Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
PORTALES – Jon Birdsong played the saxophone in the junior high band. The choir teacher convinced him that he sang like a movie star. But when he sang over the P.A. system, he found out she was wrong.
Ronnie Birdsong's greatest achievements in music are the statues she received for perfect attendance in her music lessons. She lives vicariously through her sons and brothers who are all musicians. Ronnie currently serves as vice president for University Relations and Enrollment Services.
Patrice Caldwell grew up listening to recordings of Big Band music with her parents and played the music at very high decibels late at night. She recovered briefly during 12 years of piano lessons. She retains a fearful respect for all musicians as a result of those "wonderful" years. She is a faithful supporter of the University Friends of Music, and enjoys all ENMU student and faculty performances. Her favorite music to listen to is quiet music. Patrice is currently executive director of Pplanning and Analysis/Institutional Renewal.
Mark Dal Porto's love of musical interests has ranged from the Beach Boys and Santana to Gustav Mahler. He began the accordion and wrote his first composition in the fifth grade. As a child, his career goals included writing, astronomy, music, acting, sports, and psychology. His secret hobbies include juggling and card tricks – especially after a few glasses of wine! Mark currently heads the music theory/aural skills and composition areas at Eastern.
Danny Earp began his musical career as a fifth-grader playing a much-abused clarinet in his elementary school band. From this inauspiciously beginning, he rapidly progressed to playing the radio where he learned to appreciate a wide variety of musical forms. Tonight's performance marks his all-too-public début as a wine glass artist. Danny is currently the vice president for Business Affairs at Eastern.
David Gerig began his musical training on the piano in second grade, added violin in fifth grade and began conducting choirs in the 14th grade (college sophomore). Playing the wine glasses is an experiment to see if he might be able to add something more exotic to the mix or whether it will increase the amount of fermentation already going on in his life. David is currently dean of the College of Fine Arts.
K. Paul Jones took piano and trumpet lessons for a total of six months until his parents decided his talents were elsewhere. He developed a lifelong love of jazz in his early teens and now regrets his lost opportunities. He has convinced himself that performing on the wine glasses is an adequate substitute. K. Paul is currently vice president for Academic Affairs.
Keytha Jones has been singing all her life and in recent years has graduated from alto to tenor. She confesses that it's a lot more fun to sit on the back row with the guys. In her "retirement" she is taking piano lessons and just this semester has started playing handbells. Can wine glasses be far behind! Keytha is currently president of ENMU Women.
Jeanie Wozencraft-Ornellas, conductor, has always wanted to drive a steam engine. Although she is a singer by trade, she likes to expand her horizons as much as possible. Tracy had considered having her play a wine glass, but discovered that in her only previous instrumental ensemble performance, Jeanie had one note to play – and biffed it! So, rather than renege on her offer to include Jeanie in her recital, Tracy offered to let Jeanie "lead" the ensemble. Jeanie is currently professor of voice and opera.
Tracy Carr, obbligato oboe, began her music career in the fourth grade. After playing the trumpet for two weeks, she decided to devote her entire life and future savings to her instrument. This plan lasted two weeks and it wasn't until she began the oboe several years later that she realized how much of her money would actually be devoted to her instrument!