(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.
Ron Ellis conducts the student instrumental ensemble in a free concert that is open to the public.
Arts Building, Recital Hall (Arts 2.03.02), Main Campus
The UTSA Office of Veteran and Military Affairs is hosting a day full of outreach events and activities by the U.S. Navy as part of a larger Navy presence in San Antonio called Navy Week with various events in the community through Feb. 25.
Student Union Paseo and Convocation Center entrance, Main Campus
Join this interactive play that is a courtroom drama and the audience is the jury. Discussion and will follow.
Student Union, Retama Auditorium (SU 2.02.02), Main Campus
Langston Clark, UTSA assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Nutrition will discuss exploring the historical context for the role of black athletes in contemporary social movements.
John Peace Library, Assembly Room (JPL 4.04.22), Main Campus
The UTSA African American Studies program invites speakers from the leading African American Fraternities and Sororities for a panel discussion of the history of each organization and to enlighten the audience about the community service, academic purpose, professionalism and ethical roots of each group.
Student Union, Mesquite Room (SU 2.01.24), Main Campus
MuTe Fest is a celebration of original music and technology. Three days of concerts, sessions, and informative lectures will offer a unique experience of musical works created by fellow UTSA students and the chance to gain valuable knowledge about music technology.
Art Building, Music Tech Lab (Arts 3.01.30B), Main Campus
UTSA Libraries hosts Assistant Professor Ian Caine for his lecture, Architectural Postcards from Space, as part of the popular Pizza + Research series. Pizza will be served while supplies last.
Buena Vista Street Building (BVB 2.304), Downtown Campus
The theme of this year’s symposium is Black & Brown Futures. The free event will give UTSA students and the community the opportunity to meet and hear national scholars talk about current research and academic trends relevant to the lives of African Americans in the United States.
Student Union, Denman Room (SU 2.01.28), Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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