Posted: 9/24/09

Cellopalooza Returns to TAMIU Oct. 3



On Saturday evening Oct. 3, 2009, the Texas A&M International University Fine and Performing Arts Recital Hall will ring to the glorious sounds of multiple cellists making music together in the Second Annual Cellopalooza concert organized by assistant professor of music, Brendan Townsend.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.

“Cellopalooza grew out a certain buzz following the very successful Laredo debut by the cello rock group, Break of Reality,” said Townsend. “All the local kids studying and playing cello wanted to do more than just be the bass line in their school orchestra.”

The first Cellopalooza, held in September 2008, brought together 12 students from Townsend's cello studio at TAMIU and students from Lamar Middle School and Nixon High School / Vidal M. Treviño School of Communications and Fine Arts.

“When Mr. Townsend suggested it, we were like ‘Yeah—that sounds cool!’ ” said Justin Balli, TAMIU sophomore.

What he didn't quite expect, he said, was the enormous success of the concert and the reaction of the younger students.

“They really got into it!” Balli exclaimed.

The concert will be the culmination of a two-day workshop in which the students will practice, learn new cello techniques, experiment with some improvisation times and hold a master class. The workshop is offered free of charge to all area students by the department of fine and performing arts.

The program includes duets, trios, quartets, quintets and a works for large cello ensemble. Featured guest performer, Dana Crabtree, instructor of voice, will join with the cellists to perform Bachianas Brasilerias No. 5 by Villa-Lobos.

“Some people may remember this last piece from when the Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra's cello section performed it a few years ago,” said Townsend.

“Once more, Cellopalooza will finish with a flourish as students of all ages and abilities join together for a rousing rendition of the ‘Can-Can’ arranged for cello choir,” added Townsend.

For more information about Cellopalooza or studying cello at TAMIU please call Townsend at 326.3039 or e-mail btownsend@tamiu.edu.

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