Music department enhances students’ education by providing an understanding and appreciation of music.
By Jerico Magallanes
Music Adjunct Ruth Aguirre perform alongside chamber music quintet Adelante Winds 7:30-8:30 p.m. March 9 in the auditorium of McAllister Fine Arts Center.
This recital is just one of the many facets this college’s music department has to offer.
“The San Antonio College music program is run very much like a four-year university program,” music Chair Jeff Hunt said. “We give lessons and instruction on any instrument that the student may want to play.”
With eight ensembles to choose from (chorus, early music, jazz, latin jazz, guitar, brass, strings and Heart of Texas), students from different musical backgrounds can find their place.
“It’s a big varied amount of instruments that are taught at San Antonio College,” Aguirre said.
Both Aguirre and Hunt take pride in the department’s accommodation of all instrumentalists.
Students practice their musical craft and instrumentation through the extensive lab performance workshop.
“Performance workshop is my favorite thing,” Hunt said. “This is where you actually see growth in the student. It’s fun to watch them as a nervous freshman then blossom into an amazing performer. It really is a great transformation to watch.”
Performance workshop consists of students working on pieces for the first eight weeks of the semester with fellow students of the same instruments with their respective instructors.
During the second eight weeks, students perform pieces they’ve learned from the semester.
Music students have the opportunity to play alongside and network with local professional musicians.
“The band and the orchestra, they’re actually larger ensembles that are made up of students from UTSA, Incarnate Word, Texas Lutheran and also professional musicians,” Hunt said. “Their proficiency level improves over a very little amount of time.”
“Even if you are not a music major, you can register into a music ensemble,” Hunt said.
This opportunity allows non-music majors to practice their craft and collaborate with other music students, he said.
Music performance sophomores Francis Stromboe and Ignacio Salazar are examples of that collaborative work.
“If it weren’t for this music department, I wouldn’t be the musician that I am today,” Salazar said.
Stromboe, a guitarist for the jazz ensemble, practices with Salazar, who’s not in any of the ensembles, but is involved with local jazz groups. They are collaborating on a new music group.
Stromboe played the electric guitar while Salazar provided a backing electric bass line through the pieces “Lady Bird” by Tadd Dameron and “Blue In Green” by Miles Davis.
Faculty recitals, like the Adelante Winds recital, are another opportunity for students to appreciate music.
“It’s a community access to fine arts,” Aguirre said. “It’s an opportunity for music appreciation students to hone the skills they’ve learned through class by attending a live concert.”
Along with students learning performance technique, it’s also an opportunity for the faculty to “walk the talk,” Aguirre said.
“We like to see that our students are continuously learning and being challenged,” Aguirre said. “And are ready to take the next step when it’s time to transfer to their four-year school.”
The workshop performances are 12:15-1:15 p.m. Wednesdays in the auditorium of McAllister Fine Arts Center and are open to the public. This semester’s performances start after spring break.
Aguirre’s quintet, Adelante Winds, is composed of flutist Carlos Esparza, oboist Ashley Rubio, clarinetist Aguirre, bassoonist Sabrina Stovahl and LaNetra Carther on French horn.
For more information, call 210-486-0255.