The University of Texas-Pan American Department of Music held Summerfest 2009 during Summer Sessions I and II. Summerfest is also an annual venue where talent is showcased with recitals filled with the music of students, professors and community members.
Summerfest has held a tune in the music department for more than a decade. There have been 15 organized recitals this summer. Dr. Bill O'Neil was one of the first organizers for the event. Three years ago, Assistant Professor of woodwinds, Dr. Cynthia Cripps, took over.
"Summerfest is an opportunity to set up solos and ensembles between students and professors," Cripps said. "It's a way for students to perform in less stressful environments to prepare for bigger recitals and for people to hear the talent we have at UTPA."
Musical performances range from student, professor solos to duets and quartets. The University of Texas at Brownsville and Rio Grande Valley high school music students also join UTPA for various performances.
"Our summer recitals give us the chance to work with UTB and local high schools. This helps us with networking and recruitment opportunities which we usually wouldn't have during the fall and spring semester," Cripps said.
Dr. Jim Coleman, a lecturer in flute, thinks overall that summer recitals are beneficial.
"This not only exposes our students to a variety of music, but as professors we have the chance to perform with our students," he said.
Coleman had the opportunity to perform with his graduate student Cassandra Sanchez.
"It was a gratifying experience to perform with a student whom I have taught since her first year here at UTPA," Coleman said. "She has turned into a great musician."
Sophomore music and math major, Kim Prince, plays the flute and had the opportunity to replay a musical piece she had performed in a high school competition.
"These recitals keep me practicing my flute in the summer and help me feel more comfortable on stage in front of an audience," Prince said.
The music department invites everyone to attend a recital and to support UTPA musicians.
"Best of all it's free," Cripps said.
For more information on Summerfest and future recitals, contact the music department at 956/318-3476.