Texas Music Festival showcases new, orchestral talent; free performance at The Woodlands Pavilion Friday June 22

By: Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion and Texas Music Festival
| Published 06/21/2018

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THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- Since 1990, each summer, young professional musicians descend upon the University of Houston campus for a four-week intensive orchestral fellowship program.

Each musician accepted into the program receives a fellowship that offers a dynamic opportunity to learn from distinguished artists from the Moores and Shepherd schools of music faculty as well as members of the Houston Symphony.

The program culminates at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion where the Texas Music Festival Orchestra will take the Main Stage for a free concert Friday, June 22 at 8 p.m. under Guest Conductor Carlos Spierer. Tickets are not required for free seating.

“The Pavilion is very proud to be the presenting venue for the Texas Music Festival. This event truly fulfills our Mission of being a catalyst to enhance an appreciation for the arts and provide performance opportunities for young artists,” said Jerry MacDonald, president and CEO of The Pavilion.

The family-friendly concert will include performances of Joaquín Turina’s Danzas fantásticas, Op. 22, Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and Arturo Márquez’s Danzón No. 2. A highlight of the event will be special solo performances by Andres Vela, first place winner of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artists Competition, and Lucas Sanchez, second place winner.

Vela, from Edinburg, TX, is a senior at UT Rio Grande Valley. He plays an early 19th century double bass from Eastern Europe. While he started double bass at age 11, when the bass was definitely taller than he was, he’s now a tall Texan — 6’ 3" and his career as an undergraduate has catapulted.

Vela has participated in the National Youth Orchestra for performances at Carnegie Hall and a tour of China under maestro Charles Dutoit, former artistic director and principal conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Andres also has participated in the Classical Music Institute, Aruba Symphony Festival and Round Top Music Festival. He received Honorable Mention in the ASTA Solo Competition and recently won the UT Rio Grande Valley Concerto Competition. He has performed in master classes for many artists, including Scott Pingel, James VanDemark, Jeff Bradetich and Thierry Barbe.

This is the first time in Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival history that two student winners of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition will perform as soloists.

Vela and Sanchez will also perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday June 23 at Moores Opera House in Houston.

Friday's June 22 concert at the Pavilion in The Woodlands begins with pre-concert activities at 7 p.m.

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of all ages will have the opportunity to complete their music merit badge through a variety of requirements set up throughout The Pavilion’s North Plaza. Other plaza activities include The Pavilion Partners Arts & Crafts booth and Instrument Petting Zoo as well as activities by Woodforest National Bank and Renewal by Andersen. Attendees will also be treated to special ballroom dancing lessons and an on-stage performance by instructors from Dance with Me studio in The Woodlands.

Guests are welcome to bring a picnic from home or their favorite restaurant to enjoy in their seat or on the lawn. Keep in mind however, that beverages are not allowed to be brought into The Pavilion and picnics must comply with The Pavilion’s bag size restriction and/or be in original packaging.

For those wanting to sit on the hill, lawn chairs also are provided free for this event.

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