Butler doctoral student Saïd Pressley performed recently in a new "post-opera" written and directed by Lynn Lane called "The Greying Rainbow." The video can be viewed on Vimeo, and it explores multiple sides of Pressley's character, the protagonist who is dealing with the difficulties of isolation, something Lane said is timely amidst the pandemic.
One hundred years ago in a small home in Laredo, Texas, a woman named Maria Antonia Decker lived with her husband and eight children. Decker loved music, especially opera, and listened to Un bel di vedremo, an aria from Giacomo Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, over and over again. She dreamed of one day visiting the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio to see a show, but the constraints of motherhood, housework and little extra money for travel kept Decker from realizing her dream.
During her journey through the Butler School of Music, recent alumna Sydney Pérez has kept that story of her great-great-grandmother close to heart.
After playing a song he had written six years ago over and over in his head, Vernon Rust finally got his chance to record it recently at the Mosaic Sound Collective in Austin’s far eastside. He played guitar and sang vocals and was accompanied by recent Butler School of Music alumnus Matthew Gustafson who played cello. It was made possible with funding from the Graduate Music Award from the Presser Foundation, which was awarded to Butler School doctor of musical arts candidate Abbey Young last spring.
The pandemic posed monumental challenges, but Butler School of Music students persevered. They came together, masked up and physically distant, in small ensembles to rehearse and record recitals and continue doing what they love, even when they couldn’t perform for live audiences. This series features some of the best works from the past year with a mix of ensembles, chamber strings as well as a world premiere from the Butler School’s Opera Center. The series offers the students the opportunity to showcase their work with broader audiences.
Butler School Ethnomusicology student John Bimbiras contributed to an eight-year-project produced by a team of students, professors, and seasoned career experts called The Petitón Trilogy, a three-part celebration of the life and work of Maestro Rafael Petitón Guzmán (1894-1983), a Dominican composer, arranger, lyricist, bandleader, pianist, and trombonist. The trilogy, set to release on July 2nd, consists of a recording recreating Maestro Petitón’s music; a gala, limited-edition illustrated book documenting Maestro Petitón’s life and work; and a scholarly article demonstrating Maestro Petitón’s overall impact on the world of music.
The Butler School of Music completed its 31st annual wind conducting workshop Thursday in one of the school’s first in-person events since the pandemic began.
Butler School doctor of musical arts student Abbey Young produced an outstanding day of musical fun yesterday at Community First! Village on Austin’s far eastside. The event, which featured musical performances of village residents and others, many of whom have experienced chronic homelessness, was funded by the Butler School’s Rainwater Innovation Grant. Community members came out to hear the music, dance, eat lots of good food and enjoy conversation and good company.
It’s with great sadness that the Butler School of Music announces the departure of Director Mary Ellen Poole on July 31st. She has accepted a position as Carnegie Mellon University's Stanley and Marcia Gumberg Dean of the College of Fine Arts beginning August 1st.
The Butler School of Music at The University of Texas at Austin has named Cliff Croomes as the new associate director of bands and the director of the Longhorn Band. He will step into this new role June 1. Croomes is a 2001 graduate of the Butler School of Music and an alumnus of the Longhorn Band. He most recently served as the assistant director of bands at Louisiana State University and as the music director and principal conductor of the Civic Orchestra of Baton Rouge.
The Risus Quartet, comprised of Butler School Students Haeni Lee, Jieun Yoo, Mary Eunkyung Chang and Bobae Lee resident in Seoul, South Korea during the pandemic, won a gold medal in the Senior Strings Division and the Grand Prize at the 48th Annual Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in Notre Dame, Indiana. The quartet was trained remotely over the past year by Butler School Violin Professors Sandy Yamamoto and Daniel Ching.