Laredo Phil Receives ASCAP Award, Concert Set Saturday
Posted: 4/3/14

Laredo Phil Receives Second ASCAP
Award; Season's Final Concert Saturday

The League of American Orchestras has selected the Laredo Phil as the recipient of a First Place ASCAP Award for Programming of Contemporary Music for Group 7-8 Orchestras.

The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and the League offer American orchestras Awards for Adventurous Programming. Awards recognize concerts that stimulate the audience, build the repertoire, and strengthen support for new work in this country and abroad. They recognize orchestras whose most recent programming demonstrates a strong commitment to contemporary music.

Music director and conductor Brendan Townsend was notified of the Award by the President of the League of American Orchestras, Jesse Rosen, who noted, "We honor the work that you do on behalf of the music of our time, and the American composers who contribute so much to the vibrancy of our art form."

The Laredo Phil previously won the competitive award in 2007.

Townsend said the ASCAP Award is especially relevant as it recognizes the Laredo Phil’s ongoing programming of contemporary music.

 “The audience here knows how committed I am to bringing new and contemporary music to the stage,” Townsend said, “We have at least one piece by a living composer on almost all our concert programs.”

In addition to the $750 cash award, the Orchestra will be presented with a plaque at the League’s National Conference in June in Seattle, WA.

“This is major achievement for us,” said Townsend, who has entered the the competition five times, “The vast  majority of orchestras around the country fit in our budget category and so the competition to be rewarded for a commitment to new music is tough.”

“ In fact, our final concert of the season this weekend at Texas A&M International University features a contemporary selection and its composer will be present,” he explained.

This Saturday, the Laredo Phil presents its closing concert for the “Shared Borders” season, recognizing National Organ Donor Month and featuring the winner of the 5th Annual Concerto Competition, TAMIU student Osvaldo Ibarra.

“Eternal Rest” will be performed at the TAMIU Center for the Fine and Performing Arts Recital Hall Saturday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m.

General admission is $20, $15 for senior citizens and free for students with a valid ID.

“The Laredo Phil will honor the courage and passion of those who have donated and received organs, as well as those conducting the surgery with a performance of Linda Tutas Haugen's ‘Transformations of Darkness and Light.’   Haugen will join us for this special performance, ” said Townsend.

Haugen’s piece was commissioned by the National Kidney Foundation in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of organ transplantation. The composer commissioned a series of tuned bells to be rung out in honor of those who have had the courage to donate their organs.

With the cooperation of Laredo Medical Center and Texas Organ Sharing Alliance, the Laredo Phil was able to bring this work and the bells to Laredo. This is the first time that the work will be performed outside of the state of Minnesota because of the logistics of transporting the bells.

The Laredo Phil has invited organ transplant recipients and donor families, as well as nephrologists and other transplant doctors to ring the bells at the end of the concert.

This week, volunteers from the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance and Laredo Medical Center will distribute information on the importance of organ donation and the need for young people on the donor list Wednesday and Thursday, April from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the TAMIU Student Center.

As the winner of the 5th Annual Concerto Competition, Osvaldo Ibarra, TAMIU student cellist, will perform his concerto as a soloist. Ibarra played the Schumann Cello Concerto in a Minor. 

Ibarra began his cello career as a student at Lamar Middle School under the direction of Bea Balli. He went on to play in the orchestra at J. W. Nixon High School and attended the Vidal M. Treviño School of Fine Arts and Communications. Ibarra currently studies cello with Townsend.

Purchase tickets online at http://laredophil.instantencore.com/web/home.aspx, in person at Cantú Interiors or prior to the concert.

For more information on organ donation, contact the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance at 210.614.7030.

For Laredo Phil information, contact Townsend at 956.326.3039 or email  btownsend@tamiu.edu

For information on the League of American Orchestras, visit http://americanorchestras.org/about-the-league.html

Additional information is available online at http://laredophil.instantencore.com/web/home.aspx

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