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Lone Star Jubilee offers music with a message

20140116 Spoken4The Lone Star Jubilee, featuring the Texans, the Spoken 4 Quartet and John Walter Morrison will be coming to the Rio Grande Valley Jan. 20 through Jan. 24 offering a mixture of Southern Gospel, Bluegrass Gospel and Christian comedy. The performance can be seen in two shows at 2 and 7 p.m. at Trinity Baptist Church, 2001 Freddy Gonzalez Road in Edinburg.

Spoken 4 Quartet, developed by Jon Charles Taggart and Cecil Stringer, has developed a new sound but pays homage to the rich traditions of gospel music. Just one year after the group came together in 2007, they were nominated for the 2008 Horizon Group of the Year Award. Spoken 4 started breaking into the Singing News Charts with songs like “Lil’ Bit” and “He’s My Song.” These were followed by more hit songs, including “Who Can Afford to be Wrong,” and “He Knows Your Address.”

Taggart, lead, is from Kimberling City, Missouri. His musical talent began to flourish in high school, where he won several talent contests. After performing with the college show troupe, “The Naturals,” he began singing with a group called Mercy Blend Quartet and later Mercy River. Soon, Jon got the opportunity to sing lead for the Cumberland Quartet at Silver Dollar City, where he remained five years. Then, in 2007 he and Cecil Stringer felt the calling and formed a new group, Spoken 4 Quartet.

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Ralph Kuster pays tribute to “Sinatra and Friends”

20140109 Ralph-CusterJoin Ralph Kuster at the Border Theatre in Mission on Jan. 24, 25 and 27 as he pays tribute to the music of Frank Sinatra and Friends. 

He will perform Sinatra classics such as “New York, New York,”  “That's Life,”  “Strangers in the Night,” “The September Song,” “High Hopes,” “All the Way,” “I've Got You Under My Skin,” “It was a Very Good Year,” “My Way” and more. 

Kuster also performs the hits of Dean Martin  such as “Everybody Loves Somebody,” “Memories are Made of This,” “Volare,” “That's Amore” and more, along with favorites from artists such as Nat King Cole, Al Martino, Sammy Davis Jr., Andy Williams, Perry Como and Johnny Mathis.

A video presentation will be featured on the large movie screen and the dance floor below the stage will be open to during the show for those who want to put on their dancing shoes.

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Valley youth to perform with Moscow Ballet Dec. 28

20131220 Masha-and-Nutcracker-Prince-in-Snow-ForestHARLINGEN – Valley youth ages 7 to 16 years will perform alongside the Moscow Ballet company of 40 professionals in the “Great Russian Nutcracker” at the Municipal Auditorium in Harlingen on Saturday, Dec. 28, at 3 p.m.

The performance is part of the Moscow Ballet’s “Dance with Us” program which has sent soloists Svetlana Todinova, Natalia Miroshnyk, Carolina Siscanu and Ekaterina Uksusnikova to audition young local dancers for roles that are exclusive to children and work with them in rehearsal. Rio Grande Valley Arts Studio, the host dance studio, continued rehearsals until the dress rehearsal which is on stage with the full company.

The 2013 production includes 200 all new, hand-embellished costumes designed by Shakespearean expert Arthur Oliver and created in St Petersburg’s oldest theatrical costume shop.  For groups of ten or more, call 800-320-1733. For tickets go to www.nutcracker.com.

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Celebrate the holiday season with UTPA's Mariachi Aztlán

20131213 UTPA-MariachiEDINBURG – The University of Texas-Pan American invites the public to ring in the holiday season in the mariachi tradition with the beauty and exuberance of Mexican folk music through the talents of the award-winning UTPA Mariachi Aztlán. This past weekend the group captured first place in the university category at the 2013 Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza competition in San Antonio.

The University's Department of Music presents the mariachi – in its "Navidad Mexicana" and Spring concerts at the Albert L. Jeffers Theatre. The concerts will also feature performances by the Luz de Luna Folkloric Dance Ensemble.  Performances of the Mariachi's "Navidad Mexicana" will be at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20 and at 2, 5 and 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21.

The mariachi's upcoming concert, "Sounds and Splendor of México," will have performances Jan. 9 to 12, 2014.

Tickets for all concerts are $10 at the door and will be available at the theater's box office one hour before the shows.  Seating is limited; for reservations call 665-3581. 

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RGV TubaChristmas concert Dec. 8 at UTPA

20131206 TubaChristmasChristmasmediaThe public is invited to The University of Texas-Pan American to celebrate the sounds of Christmas in an oompah-terrific way this year at the annual RGV TubaChristmas concert scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 8, at 2 p.m. at the UTPA Fieldhouse.

Taking center stage at TubaChristmas, which is free to the public, will be instruments in the tuba family, including sousaphone, baritones and euphoniums played by musicians ages 8 to 80.  With many of the horns decorated for the Christmas season, concert goers will enjoy traditional holiday favorites—from “Silent Night” to “Jingle Bells.”

This year's special guest artist for the concert is Dr. Jerry Young, professor emeritus of music at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and president of the International Tuba Euphonium Association.

"TubaChristmas is a music concert held in cities worldwide that celebrates those who play, teach and compose music for instruments in the tuba family," explained Dr. Scott Roeder, UTPA assistant professor of music, who co-coordinates the annual event with Jim Egger, head band director at McAllen High School.

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