TAMIU Guitar Ensemble Places Third at Competition

TAMIU Guitar Ensemble Places Third in the State

For the third year in a row, the Texas A&M International University Classical Guitar Ensemble (photo) placed in the top three at the University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southernmost College Guitar Ensemble Festival 2005 held last weekend.

"We are happy to have placed third in this competition because the students worked very hard during the semester to obtain this recognition. It is a very prestigious competition. We hope to place higher next year. We won first place a couple of years ago and it's our intention to be number one again," said Dr. Gilberto Soto, ensemble director.

The Guitar Ensemble competed against groups from Texas Tech University, University of Texas at Dallas, University of California at Santa Cruz, and groups from other colleges and universities.

Students also attended guitar master classes and attended concerts by top guitarists Ruben Romero, Leo Kottke and Duo Erato.

The ensemble studies classical, flamenco, new age and contemporary music in addition to selected works written for instruments of the lute and guitar family, including original compositions by student composer-arrangers.

Throughout the year, the guitar ensemble also provides community concerts at different community events.

 "The guitar program in the music department has grown to 12 guitar majors and it's growing to be one of the highest major areas in our music degrees since it started in 2001," explained Dr. Soto, who is also chair of the department of fine and performing arts.

"We are planning to have a summer instrumental flamenco concert, Culturas, sometime at the start of the summer session," added Dr. Soto.

Students interested in a major in guitar or any other instrument are required to audition before they are recommended to become full-time music majors. For audition information, call the department of fine arts at 326.2654.

For more information, please contact Dr. Soto at 326.2649, e-mail at gsoto@tamiu.edu or visit offices in the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Room 217C.

University office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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