JEREMY MIMS is a conductor, pianist, violinist, and vocalist. A professor Whitman College, he conducts the chamber choir and the orchestra as well as teaches conducting. Dr. Mims also served as conductor of Canticum Novum at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. A long-time El Pasoan, Dr. Mims headed the choral department at Eastwood High School. There, his choirs consistently earned sweepstakes at regional competitions and at festivals in Colorado and New York. Prior to teaching choir and piano, he taught elementary orchestra. He is also a strong advocate of church music, evidenced in his service in churches in El Paso, Kansas City, and Abilene. Dr. Mims has strong theatre and opera experience as well, having conducted performances of Don Pasquale, I Pagliacci, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Quilters, Les Miserables, and Working. He has prepared choruses for Peter Pan, Die Fledermaus, and La Boheme. As an opera conductor, "the orchestra under Mims' hand was well-balanced and precise" (KC Metropolis). As a performer, Dr. Mims has served as accompanist for numerous high school, university, all region and all state choirs. He has also played before musicians at numerous religious conferences as well as the Texas Choral Directors Association. He has sung with several choirs and choruses, including the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers, the Kansas City Collegium Vocale, El Paso Chamber Choir and the Bruce Nehring Consort. Finally, as a violinist, Dr. Mims has been a member of the El Paso Symphony, the Abilene Philharmonic, and the Abilene Collegiate Orchestra. Dr. Mims received the Bachelor of Music degree and Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Hardin-Simmons University. He completed his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Conducting at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, writing his dissertation about the works of Mexican Baroque composer Miguel Mateo Dallo y Lana. He is a member of TMEA, TCDA, ACDA, Pi Kappa Lambda, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
MELISSA LOEHNIG is on the faculty at Whitman College as a Visiting Assistant
Professor of Music in Piano. She has an active piano studio, teaches aural skills, and organizes the accompanying/collaborative piano activities. Dr. Loehnig recently returned to Whitman College from a staff pianist position at the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria. In previous summers, she was chosen from a national field of applicants for the Opera Theatre Music Festival of Lucca (Italy), for the Baldwin-Wallace Art Song Festival, and for the highly competitive Songfest Program in Malibu, California. After receiving a prestigious performance award from Florida State University as part of the Promising Artists of the 21st Century program, Dr. Loehnig was awarded the opportunity to travel and perform throughout the country of Costa Rica. In addition to performing, Dr. Loehnig taught several master classes at the University of Costa Rica, the Opera de Camara de Costa Rica, the Escuela Municiple de Artes Integradas en Santa Ana EMAI, and the Centro Cultural Jose Rigueres in San Ramon. This concert tour also included the international premiere of Libby Larsen’s My Antonia. Dr. Loehnig has performed throughout the United States, including recently in the state of Washington with Choral Arts, a semi-professional chorus based in Seattle. She performed the world premiere of William Averitt’s The Dream Keeper and is featured on their recently released CD entitled Mornings Like This on the
Gothic Recording Label. Dr. Loehnig received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Piano Performance, graduating with honors from Whitman College. She also holds both a Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano and a Doctor of Music degree in Piano Performance.
COMPETITION WINNER. GEORGIA SMITS, piano, is a junior at Las Cruces High
School. She has been playing piano since she was 5 years old and is currently
studying under Dr. Esequiel Meza through the El Paso Conservatory of Music.
She is in her third year of the Conservatory’s pre-college certificate program,
where she studies music history, diction, theory, and performance. She was
chosen to participate in the New Mexico Jazz All-State this past January and has recently been accepted to study piano this summer at the Rocky Ridge Young Artist Seminar in Estes Park, Colorado. Georgia enjoys singing; she is a voice student of Yvonne Marmolejo at the Conservatory, and was a member of the El Paso Young Ladies’ Choir on tour in Italy during the summer of 2010. Outside of music, Georgia has a strong interest in science and languages. She has earned college credit at New Mexico State University in advanced calculus, statistics, physics and intermediate Chinese. She has won several awards in mathematics and language competitions and competes in engineering events at state level.
ABOUT THE HONOREE
Founder and Artistic Director of the Bruce Nehring Consort, Bruce Nehring has been making music in El Paso for over thirty-five years. While seeking to encourage the development of the finest in local musical resources, he brings exciting guest artists and groups from across the United States and internationally to El Paso.
Founder of El Paso Pro-Musica, he served as its artistic director and conductor for fifteen seasons. During that time he also developed the largest following of choral and chamber music in the area. While at Aspen, CO, he heard and invited the nineteen year-old piano concerto winner, Stephen Prutsman, to El Paso. He, along with Prutsman, formed the first El Paso Pro-Musica Chamber Music Festival. Chartered as a not-for-profit organization, the Bruce Nehring Consort, El Paso's Professional Singers and Chamber Players developed under the Bruce Nehring Foundation for the Performing Arts. For eighteen seasons this group has continued in the traditions of performing the finest music for El Paso audiences. www.brucenehringconsort.org
Nehring's musical background is varied and extensive. A graduate of Wheaton College, IL, he continued additional study in conducting and organ performance at Northwestern, Southern Methodist, Texas Christian, Oklahoma, and Oregon Universities. He was selected as a conductor under Helmuth Rilling for two summers at the Oregon Bach Festival and the Aspen Music Festival for four seasons.
