAMIU Center for the Fine and Performing Arts.

University offices are closed Wednesday, Dec. 24 and reopen on Monday, Jan. 5.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu