Posted: 9/22/11

Rio Grande Vocal Series Master Classes This Weekend at TAMIU



Master classes with some of the nation’s most well regarded vocal performers will be provided Sept. 23-24 at Texas A&M International University by Song on the Rio Grande as part of its Rio Grande Vocal Series.

Suzanne Ramo-Gechter, Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) adjunct faculty member, said the group was formed in conjunction with Laredo Community College and TAMIU.

“We wanted to offer an opportunity for students at both LCC and TAMIU to participate in master classes, roundtable discussions and an opportunity to learn alongside some of the nation’s top vocal performers. Our first offering will be Sept. 23-24 and will feature tenor Jason Ferrante and soprano Twyla Robinson. In addition to TAMIU and LCC students, high school students from Laredo and the area are also encouraged to attend. Future offerings will also include recitals,” she explained.

There is no charge to attend the Vocal Series offerings and the public is welcome to attend and enjoy the sessions.

Ferrante will be featured on Friday, Sept. 23 with a master class beginning at 2 p.m. in the TAMIU Center for the Fine and Performing Arts’ (CFPA) Recital Hall.

Ferrante is recognized as one of the leading character singers of his generation. Praised by Opera News for “singing up a stylish storm” and for getting “the gold star for trills,” the American tenor sings both comedians and protagonists on the operatic stage, and in concert, a repertoire of a wide range of composers from Bach and Handel to John Musto and Lowell Liebermann. The Baltimore native now makes his home in Miami, FL and serves on the voice faculty of the New World School of the Arts.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, the Rio Grande Vocal Series will continue with Twyla Robinson, who will begin her master class at 12 noon, also in the CFPA Recital Hall. It will be followed by a roundtable discussion with the artist, affording students a chance to learn what’s it like to have a singing career.

Robinson has consistently earned tremendous praise for her consummate musicianship, dramatic sensibility, and ravishing vocal beauty. She has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including London Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Staatskapelle, The Cleveland Orchestra, and Los Angeles Philharmonic, singing under such conductors as Bernard Haitink, Pierre Boulez, Franz Welser-Möst, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Michael Tilson Thomas. In high demand for concert performances, Robinson regularly performs with top orchestras in the United States and Europe.

Song on the Rio Grande is planning a recital in October, a February master class and two additional recitals later in 2012.

For additional information, contact Crabtree at 326.3040 or email dcrabtree@tamiu.edu. Contact Ramo-Gechter at 326.2654 or email suzanne.ramo@tamiu.edu

University information is also available at tamiu.edu and on its Facebook, Twitter and YouTube sites.

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