Music Department to Present Annual Gala Nov. 17

By Lisa Y. Garibay

UTEP News Service

Taking a step in a new direction by moving its biggest concert of the year to a Sunday afternoon, the UTEP Department of Music is looking forward to giving even more El Pasoans the chance to enjoy the wide variety of music performed by its students and faculty.

The 11th annual Gala Concert is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 17 at Magoffin Auditorium. It is not only the chance for hundreds of students to strut their stuff, but also for anyone in El Paso to get a taste of music that they love, while also hearing styles they may not have known before.The 2012 Department of Music gala concert showcased the talent and hard work of hundreds of students. UTEP News Service file photoThe 2012 Department of Music gala concert showcased the talent and hard work of hundreds of students. UTEP News Service file photo

"The gala is a time when the entire music department can be enjoyed as a whole,” said junior performance major and cellist Nathan Black. “The preparation brings madness, but it's always worth it when it all glues together."

Steve Wilson, D.M.A., associate professor in the music department, emphasized the sonic buffet to which audience members will be treated.

“If you like jazz, you got it. Like mariachi? That will be there, too,” he said. “The concert is literally music for the whole family, regardless of your musical tastes.

“If you enjoy large ensembles, the band and orchestra are the groups for you. Like something smaller? The flute ensemble and piano chamber group will be right up your alley. Choral music?  We’ve got lots.”

Lowell E. Graham, D.M.A., chair of the Department of Music sparked the idea for the yearly gala as a means of showcasing the talent and hard work of UTEP music students to the greater El Paso community. In between sets by the various ensembles, Graham lets audience members know more about the works being performed in addition to highlights of the department’s successes and students – more than 300 of whom will be performing.

Both music majors and those students representing other departments around campus will take the stage.

“The gala was designed to be an integrated event so students from different divisions could witness the achievements of the department as a whole,” Graham said. “It is a very complex event that is a working tool for leadership and followership for all our students and faculty.”

During the gala, the award for Outstanding Alum will be presented to Richard Lambrecht, who joined the music faculty at UTEP in 1994 and has been playing principal horn for the El Paso Symphony Orchestra since his student days at UTEP. Lambrecht is also a founding member of El Paso Brass, a quintet that has been performing together since 1972. In “Brass in Class” weekly performances for elementary and middle schools in the metropolitan El Paso area, he has performed for more than half a million students.

Lambrecht, who said he was humbled by the honor and would continue to do his utmost to represent the department and university, has also had a long and successful career as a Texas bandmaster. He began his teaching career at Coronado High School in El Paso and served as the band director there for 30 years. Coronado’s band won many regional competitions, performed on national television, and toured Mexico and Europe. Lambrecht also revived the band program at Las Cruces’ Onate High School, raising it to State Champion in Concert Band the first year he was there. He is a former president of Texas Bandmasters Association, served as TMEA Band Chairman of Region 22 for 25 years, and is the author of several articles for national music magazine The Instrumentalist

Free parking will be available for gala attendees in the Sun Bowl Parking Garage. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors, military, all students, and UTEP faculty and staff. Tickets may be purchased at the UTEP Ticket Center (2901 N. Mesa or 1452 N. Zaragoza, suite A-500) or at the door 30 minutes prior to the concert.

Ensembles performing during the gala include UTEP Symphonic Winds, Mariachi de los Mineros, UTEP Chorale, The Flautistas, UTEP Symphony Orchestra, UTEP Piano Department, Jazz Band, and The Trumpet Ensemble.