NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Five TSU jazz musicians recently returned from a full schedule of performances and workshops in Colombia, South America.
For two weeks in June, Dr. Carlos Castilla of the TSU music faculty and students Kerry Frazier, Elijah Holt, Daniel Hyberger and Adam Smith joined groups from Julliard and the University of Vermont in a program sponsored by the Instituto Colombo Americano that included stays in Medellín, Apartadó, Armenia, Manizales, and Pereira.
The numerous concerts, workshops, and classes offered throughout the program made it a service-learning experience as well as a study-abroad opportunity. The group of TSU students participated in workshops with Colombian music students during the trip and gave numerous concerts as a jazz ensemble to great acclaim from their audiences.
In addition to supporting the students, Dr. Castilla was also invited to offer guitar master classes in Colombia and was asked to give a lecture about educational opportunities in the United States.
“Throughout the trip, the TSU students were made to ‘feel like stars,’ including requests for autographs and at least one standing ovation,” said Dr. Castilla. “Drawing on church and R&B musical traditions, as well as their own gifts and personalities, the students were able to bring something truly unique to their audiences, who were consistently moved and inspired by their performances. The warmth and enthusiasm the TSU group received was also returned by the students, who were very impressed by Colombia’s landscape, cities, culture and people.”
Given the uniformly positive experience on both sides, Dr. Robert Elliott, Head of the Department of Music, has said that he is eager to establish regular student exchanges with Colombian universities. Following on the success of recent partnerships with universities in Turkey, these may soon add a further international dimension to the opportunities and experiences of music students at TSU.
Department of Media Relations
Rick DelaHaya: 615.963.5312
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