2013-14 Young Artist Competition in Strings

Each year, the Mid-Texas Symphony sponsors a Young Artist Competition rotating among piano, strings, voice, and winds. The winner’s prize is a paid contract to perform with the Mid-Texas Symphony. Additional cash prizes are awarded.

The 2013-2014 Mid-Texas Symphony Young Artist Competition for strings was held on November 16th in Ayers Recital Hall on the campus of Texas Lutheran University. Gwendolyn Matias-Ryan of Baylor University captured first place with Bartók's Concerto for Viola and Orchestra. She will perform with the Mid-Texas Symphony at the season finale concert on April 27, 2014 in the Brauntex Theatre. Bassist Mariechen Meyer, a student at University of North Texas, took second place and Hao Miao, also studying at UNT, came in third.

The competition serves several purposes. It gives university students the chance to perform with a symphony orchestra, and it helps the Mid-Texas Symphony fulfill one of its major goals - the promotion of classical music among young people. The 2014-2015 competition will be for wind instruments; details will be posted on the website when they become available.

The Young Artist Competition has been supported by generous grants from the Cecilia Young Willard Helping Fund.

Children's Concert Series

One of the Mid-Texas Symphony's proudest contributions to the community is the annual Children's Concert Series. Thousands of students from Comal, Guadalupe, Hays and northern Bexar Counties are bused to the concert venues where they hear the Mid-Texas Symphony perform just for them. The Mid-Texas Symphony provides curriculum material and free CDs to assist music teachers in preparing the students for the concert. Next season's Children's Concerts were held September 16, 2013 at 9:00 am and 10:30 am in Jackson Auditorium on the campus of Texas Lutheran University in Seguin and on September 17, 2013 at 9:15 am and 10:45 am in the New Braunfels Civic & Convention Center. Who came? 4,881 children from 40 public schools and 8 districts as well as private school students and home schoolers.

Music Director David Mairs, an outstanding music educator and Denton ISD 2010 Teacher of the Year, ensures that the concerts help schools meet Texas educational objectives. And with the help of generous supporters including HD Supply and the Rotary Club of Seguin, it was all done at no cost to the children or the schools. Read about the concerts in the Seguin Gazette-Enterprise.

Community Music Academy

TLU/MTS Community Music Academy

For many years, the Mid-Texas Symphony sponsored string lessons for young students in Guadalupe and Comal counties. In 2006, the program was expanded in cooperation with Texas Lutheran University and became the Texas Lutheran University/Mid-Texas Symphony Community Music Academy, a non-profit community music school providing music education to students of all ages and levels of ability.

The C.M.A. offers private strings and guitar instruction and the opportunity for performance experience in vocal and string ensembles. The staff instructors have extensive teaching experience and are qualified to promote individual student advancement in the area of music skills, knowledge and appreciation. The C.M.A. strives to provide a supportive environment where students are encouraged to achieve their full music potential. In addition to private lessons, the Community Music Academy offers group lessons, chamber groups, a Youth Orchestra and a Youth Choir.

The Community Music Academy offers quality musical training, education and performance opportunities. For information about the Community Music Academy, contact Laurie Jenschke, CMA Director, at 830-456-3016 or communitymusicacademy@tlu.edu or visit www.tlu.edu/cma.

Through the Lindenbaum Suzuki Outreach Program, the C.M.A. also provides free instruction in strings to interested students who may not otherwise have this opportunity. The vision of the program is to build a thriving strings program for youth in the Seguin and surrounding communities. The program is funded by the Lindenbaum Music Education Fund, created by a generous donation to TLU by the Lindenbaum family. A grant from the Elizabeth Huth Coates Foundation allowed the program to expand to New Braunfels ISD.  In 2012-2013, the program included:


Music Memory

The annual Music Memory Competition serves as another way for the Mid-Texas Symphony to introduce classical music to our young people. Using the same selections as the UIL Music Memory contest, third, fourth and fifth grade students from the surrounding area schools in New Braunfels, Seguin, and Navarro are introduced to classical composers and their works by their classroom music teachers. In the spring, teams of students from area schools gather with their teachers for the MTS Music Memory Competition. Prizes donated by local businesses are awarded to teams and individual winners.

The 2013 Mid-Texas Symphony’s Music Memory Competition was held at Wupperman Little Theatre on the TLU campus on March 23, 2013.  First place, and the Season Pass to Schlitterbahn, was awarded to Chloe Zimmer, Navarro Intermediate School. Second place awards were given to Kyle Myers, Morningside Elementary, Bryan Gonzales, Anabelle Pantuso, and Layla Compos, Memorial. 

Trophies were awarded to the schools with the winning team scores.  Winning First Place in the grade level team competition was Morningside Elementary’s  3rd grade team--Caden Damereau, Faith Dasso, Jaiden Moncivais and Gino Valenzuela; Memorial Elementary’s 4th grader’s team--Jesse Athas, Kaleigh Schlagetter, Layla Campos, and Katy Brown; and Memorial Elementary’s  5th grader’s team -- Cindy Alfaro, Javier Salazar, McKenzie Poole, Bryan Gonzales, and Anabelle Pantuso.

Schlitterbahn and Chick-fil-A in New Braunfels, ZDT Amusements and The Wave Pool in Seguin donated prizes for the students.

Each student that took part in the contest also received a pass for themselves and an adult to accompany them to the Mid-Texas Symphony concert at the New Braunfels's Civic Center presented on May 5, 2013.  

Guild Educational Programs

The two chapters of the Mid-Texas Symphony Guild sponsor a number of educational programs. For information about any of these programs, contact Trina Eastwood, Seguin or Lisa Lasseter, New Braunfels.

The Debutante Program
The Debutante program for high school senior girls offers young women a year-long program teaching social skills, etiquette, event planning, community service, and financial planning. The debutantes, selected in the spring of their junior year, serve as concert ushers, provide help with other symphony events, and have regular workshops and training sessions during the year. The debutante year culminates in the presentation of the young women at the annual Mid-Texas Symphony Balls (one in each Guild chapter community). The program not only raises very significant funds for the Symphony, it transforms girls into poised young women. The escorts and stags are invited to many of the functions throughout the year. For more information about the Debutante program in New Braunfels, contact Doreen Fisher, and in Seguin, contact Trina Eastwood.

The Cotillion Program
The Cotillion program for younger boys and girls is modeled on our very successful Debutante Program. This educational program provides this age group an opportunity to plan for and attend at least one cultural and one social event during the year. Emphasis is placed on learning social skills, manners, and etiquette in a relaxed and enjoyable setting. A service component is also included.