A blend of sounds

Harlingen Concert Association hosts educational outreach concert for students

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The Harlingen Concert Association is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that has been brining internationally-acclaimed artists to the Valley since 1933.

The Association’s mission is to enrich the cultural life of the Harlingen area through live performances.

DECK HED: Harlingen Concert Association hosts saxophone educational outreach concert for students

By ALANA HERNANDEZ

Staff Writer

HARLINGEN — After their performance, established solo musicians from international saxophone quintet, Sax Five, took a seat on the wooden floor of the auditorium stage and took turns offering words of wisdom to the Valley’s aspiring next generation of musicians.

The Harlingen Concert Association (HCA) hosted an educational outreach concert yesterday, with the Five Sax quintet at the Harlingen Municipal Auditorium for 125 Raymondville and Harlingen students.

Raymondville High School junior Marlissa Badillo said she fell in love with playing the saxophone ever since she first learned six years ago.

“My family really likes listening to me play my saxophone and keeps supporting me and encouraging me to keep practicing and keep pursuing music.”

Badillo said she felt like seeing Sax Five perform was a great experience.

“It’s cool knowing that they’re quintets coming from all around the world and seeing them here in the Valley was a new experience.”

During concert season, the HCA provides free student tickets for evening performances, mini-concerts and master classes at private and public schooling in conjunction with scheduled artists.

According to HCA Education Outreach Program chair Julie Ng-Castillo, the association hosted a record number of five student outreach concerts this year.

Ng-Castillo said the goals of the concerts are to provide live performance education opportunities for students of all ages and to give them an opportunity to see artists from all over the world perform.

In doing so, the association hopes the students will be exposed to something new and learn from these experiences.

“Out of all of our outreaches, we’ve had a lot of students give positive feedback and be excited to see things they’ve never been exposed to before,” Ng-Castillo said. “For example, Damiano Grandesso from Italy performed upside down with the saxophone.”

The saxophone quintet, Five Sax, met while they were studying classical music in Vienna and have been performing a mix of American jazz, south-American Latin and European folk music together for the past eight years.

Five Sax musician Joel Diegert, from the United States said “Vienna is kind of like a crossroads in Europe for music.”

Each musician is from a different area around the world, including Italy, Chile, Poland, Hong Kong and the United States.

“One of the missions of Five Sax is to develop an audience for classical music and for concert music in general,” Diegert said. “And that includes these outreach concerts that get young children excited about music because in a lot of cases they wouldn’t be and don’t really listen to that style of music.”

Diegert said the group receives feedback sheets from students after their performances that highlight the impact of their educational performances.

“Apparently, every time we play somewhere, there’s a huge uptick in the interest in studying the saxophone,” Diegert said. “So, it’s inspiring for kids to take up the instrument and I also think it just leaves a mark on the kids that they’ll remember for a long time.”

MORE INFORMATION

The Harlingen Concert Association is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that has been bringing internationally-acclaimed artists to the Valley since 1933.

The Association’s mission is to enrich the cultural life of the Harlingen area through live performances.