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With Start of New Season, Laredo Philharmonic Posts Historic Number of TAMIU, Local Performer Musicians Posted: 10/04/18

With Start of New Season, Laredo Philharmonic Posts Historic Number of TAMIU, Local Performer Musicians


Laredo Phil Logo

When first created in 1980, Laredo Philharmonic Orchestra founders dreamed of a day when orchestra performers would include members that proudly called Laredo home.

That dream day has arrived. With the start of the 2018 season, 17 members are Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) faculty or students.  An additional eight are local music educators, many educated at TAMIU.  Combined, they  create  the largest home- grown corps of professional-quality musicians in the LPO’s history.

The opening concert of the 39thConcert Season takes place Sunday, Oct. 21 at 3 TAMIU’s Center for the Fine and Performing Arts’ Recital Hall  Recital Hall. 

Brendan Townsend, a TAMIU faculty member who is concurrently the music director of the Laredo Philharmonic, said this  season the Laredo Phil will present four orchestral concerts. Featured in this season’s orchestra will be six of TAMIU’s full-time faculty, four adjunct faculty and seven students.

He said he believes the University’s relationship to the Laredo Phil has been integral to its growth and success.

“This is a source of tremendous excitement for us as we perform before our audiences, knowing that our Orchestra includes more TAMIU faculty members, students or graduates, and other gifted local music educators helping us deliver our seasons of sound,” Townsend said. 

TAMIU president, Dr. Pablo Arenaz, concurred, noting the historic collaboration that has made the relationship possible.

“We are very proud of our association with the Laredo Philharmonic. In 2002 an innovative Memorandum of Understanding brought the Laredo Phil into a powerful collaboration with Laredo College (LC) and TAMIU – all designed to ensure that our quality young musicians and LC and TAMIU faculty would always have a professional outlet for their talents. To see that cherished dream come true reminds us of the importance of dreaming big and, as we say here at TAMIU, ‘Going Beyond,’ ” Dr. Arenaz said.

“Every year, we see the standard of students from LC and TAMIU rising to the professional level, and so we naturally want to include them in the orchestra,” Townsend agreed.

One orchestra member said this record high local composition should be a badge of pride for the City of Laredo.

“Laredo should be proud of the quality of orchestra that we support in this community,” said John Reimund, faculty member at the Vidal M. Treviño School of Communication and Fine Arts, as well as an adjunct faculty member at both LC and TAMIU. Reimund is also the Laredo Philharmonic Board of Directors’ treasurer. 

For some longtime Laredo music educators, the realization of this dream is especially sweet, and personal.

Music educators and Laredo Phil musicians Nick and Bea Balli say that the Orchestra has impacted their lives measurably.

“We came to Laredo over 30 years ago because of the opportunity to join this wonderful orchestra. We have seen our former students, and our children – who are now professional educators themselves – all flow through this great ensemble,” said Nick Balli. 

The Laredo corps of musicians is supplemented by freelance musicians from San Antonio, Austin, and Houston.

For tickets and more information about the Laredo Phil and its’ concert season visit www.laredophil.comor call 956.326.3042.

Laredo Phil Laredo members

Among Laredoans performing with the Laredo Phil are, pictured L-R: John Reimund, Adrian Martinez, Dr. Oswaldo Zapata-Correa, Dr. Mark Boseman, Melissa Montemayor, Emilio De Leon, Dr. Abby Lloyd, Jose Aguilar, Dr. Yu Mei Huang, Dante Aguilar, Dr. Xiao Hu Zhou, Brendan Townsend (Music Director), Dr. James Moyer. (Not Pictured: Tomas Aguilar, Colin Campbell, Justin Reagan, Laryssa Garza, Melissa Hinojosa).