Sunday, February 12, 2017

Congratulations to Carlos Garcia!!

Garcia earns spot at prestigious conservatory
The double bass player will pursue a two-year program
Leah Jackson
Guildhall School of Music is one of the Top 10 in the world.

NATCHITOCHES – Carlos Gomez Garcia, a Colombian exchange student pursuing a degree in music performance with a minor in business at Northwestern State University, has been accepted to pursue an advanced degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, one of the top 10 music conservatories in the world. Located in London, England, the school is a global leader of creative and professional practice and promotes innovation, experiment and research for musicians, actors, stage managers and theatre technicians as they develop as artists and professionals.
 Garcia, a double-bass player, will pursue a Guildhall Artist Master in Performance degree, a two-year program in which students gain technical facility and musical flexibility while providing professional exposure. Students study with world-class professors, work with internationally renowned conductors and artists and perform in some of the finest venues. 
Guildhall has more than 900 students in higher education drawn from nearly 60 countries around the world.
Garcia will graduate from NSU in May. Meanwhile, he is preparing for his senior recital as well as an important competition sponsored by the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) in which he advanced from the state and regional competitions to qualify as one of seven musicians competing at the national level in the String Young Artist category. The competition will take place in Baltimore, Maryland in March.
Garcia, 21, has been playing the double bass since age 13. He began preparing for the Guildhall audition, held last November, two semesters in advance.
“I knew it was something that required a considerable amount of time to get ready, so I started recording the music needed for the audition,” he said. “Normally auditions are held in different parts of the world such as New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul or Tokyo. But I asked for a special permit to submit a DVD audition instead, since I could not afford traveling to New York with a bass, to play the live audition.”
Going to London will be a new experience for Garcia, who will be travelling to Europe for the first time. He auditioned in 2011 to join NSU’s School of Creative and Performing Arts, so when he came to the United States in 2013, he already knew some of the students and staff at Northwestern State, such as Dr. Marcus Jones, who has worked to facilitate recruitment of international students and smooth their transition into NSU.
“This time it is going to be different because I do not know anybody there,” he said. “It’s going to be a new place, a new school, a different education system, new country, new continent and I am honestly very excited about it. The only thing I know for sure is that I have very high expectations for the future to come.”
One of Garcia’s inspirations, Rinat Ibragimov, is a professor at Guildhall and Garcia is hopeful to have him as a teacher.
“He is one of the best and finest double bass players alive, his music is very passionate yet so focused, that allows him to play with so many sonorities achieving his desired sound,” Garcia said. He is also a fan of Dominik Wagner, a young and accomplished rising star in double bass.
As for his future as a professional musician, Garcia would like to perform with the London Symphony Orchestra and have a career as a teacher, soloist and global performer.
“I think of music like wings,” he said. “It allows you to do many things and go to so many places, as long as you are willing to fly.”
He credited Paul Christopher, associate professor of cello and music theory, a well as Peter Haas for guidance as mentors at Northwestern State.
“NSU was crucial element for my developing as musician and more importantly as a person,” Garcia said. “It really opened my eyes for the possibilities beyond my education. The environment is really suitable for people who want to improve on their instruments, people who like to push themselves to be better everyday, who like to go beyond what is expected and do the unexpected.”

Thursday, February 9, 2017

2/13/2017 at 7:30 pm

Magale Recital Hall
Northwestern State University
Natchitoches, Louisiana


Music for 18 Musicians . . . . Steve Reich

Saturday, February 4, 2017

2/4/2017 at 10:00 am

Society of Composers Region VI 2017 Conference
Irons Recital Hall
Department of Music
101 Fine Arts Building
University of Texas at Arlington

PROGRAM for Concert VII includes:

IO/F3 (2016) . . . . Mark Prince Lee
Paul Christopher, cellist

Program Notes for IO/F3:

