(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.
The UTSA Consortium for Social Transformation; African American Studies Program presents guest speaker Dr. Gaye Theresa Johnson, associate professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies, and African American Studies, University of California at Los Angelesand author of "Spaces of Conflict Sounds of Solidarity: Music, Race, and Spacial Entitlement in Los Angeles" and "Futures of Black Radicalism." The event is free and open to the public.
University Center, Denman Room (UC 2.01.28), Main Campus
Put on drunk goggles and navigate a pedal cart at the U in the Driver Seat Alcohol Awareness event, hosted by UTSA PD and Sigma Lambda Gamma.
Sombrilla Plaza, Main Campus
The UTSA Honors College hosts a sneak CineFestival preview of the documentary Somos Lengua, a new documentary about the Mexican hip hop scene. Jim Mendiola, the CineFestival Director, will screen the movie and present a festival overview.
University Center, Bexar Room (UC 1.102), Main Campus
Grab your friends, family, kids and dog for this annual fun run on the UTSA Main Campus benefititng the UTSA Alumni Association.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
Join the Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching for the 13th annual Storytelling Festival. The festival will feature keynote speaker Carolina Quiroga-Stultz, a Colombian Storyteller and journalist. This event is free and open to the public.
Main Building, ground floor, Main Campus
The IDS Colloquium showcases the excellent scholarship done by the IDS students in the College of Education and Human Development at UTSA. In addition, this event also honors the legacy of Dr. Marian Martinello.
Business Building, University Room (BB 2.06.04), Main Campus
The Department of Biology and the Be the Match Team will collaborate to engage and educate our students in the importance of a life saving donation through peripheral blood stem cells and a marrow harvest.
UC Paseo and Central Plaza, Main Campus
UTSA welcomes the Italian-born duo Bandini-Chiacchiaretta. They've toured the world performing Argentine Tango music on guitar and bandoneon, the instrument of Astor Piazzolla. Tickets are $10 or free with UTSA Student I.D.
Arts Building, Recital Hall (ARTS 2.03.02), Main Campus
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