We had a fantastic time at camp this summer. During the first week of August, 50 students attended a summer string camp held on the Schreiner University Campus. Dr. Dowdy was our host and a wonderful addition to the HCYO faculty. Dr. Rocha came again as he did two years ago to conduct our top group. We had lots of musical growth, some fun times together and many guest artists who came and shared with us. We hope all the students will continue their studies and join us next summer!
Thanks to all who participated and especially our Sponsors! Here are some fun pictures!
Makenna Brown graduated from Tivy High School and she is a clarinet player.
Here is her bio:
After I graduate from Tivy I plan to attend Texas Lutheran University in the fall, and obtain my Bachelors degree in Music Teaching Education.
My favorite HCYO memory would be fall 2019. We had all finally learned the music given to us and wanted to do a full run through of our program together as a group. The music given to us was probably my favorite pieces given to us so far, but being in the moment, playing and hearing it all come together with the band and orchestra playing; it reminded me of why I love doing what I'm doing. It reminded me that I'm going to college to make a career out of what I love doing, and I get to give other students a way to find a love for music as well.
It has been such an honor to be able to be in HCYO and participate with such an amazing group of staff members, and students in orchestra and band. I was sad that our spring concert got cancelled, but I'm glad I still got the opportunity to play for HCYO for two years and make many lasting memories that will stick with me.
Loxi Bell is a violinst who is graduating from Seton Online Homestudy.
Here is Loxi's Bio:
I have been with HCYO for seven years out of my nine of playing violin and I will be graduating high school this year. After graduation, I will be pursuing a degree in music education at Angelo State University.
My favorite HCYO memory is helping out with the younger kids in Crescendo and at the FMA!
Jadyn Doss is graduation from Tivy High School and is a trumpet player in HCYO.
Starting as a violinist for Hill Country Orchestras was probably the best decision I could have made. As a fourth grader, I had no idea of who I would become and if music was apart of my future or not. Slowly, as I started to understand how beautiful and truly inspiring an ensemble was, I knew I had to be apart of music for the rest of my life. On Christmas day of my fifth grade school year, I unwrapped a shiny tubular trinket called a cornet (a smaller version of the trumpet). Initially, the idea of practicing another instrument didn't seem as thrilling as it does now, but I grew into the idea very fast. Once I realized trumpet was the coolest invention on the planet we call Earth, I knew I had to perfect it, or get pretty close, at least. Knowing that I needed to make a decision between violin and trumpet going into high school, I chose trumpet in a heartbeat. Freshman year, I decided to audition to play trumpet with HCYO. I have been a part of HCYO's brass section for four years now. I have had the joy of playing in various jazz bands, making 1's for solos and ensembles at State since my sophomore year, making it to the Area level for 5A and 6A TMEA auditions for jazz band and concert band, attending Texas Tech band camp, Texas State band camp, Texas Lutheran band camp, University of Texas Longhorn band camp, and Baylor Band camp through the summers. Aside from the ensembles I have played with, I have also been a Drum Major for Tivy's Marching Band my Junior and Senior years of high school, and have gone to state with the marching band in 2019. I have gone to Fredericksburg United Methodist Church and been an active member and leader in "The Back Porch" youth group since middle school. With the help from my private lesson instructor, Dr. John Carroll, principal trumpet of the San Antonio Symphony, I plan on studying music education at Baylor University while studying trumpet under Professor Wiff Rudd. I am very excited to being my life as a future educator and performer, and would like to thank my parents, my band directors, and especially HCYO for helping me along the way.
My absolute favorite part about the very last season I experienced with HCYO is so dear to my heart. At the very last concert, when Sinfonia had just finished their beautiful first half of their performance, the winds, brass, and percussion where given the cue to enter the stage. I was filled with absolute joy, looking at the underclassmen in the sections around me. I remembered when I was the younger musician, looking up to the leaders. But, observing how talented and driven they all had become, I grinned from ear to ear, knowing that this group was a better version of the group I had entered with. That very feeling of accomplishment and sentiment and love for those around me, is exactly why I couldn't let the cancellation of the spring season disappoint me.