Music in 7 Groups is an open score composition written for any instrument or instrumental combination. Consisting of 2 sets of 12 fixed pitches divided into 7 Groups, the piece is a systematic exploration of pitch/time relationships. The individual Groups are connected by pitch juxtapositions, superimpositions, and real-time correlations. Groups II, III, IV and V serve as the principle foundation for the piece with the remaining movements related in pairs as follows: I/VII–III/VI

L to R: Christopher, Lee

Thursday, January 26, 2017

1/29/2017 at 2:30 pm

Rapides Symphony Orchestra
Celebrating Harmony
Calvary Baptist Church
5011 Jackson Street
Alexandria, Louisiana


Celebrating Harmony is a partnership with Rotary Club of Alexandria
in celebration of its 100th anniversary. Join us for this uplifting
community concert that will include choirs from various churches and
local soloists performing with the orchestra.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

1/20/2017 at 6:00 pm

Offenbach Cello Duos Celebrates CD Release
Paul Christopher and Milovan Paz, cellists
Magale Recital Hall
Natchitoches, Louisiana


Opus 19, No. 1 in C major
Allegro moderato

Opus 19, No. 2 in G major
Allegro Maestoso
Minuetto (Allegretto)

Opus 20, No. 3 in D major
Allegro Maestoso

Opus 19, No. 3 in D major
 Largo: Allegretto (Thema)
Variation 1
Variation 2
Variation 3 (Andante)

Opus 20, No. 1 in C major
Rondo: Allegretto

Opus 20, No. 2 in G major
Allegro non troppo
Rondo: Allegretto

CD release recital featuring selections from our newest  recording:  "Lagniappe" Offenbach Cello Duets Opus 19 and 20. This is the seventh CD in a series devoted to the cello music of Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880) that began in 2004. The first five CDs  featured NSU faculty member Paul Christopher and Shreveport Symphony Principal Cello Ruth Drummond. Milovan Paz, NSU alumni, succeeded Drummond for the last two recordings.

Many of these CDs feature world premiere recordings of this repertoire, have received favorable reviews and have been promoted nationally. They are a Louisiana product, featuring Louisana artists, engineers recorded in Shreveport. All of the recordings are on the Human Metronome label produced by Helen and Beecher Wood. They are available from Amazon, CDbaby or at

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Community Service

1/12/2017 at 12:30 pm and 1:20 pm
NSU Middle Lab
Katrice Lacour, Orchestra Directory
Natchitoches, Louisiana

L to R: Lacour, Christopher, Furtney

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Recruiting on 1/9/2017

Robert E. Lee High School
Julie Simpson, Orchestra Director
Tyler, Texas

L to R: P. Christopher and J. Simpson

Saturday, January 7, 2017

2016 Marjorie Stricklin Emerging Artists Competition

1/9/2017 at 7:00 pm
Monroe Symphony Orchestra 
Emy-Lou Biedenharn Recital Hall
University of Louisiana at Monroe

It's an annual event established by the Monroe Symphony League and the Monroe Symphony Orchestra to promote and encourage excellence in musical performance. The performance categories are piano, winds, brass percussion, strings and vocal. Preliminary finalists from each category will compete against each other in the final round. The finalist who wins will perform his or her audition piece in concert as part of the orchestra's 2016-2017 season.

Adjudicators include Paul Christopher as string judge

Sunday, December 18, 2016

12/17/2016 at 7:30 pm

Shreveport Symphony Orchestra
RiverView Theater
Shreveport, Louisiana


Holiday Swing with Byron Stripling

Byron Stripling lights up the stage with his infectious yuletide joy, blazing trumpet virtuosity, engaging vocals, and everyone’s favorite seasonal tunes.

With Joy to the World, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, White Christmas, Silent Night, an unforgettable audience sing-along, and a few swingin’ surprises, Byron and the SSO will help you ring in the holidays in style!

L to R: Elizabeth O'Bannon, Christopher, Sally Horak