South Texas musical heritage celebrated at UTPA's FESTIBA Musical 2006
Posted: 03/24/2006
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FESTIBA Musical 2006, held March 2-4 at The University of Texas-Pan American, drew hundreds of students and community members to the three days of inspiring events promoting knowledge and cultural awareness by integrating theoretical reflection and musical performance.

The event, coordinated through the collaborative efforts of the Division of External Affairs, College of Arts and Humanities and College of Education, was a preview of the full scale FESTIBA (Festival of International Books and Art) planned for 2007 at UTPA.

This year's Musical, provided students and the community the opportunity to attend a wide variety of seminars conducted by nationally-renowned musicians, historians and ethnomusicologists as well as musical presentations, mariachi workshops, a mariachi showcase/competition, and a Grand Concert which featured local talent and the outstanding Mariachi Internacional Guadalajara.

Pictured at the recent FESTIBA Musical 2006 surrounded by members of the award-winning UTPA Mariachi Femenil, who most recently placed first at the Houston "Best in Texas" mariachi competition, are left to right Dahlia Guerra, UTPA chair of the Department of Music; special guest speaker Dr. Yolanda Broyles-Gonzalez, author, professor and head of Women's Studies at the University of Arizona; and UTPA President Dr. Blandina Cárdenas.
"This inspiring lecture and musical performance series highlighted the culture of South Texas and promoted education through knowledge and pride of the music of our heritage," said Dahlia Guerra, chair of the UTPA Department of Music and one of the event's organizers.

FESTIBA Musical 2006 presenters included special guest speaker Dr. Yolanda Broyles-Gonzalez, author, professor and head of Women's Studies at the University of Arizona, who shared her knowledge of women in Mexican folk music. Broyles-Gonzalez is the first Hispanic woman to receive a doctorate degree from Stanford University.

Other presenters were Elijah Wald, author who has written for various magazines and the Boston Globe on folk, roots and international music and who has won several national awards including a Grammy for his liner notes; Jonathan Clark, mariachi historian; musicologist Marcela Garcia and lecturer Franciso Loera, both faculty members in UTPA's Department of Modern Languages and Literature, who led a discussion on the Mexican "Son;" Dr. Mark Ramirez, UTPA assistant professor of percussion studies, who presented his research on the "Rumba;" Alberto Barrera, community corridista; Reynaldo Martinez (also known as "El Gallero"), well-known composer and corridista from Reynosa; UTPA voice and musical theatre faculty Ruth Crews and Dr. Richard Davis, with a presentation on the Spanish "zarzuela;" and Dr. Edna Ochoa, a professor in the UTPA Department of Modern Languages and Literature, who discussed the "corrido fronterizo."

Performances were given by flamenco guitarist Mario Aleman; the UTPA Salsa Band directed by Dr. Pedro Martinez; the UTPA Percussion Ensemble, Rumberos de Mezcla, directed by Ramirez; and a Huasteco trio from Ciudad Mante, Tamaulipas - Alba Huasteca.

Winners of the mariachi performance competition were Roma High School in the high school category and Valley View Middle School in Pharr in the middle school category. Also participating were Valley View, Donna, Weslaco and Veterans Memorial in Mission High Schools and Roma Middle School.

For more information on FESTIBA 2007, contact the Division of External Affairs at 956/381-3361.