SAN ANTONIO – Dyandra Edwards will have job hunting on her mind as she visits the 2011 Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention, which opened Wednesday at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in downtown San Antonio.
Edwards, a December 2010 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in music education – vocal from the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College, is eager to start her job search for a full-time position in the fall teaching secondary school choir.
“They have two or three bulletin boards in the convention hall that have job openings and to see what’s going on,” the Brownsville resident said.
Edwards and the rest of the Master Chorale are also focusing on performing. The chorale is the first collegiate choral group from South Texas to win a blind audition to perform at the conference. The chorale will take the convention center’s Ballroom A stage at 8 p.m. today to perform their program, “The Virtue of Song,” for 3,000 music enthusiasts. The annual convention attracts at least 25,000 music enthusiasts and others from throughout the world.
“I don’t think many choral programs have had the chance to experience this,” said chorale member Gilbert Millan, 22, a junior music education – vocal major from Brownsville. “I’m glad we get the chance to experience it. Attending the conference is one thing, but performing is even better.”
Edwards said being part of an honor choir chosen to perform at the convention will look good on a resume.
“It’s an overwhelming experience when you go,” said Edwards, who has attended the annual TMEA gathering four times. “If you have made it, you are on the same level as everyone else.”
Millan has attended the TMEA clinic/convention eight times.
“Some of my favorite classes are in vocal pedagogy because you need to learn about the voice and how it functions, especially if you are a choral director and deal with voices,” he said.
The Master Chorale saw their first glimpse of this year’s convention when they saw a performance of the Swingle Singers, an eight-member international a capella group specializing in jazz, classical, rock and Latin music, at the convention center’s Lila Cockrell Theater.
Earlier Wednesday, the Master Chorale traveled to northeast San Antonio to perform a recruitment concert at Claudia Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson High School. The audience was filled with theater, choral and instrumental students from Johnson High School and San Antonio’s Madison High School and Garner and White middle schools.
Johnson High School senior Victoria Trujillo, 17, said it was important for students to see what skills collegiate vocal groups have. Her favorite part of the concert was the chorale’s singing in Spanish with a marimba accompaniment during composer Ramon Noble’s “La Llorona” and “La Sandunga.”
“They were awesome,” she said about the Master Chorale’s performance. “I love the song selection and the variety.”
Daniel Perry is an informational writer at The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College.