Posted: 9/29/11

Third Annual ‘Cellopalooza’ Saturday at TAMIU



Laredo’s cellists will join forces Saturday, Oct. 1 at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) to celebrate their instrument and perhaps break a local record for the number of cellists performing simultaneously on stage.

“Cellopalooza” is a culminating performance of chamber music after a two-day workshop for area cellists hosted annually by TAMIU music professor and cellist Brendan Townsend.

The Concert is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the TAMIU Center for the Fine & Performing Arts Recital Hall. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

The concert will begin with TAMIU senior Justin Balli performing part of the Suite for Solo Cello by Benjamin Britten. More and more cellists will be added to the mix as the program grows.

Over the past years, “Cellopalooza” has attracted students from Lamar and United middle schools, Cigarroa and Nixon high schools as well as students from Laredo Community College and TAMIU.

“We had eight cellists the first year and by last year we were up to 18 on stage. We hope to break that number this third year,” said Balli. “You can’t beat the sound of so many cellos playing in unison like you get at ‘Cellopalooza,’ ” offered Katie Sanchez, a Balli student.

Townsend said the workshop provides students of all ages an opportunity to practice technique, Region orchestra music and come together to perform chamber music arranged specifically for “Cellopaloooza.”

“There is a wonderful selection of music arranged for cello ensemble including Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5 which we will be playing,” said Townsend, “ ‘Cellopalooza’ gives us a chance to indulge our cello souls!”

He said the cello is a special instrument capable of great warmth.

“It is closest to the human voice in timbre and range,” Townsend explained.

The Workshop, open to all cellists from across the city, begins with registration on Friday Sept. 30 at 4:30 p.m. It is free to all participants and is sponsored by TAMIU’s College of Arts and Sciences, department of Fine and Performing Arts.

For more information about “Cellopalooza,” contact Townsend at 956.326.3039 or email 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