(Sept. 16, 2011)-- The old UTSA adage, "Come here, go far" came to life this summer for five COLFA students as they and associate professor William McCrary (Department of Music) spent the first two weeks of August participating in the Yunnan Opera Festival in Kunming, China.
Department of Music Vocal Performance majors Kristin Degroot, Laura Estrada, Christina Taylor, Darius Thomas, and Jacob Valadez each performed major roles in Puccini's Gianni Schicci and Act II of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. Both operas were presented in their original language and, according to local authorities, were the first productions of western opera to be performed in Kunming.
The three evenings of performances were the culmination of two weeks of voice lessons, diction classes, master classes, music rehearsals, and staging rehearsals in what the Chinese city referred to as the City of Eternal Spring (due to Kunming's yearly temperate climate).
When asked about the educational experience Darius Thomas stated, "The invaluable education and musical experience I received from China will be with me always. The quality of the students and professors were the best in the nation."
The program included students and professors from the United States, Taiwan, and China.
Kristin Degroot noted, "It was astounding to experience, not only the beautiful differences in our two cultures, but also the large number of similarities." Christina Taylor added, "Performing with people from all over the United States, China, and Taiwan was amazing. It was incredible to see the singers grow so and amazing to watch the Chinese students, on stage and in the audience, experience Western opera for the first time. It was absolutely a 'once in a lifetime' experience."
Each performance was attended by local adults as well as a hundred or so school children from a local visual and performing arts school. After each performance, the singers were presented with gifts from the children as a thank you for the performance and as a way of sharing the Chinese culture with the American students. When asked their reaction to the performance, several children stated, "It was awesome!"
The trip was partially funded by UTSA donors Charles and Charlotte Walker as well as by efforts of each student. Jacob Valadez, who begins graduate study at Baylor University this fall commented, "We were so thankful that Charles and Charlotte (Walker) helped us with the airfare. Several of us would not have been able to go without their generosity. As for me, China was a fun and an exciting experience! Being immersed in someone else's culture and getting acquainted with their customs was such a shock. I learned that one must not take for granted the things we are lucky to have here in America."
The UTSA community welcomes students to their on-campus home! Laurel Village, Chaparral Village and Alvarez Hall are home for 2,300 students during the academic year, and Move-In event kicks off the start of Roadrunner Days.
Laurel Village, Chaparral Village, Alvarez Hall, Main Campus
The College of Engineering hosts this seminar featuring Jeff Adams, Southwest Zone Quality Manager, Siemens Building Technologies Division. The event is free and open to the public.
Engineering Building (EB 3.04.30), Main Campus
This is a terrific opportunity for incoming transfer students to network with staff that serve our veteran, non-traditional, and transferring students, as well as meet transfer peer mentors who can help answer questions about UTSA.
Main Building ground floor lobby, Main Campus
After a day full of moving and getting settled into their new UTSA home, students and their families can have some refreshments and snacks at the Welcome Back Reception. The event tops off with the premiere performance of the Spirit of San Antonio, UTSA's Marching Band.
University Center Paseo, Main Campus
Can you survive the library wilderness? As a part of Roadrunner Days, UTSA Libraries is hosting a mobile adventure for you to play and find out more about the library!
John Peace Library, 2nd floor, Main Campus
Come meet your UTSA Volleyball Team as they gear up for the 2017 season! The game begins at 5 p.m. then the team will hold an autograph and photo session after the game.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
This engaging discussion pulls back the covers on hooking up, clarifying when it’s actually sexual violence and how bystanders can protect potential victims from predators.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
Late Night at the Rec is an awesome UTSA tradition that transforms a standard information session into an exciting night of fun. At this annual event, you’ll be able to learn about our facilities, recreation programs, and wellness services offered at Main and Downtown Campuses.
Recreation and Wellness Center, Main Campus
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