(April 21, 2010)--While many use Spring Break as a chance to unwind and recharge, such was not the case for Gary Mabry, UTSA associate professor of music. Mabry used this year's down-time to live out a lifetime dream. He was a guest conductor at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Mabry led a group of 60 performers, which included current members of the UTSA's Women's Choir and members of the UTSA Women's Alumnae Choir.
The journey began in October 2008 when Mabry was contacted by Mid-America Productions, the booking agency for most of the performances at Carnegie Hall. Mid-America knew of his history, both as a choral director and vocalist in other singing groups, but this was the first time they had offered him the opportunity to serve as a guest conductor.
With such a massive undertaking involving UTSA alumnae located all over the United States, Mabry used Facebook to keep everyone informed. "I started a Facebook group called 'Let's Sing at Carnegie Hall,' and used it as a vehicle to send and receive information," he said.
The UTSA group led by Mabry, performed a 25-minute prelude concert, then joined a larger group of 250 singers to perform Beethoven's "Mass in C" led by British composer-conductor John Rutter.
"The group delivered a fabulous concert and everyone felt so good because they worked so hard all these months," said Mabry. "The trip also generated goodwill between our alumni and current students and allowed both the opportunity to sing with one another."
For Mabry, it ranks at the top of his musical achievements.
"When we turned the corner, and saw the huge three feet by six feet posters at the entrance of Carnegie Hall with the names 'UTSA Women's Alumnae Choir -- Gary Mabry, conductor,' I froze for a moment."
The UTSA Women's Alumnae Choir has a 20-year reunion scheduled for fall 2011 and, according to Mabry, the Carnegie Hall performance is sure to be discussed as one of the most memorable musical events of the past two decades.
UTSA choral group participants included Carly Marshall, Charity Lewis, Amanda Cullom, Valerie Serna, Alexa Finley, Ashley Simpson, Reesa Manroe, Christina Ramirez, Elizabeth Swiggett, Ariana Reyna, Ashley Kiddy (who also played percussion on the program), Nikki Bourg, Beth Holler, Erin Holzum (who also played violin on the program) and Amanda Hufford. UTSA piano faculty member Christine Debus was the accompanist.
Throughout the summer, UTSA offers more than 60 camps in science, engineering, architecture, sports, music, writing, language, culture and more.
Various locations, Main and Downtown Campuses
Chat with members of the Downtown Campus Initiative Task Force about changes taking place as the Downtown Campus grows and transforms to offer a comprehensive living and learning experience. Table topics will include curriculum changes, orientation updates, transportation, food and living options.
Frio Street Building Commons Area, Downtown Campus
UTSA and the San Antonio Express-News will jointly host this town hall meeting to discuss Unequal Justice in Bexar County and in Texas.
Buena Vista Street Building Theater (BVB 1.326), Downtown Campus
Experience a fun, interactive week at UTSA as new students and their families take the first steps to becoming a Roadrunner.
Various locations, Main Campus and Downtown Campuses
Finance and Budget Modeling Task Force presents a panel presentation of experts from 4 universities with experience in incentive-based budgeting. All UTSA campus community is invited to attend and be informed about budgeting processes.
Business Building Richard Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus
This event showcases the work of trainees, faculty, staff and students from multiple disciplines and public health agencies across San Antonio.
H-E-B Student Union Ballroom (HSU 1.104), Main Campus
This exhibit highlights the UTSA Special Collections, which includes historic photographs from Texas, San Antonio and UTSA history.
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
Come learn about the benefits available before the enrollment period July 15-31.
Business Building University Room (BB 2.06.04), Main Campus
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