He has also been organist and director of music at First Presbyterian Church in El Paso; director of the El Paso Boys Choir; and founder and director of the El Paso Choir of the Southwest. He has served as organist and director of music at Ascension Lutheran Church, organist for the University Presbyterian Church, and seventeen years director of the Loretto Academy Chamber Choir in El Paso. He was organist and associate music director at Lovers Lane Methodist Church in Dallas, TX for eight years.
He served on the National Endowment for the Arts choral grants review panel and is a frequent clinician/adjudicator for choral music, church music, and organ. He has served as conductor/clinician for the El Paso Independent School District honor choir. His choirs have received universal acclaim in tours to Europe in 1974 and 1976; the Northwest, Vancouver (3 performances at EXPO '86) and Victoria, B.C.; Australia, New Zealand, 1988; and Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Austria in 1992. Additional concerts have been performed in Texas and New Mexico.
Professionally, he is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the American Guild of Organists, and FABM. He represents Rodgers Digital/Pipe Organs and continues to serve as a consultant in church acoustics and pipe organ design.
ABOUT THE YOUNG MUSICIANS' COMPETITION FINALISTS
SECOND PLACE WINNER. JUAN GARZA, bass-baritone, is a freshman Music Major at El Paso Community College. A graduate of Austin High School, Juan was a member of the All-Region and All-Area choirs of 2009-2011. He received superior ratings in 2010 and 2011 at UIL State Solo and Ensemble Contests, as well as the Outstanding Performer Award in 2011. While studying with Dan Wright, Juan won 3rd place in the Rio Grande District NATS competition in 2010 (Young Men’s Division) and in 2012 (Freshmen Men’s Division). At the 2010 tri-state Texoma Regional NATS competition, he was awarded 1st Place in the Young Men’s Division. On stage, Juan has portrayed Jesus in Barabbas at the El Paso Playhouse, and Dick Deadeye in H.M.S Pinafore with the Gilbert and Sullivan Company. He is in his second season with the Bruce Nehring Consort. Juan will enter Stephen F. Austin State University in the fall as a Vocal Performance Major.
THIRD PLACE WINNER. LAUREN LOZANO, soprano, will be a junior at Coronado High School. She has placed in the all region and all area competitions in the last two years, and most recently traveled to San Antonio as part of the All State Women’s Choir. Her voice has taken her to Canada and to Italy, where she performed with the El Paso Young Ladies Choir. She currently studies with Kimberly-Wolfenberger Nakamoto and will perform the role of Cosette in the upcoming production of Les Miserables this summer in El Paso. Previous performances include Belle, from Beauty and the Beast, as well as Le Fou.
She also had the privilege of performing at the Plaza Theatre in the El Paso Young Ladies’ Choir for a recording that was aired nationally on From the Top.
RECOGNITION FOR ACHIEVEMENT. JASMINE GOMEZ, violin, is a junior at Americas High School. She began studying violin during the fourth grade. She joined the El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestra (EPSYO) in seventh grade. She has competed in Solo and Ensemble earning superior scores and was selected to the top group of the TMEA All-Region Orchestra. Jasmine takes private lessons with Mary Moran at the El Paso Conservatory of Music. She is currently concertmistress for both EPSYO and the Americas High School Orchestra.
Recently, Jasmine was featured in a duet with the Americas High School
Orchestra in Carnegie Hall in New York City.
RECOGNITON FOR ACHIEVEMENT. CRUZ LUJAN, acoustic guitar, started playing the trumpet in the 5th grade and played through high school. At age 15, his grandmother gave him his first guitar, a Sunlight classical. After discovering the capabilities of the Acoustic Guitar, he developed a passion for the instrument. Soon after, he met fellow musician, Nick Cooper and formed the group “Fragile Balance”. “Fragile Balance” has performed all over El Paso and the U.S. and has helped to raise money for Alzheimer Awareness as well as the local non-profit organization Community Scholars. The group has independently recorded and released two full length albums, The Flow of Dreams and Seasons Change, with a third due within the next year. Cruz performed original works for the EPSMF 2012 Young Musicians’ Competition.
ABOUT THE INSTRUMENTS FOR YOUNG LIVES AWARD RECIPIENTS
ANDREA SALAZAR, cello. Andrea is a junior at Silva Health Magnet High School.She performs with the Jefferson Silva Orchestra, Marching Band, and Percussion Ensemble. She is a member of EPSYO (2011-2012) and has performed in the EPISD’s Summer Musicals (2010 -2011) West Side Story and Bye, Bye, Birdie. She has received superior and excellent ratings in Solo and Ensemble competitions.
DIEGO DELGADO, bassoon. Diego is a junior at Clint High School. He performs with the Clint High School Band as well as Solo and Ensemble and ATSSSB All Region (2011). He has received recognition as Outstanding Band Freshman and Sophomore
FRONT COVER OF THE 2012 POTPOURRI PROGRAM
…for continued partnership in bringing music and art together