TAMIU's Music Program Receives Prestigious Accreditation

Texas A&M International University's College of Arts and Humanities Department of Fine and Performing Arts has posted another success with membership approval in the prestigious Texas Association of Music Schools (TAMS).

The announcement was made recently at the Association's annual convention in Austin.

Dr. Gilberto Soto, associate professor of music and chair of the department, said the award places TAMIU among other state higher education institutions with music programs dedicated to excellence.

The accreditation also provides a strong foundation for the department's application for accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music, he said.

"By being accredited by TAMS, we have not only gained a new status among music schools, but also a strong indication that we can achieve national accreditation," Dr. Soto said, "The accreditation also demonstrates that our program is needed in the community."

The Department of Fine and Performing Arts currently offers three programs in music leading to bachelor of arts with a major in music, bachelor of music and bachelor of music with all-level certification.

Soto explained that enrollment numbers at TAMIU's music program have grown exponentially during the past three years with a 200 percent increase since 1999.

"In the fall of 1999, we had 184 students, that number increased to 292 in Spring 2001 and to 660 in Spring 2002. This is a strong indicator of how popular our program is," Soto said.

The department also plans to add faculty members specializing in brass, woodwind, and musicology instruction, Soto said.

TAMS is an association of higher education institutions that provide music education. Its purpose is to advance the cause of music in higher education and to improve the quality and program of Texas' music educational system through the promotion of cooperation between all colleges and universities and through the exercise of educational leadership.

The association also serves the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Texas Colleges and University System, the Association of Texas Colleges and Universities, The Texas Education Agency and the Texas Fine Arts Commission in an advisory capacity on music matters.

Currently housed in Pellegrino Hall, the department will soon relocate to the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts, with construction completion scheduled in 2003.

The $21.5 million Center for the Fine and Performing Arts will feature a symphony and recital hall, theater, lobby, art gallery, music rehearsal hall, black box theatre, visual arts complex, communication complex, lecture halls , dance studios, sculpture garden, music library, costume shops, classrooms, painting studios, green rooms and various faculty offices.

For further information, please contact Dr. Soto at 326-2649 or e-mail gsoto@tamiu.edu. University office hours are 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


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