(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 annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
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.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.