TJC students, professors to participate in Texas Music Educators Association convention | TJC

TJC students, professors to participate in Texas Music Educators Association convention

Two professors and 27 students are representing Tyler Junior College this week at the Texas Music Educators Association’s (TMEA) annual convention in San Antonio.

TMEA is an annual meeting of the state’s elementary through college music programs, including band, choir, orchestra and elementary music. It is one of the largest such conventions in the country, attracting some 10,000 active music educators and about 30,000 attendees from around the world each year.

TJC Trombone Choir to perform
The TJC Trombone Choir’s TMEA performance will be at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, in San Antonio.

Before departing for San Antonio, the group will perform a send-off concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, in Braithwaite Recital Hall on the UT Tyler campus. Admission is free, and the public is invited to attend.

Their program will include a variety of jazz, classical and modern compositions, to highlight the tonal timbres and diversity unique to trombone ensembles. They will also premiere new works and arrangements, widening the available literature for the trombone ensemble.

“We are excited to debut a few original compositions, including a new piece by Micah Bell, one of our talented TJC music professors,” said Heather Mensch, TJC music department chair and director of low brass.

“We are so proud of our hardworking students, and we look forward to having the TMEA audience see the results of the time and preparation they’ve put into this performance.”

The TJC Trombone Choir includes:

Tenor trombones
• Joshua Anschutz, music major from Lindale
• Alex Barocio, social work major from Arp
• Brittany Baxter, elementary music alumna from Jacksonville
• Taryn Blackerby, music education alumna from Troup
• Zachary Cox, biology major from Whitehouse
• Aaron Edwards, geology major from Seminole
• Garrett Fisher, music major from Royse City
• Jordan Juarez, music major from Lufkin
• Parker Phillips, music major from New Diana
• Jesse Ramirez, general studies major from Royse City
• Alyssa Richey, social work major from Winnsboro
• Rylee Risner, music major from Canton
• Caden Roberts, biology major from Mineola
• Austin Rutledge, meteorology major from Bullard
• Jace Thomas, music education and performance major from Chandler
Bass trombones
• Andrew Fitzgerald, music major from Forney
• Devin Gilbert, music alumnus from Tyler
• Samuel Hicks, music education major from North Richland Hills
• Dustin Nino, music education major from Rusk
• Austin Stanberry, music major from Rockwall
Rhythm section
• Isaac Bernardo, bass, music major from Kaufman
• Patrick McClain, guitar, music major from Lindale
• Corey McCowin, drums, music education major from DeSoto

On their way to San Antonio, the group will stop to perform for students at China Spring High School near Waco and Dailey Middle School in Austin. The China Spring band program is under the direction of TJC alumnus Marc Nichelson, and TJC band alumnus Keaton Ainsworth directs the Dailey program.

All State Choir

Four TJC students qualified for the Texas Two-Year College All-State Choir and will perform Saturday at the Texas Music Educators Association’s annual convention in San Antonio.

TJC students to perform Saturday in all-state choir
Later in the week, four TJC students will perform in the Texas Two-Year College All-State Choir.

The TJC choral department is under the direction of Dr. Eric Posada.

TJC all-state choir members are:
• Grace Gaertner, music major from Tyler
• Jared Kainer, video game simulation and development programming major from Katy
• Nichole Painter, veterinary technician major from Marshall
• Kaitlyn Woodard, government major from Bullard

Following three days of rehearsal to learn seven musical selections, the group will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, in the Gonzalez Convention Center.

The choir will be conducted by Dr. Eugene Rogers, director of choral activities and associate professor of conducting at the University of Michigan.

Posada said, “When I came here in 2017, one of my goals was to encourage students to audition for the all-state choir; and I’m proud to say that, since that time, 12 students have represented TJC at this level since then.”

About the TJC music program
As one of the largest two-year college music programs in Texas, TJC graduates students each year who are prepared to excel at the university level and beyond.

Areas of concentration include: guitar, instrumental, piano and voice.

Students have performance opportunities as freshmen and sophomores that they would not be offered elsewhere, in groups such as: Collaborative Piano, Guitar Ensemble, Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, Harmony & Understanding, Apache (marching) Band, Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble, Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble.

Faculty members are experienced educators and active performers.

TJC music majors are actively recruited by universities and transfer all over the United States. 

For more on TJC music programs, go to

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