EDINBURG - The University of Texas-Pan American Department of Music will present internationally recognized voice teacher Robert Edwin in a conference and concert Friday, Oct. 1, and Saturday, Oct. 2, in the UTPA Fine Arts Auditorium.
The masterclasses and concert also will feature Tejano and Mariachi artist Rachel Cruz of Austin.
The conference will consist of three masterclasses focusing on healthy and successful vocal techniques for musical theatre, Tejano and Mariachi, and contemporary Christian styles. The masterclasses are open to singers, vocal teachers, musical coaches and speech therapists.
Amateur and professional singers age 13 to adult are encouraged to attend and participate in the classes. A concert showcasing selected class participants, Edwin, Cruz and the UTPA Mariachi will complete the two-day event.
"We are very excited to have Robert Edwin as our guest," said Ruth Crews, voice faculty member at UTPA and organizer of the event. "He will bring a fresh perspective to our work and will help both the participants and the observers to develop healthy techniques for these demanding popular singing styles.
"We invite all voice teachers, choral directors, acting teachers, speech professionals, and professional, amateur and student performers to join us for this special opportunity," she said.
Edwin, a baritone, has professionally performed every style of music from "Bach to Rock," which is also the title of his regular column in the Journal of singing, published by the National Association of Teachers of Singing. He also writes for VocalEase magazine, has recorded for Avant Garde and Fortress Records and has performed in Carnegie Hall.
He has been featured as a clinician and presenter at music schools and vocal conferences throughout the United States and in Canada and Australia. Edwin's past and present students include Broadway stars and Top 40 contemporary Christian recording artists. He has served on the voice faculty of the New Jersey School of the Arts, the adjunct voice faculties of Burlington and Camden County Colleges.
The opening session at the UTPA Fin Arts Auditorium on Friday, Oct. 1, begins at 4:30 p.m. and ends at 7 p.m. Saturday's sessions will be from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. All four musical styles will be addressed in each session.
Guest performers at the Saturday evening concert, which will begin at 7:30 p.m., will be announced at the close of the Saturday afternoon session. Musical theatre singers will perform with piano, contemporary Christian singers may perform with piano or bring their backup groups. Tejano singers are urged to bring their own bands, and Mariachi singers will perform with the UTPA Mariachi.
A special award of $500 will be presented to the best Mariachi singer in the concert. The award is a gift from Mr. Jesus Vela, manager of Mariachi Los Gavilanes.
Registration fees for non-UTPA participants are $25 and $15 for observers. The fee for UTPA student performers is $15 and $10 for UTPA observers.
Registration fees include concert admission. General admission to the concert is $5.
Registration forms and further information are available from the UTPA Department of Music at 956/381-3471. Those wishing to participate in the classes must inform the department of their intent by Sept. 27.