TAMIU Guitar Ensemble Earns Second Place in 2004 State Competition

TAMIU Guitar Ensemble Earns Second Place in State Competition

Texas A&M International University's Classical Guitar Ensemble was awarded second place in the Large Ensemble College/University Category at the 2004 Guitar Ensemble Competition hosted by the University of Texas in Brownsville this past weekend. (photo)

Performing a challenging program including Bach, Vivaldi, and Couperin, the 14-member group competed against institutions including Eastfield College, University of North Texas, Collin College, University of Texas in San Antonio, Texas Southmost College, and the University of Texas at Brownsville, among others.

Guitar Ensemble director Dr. Gilberto Soto said the state competition is only three years old and recently revised its ratings and competition.

"This is one of the few state-level competitions and was recently organized into rating groups by first, second and third place. Last year, levels were awarded and we earned the 'level one (outstanding)' award in the same competition," he explained.

Dr. Soto also expressed his appreciation to TAMIU's Student Government Association, which assisted some of the students with travel expenses.

Students participating in the TAMIU Guitar Ensemble for the competition included Diego Garcia, Marc Lopez, Mike Saito, Cindy Medina, Rene Mendez, Miguel Duran, Billy Thatcher, Tomas Hernandez, Raquel Ramirez, Claudia Valdez, Sonia Gutierrez, Julio Cano, Rick Garcia and George Valenciano.

Another source of great pride for Soto is that nine of the 14 students are music majors.

"They are all amazingly talented students and we are honored that nine of the 14 have chosen to earn their degrees in music with us. We know that all of these students' skills and education will lead to additional teaching or performing opportunities, both of which will enrich our community," he said.

Upcoming performances by the TAMIU Guitar Ensemble include a performance at TAMIU's Latin American Week this Friday, April 2 at noon at the Student Center Rotunda and a performance at the Bazaar de la Villa Antigua on Saturday, April 17th, at 7:00 p.m. at the San Agustin Plaza (downtown).

For additional information on the TAMIU Guitar Ensemble, please contact Dr. Soto at 326.2649 or email gsoto@tamiu.edu

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