HCYO was a crucial part of the many lessons that led me to my current stable work ethic and discipline. Starting out a musician at a young age playing violin in HCYO, I knew that I would never be without a piece of music to work on. Rehearsals as a 5th grader in string ensembles slowly ended up becoming a normal occurrence. When I began to play the trumpet, I had high hopes that trumpet would be the instrument that would take me to college. With high hopes, came living my dream. In 8th grade, I auditioned to play with the HCYO winds brass and percussion ensemble for Sinfonia, and I fell in love with the music and the section. Although I put away my violin to become more invested in my trumpet practice, I will always cherish my earlier years with HCYO. Without this program, I might have not been as passionate and expressive about my love for violin and trumpet. Without HCYO and the professional encouragement of my directors and instructors, I probably wouldn't have planned to major in music education and study trumpet at Baylor University. Thank you for the many rehearsals and performances that gave me extra experience and the hope to achieve great things in my musical career.
Yazmin Hernandez, senior at Tivy High School in Kerrville, plays the cello. She will continue her education at SAC, studying to be a Nurse Anesthesiologist. It is an 8 year program.Her favorite HCYO memory is watching the Chamber Orchestra play.
Andrea Ovalle is a senior at Tivy High School. She plays the violin. After being admitted to The University of Texas at San Antonio, she plans on majoring in Computer Science with a concentration in Cyber Security. She will obtain the skills and experience of protecting devices from malicious viruses and hackers. Andrea also plans to minor in foreign languages to assist in her communication across the globe.
Here is what she says about her HCYO memories. "I have many amazing memories of HCYO. I recall playing some very cool pieces one year with Mrs. Johnson. They were Finlandia and Danzon. I also believe that same year, the Sinfonia Orchestra, under Doctor K, played this beautiful piece that sadly, I don't remember. It had to do with angels and gosh, it was beautiful. Those were some memorable pieces I fell in love with.
I will also miss Mrs. Lee's singing. She always made the atmosphere happy! I will really miss HCYO and its amazing directors. As well as my amazing private teacher! If it weren't for this program, I wouldn't be the person I am today."
Daniel Jenkins is a violist who is home schooled. He was born and raised in the San Antonio area. Daniel has two older brothers and a younger sister. He started viola at thirteen, joined HCYO at age 14. Daniel says he is a Christian, loves music, coding, robotics and anything to do with WWII.
Sadly, we are closing our doors for the remainder of March, April and May for health issues.
We look forward to a new season, the 2020-2021 School Year, full of many musical opportunities together.
Summer camps are planned for August, as well as auditions.
Check back often for updates.
Robert Earl Keen
and back by popular demand
his very special guests the Quebe Sisters!
One amazing night at the Cailloux Theater — March 7.
Tickets go on sale January 17.
Acclaimed Americana Recording Artist Robert Earl Keen celebrates his 13th annual one-night only concert event for The Hill Country Youth Orchestras. Also, back by popular demand, he is bringing his very special guests the highly acclaimed Quebe Sisters to the Cailloux Theater in Kerrville, TX on March 7, 2020.
Robert Earl Keen has recorded 19 albums and has performed thousands of shows with no end in sight. From his humble beginnings on the folk scene, he has blazed a peer/critic, fan-based trail that has earned him living legend status in the Americana music world. Keen remains as committed to and inspired by his muse as ever. Keen’s accolades include the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from Texas A&M University, the 2015 BMI’s Troubadour Award, the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame Award in 2012. He was also inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2019.
With over fifteen years of touring to date, The Quebe Sisters have delivered their authentic triple fiddle and three-part harmony sound to the concert halls and festivals of North America, Europe, and Russia.
Grace, Sophia, and Hulda Quebe front an innovative Progressive Western Swing band of archtop guitar, upright bass, fiddles and sibling harmony. The Dallas-based five-piece presents a unique Americana blend of Western Swing, Jazz-influenced Swing, Country, Texas-Style Fiddling, and Western music.
Combine the musical stylings of The Mills Brothers, Ray Price, Count Basie, Willie Nelson, and you have none other than The Quebe Sisters. Audiences are transfixed, then blown away by the innovative Quebe Sisters.
Along with headlining their own shows they’ve shared stages with American music legends like Willie Nelson, George Strait, Merle Haggard, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Ray Price, Connie Smith, Marty Stuart, Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel, Riders in the Sky and many others.
Over more than one hundred and thirty Hill Country Youth Orchestras, ages six through eighteen, will join the festivities and open the concert. This year the HCYO students will perform selections by Broadway composers of the 20th Century — Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Lowe, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Steven Sondheim. All proceeds (100%) from every ticket sold will go directly to The Hill Country Youth Orchestras Scholarship and Endowment Funds which provides the opportunity for children from first grade through twelfth grade to participate in the only tuition free youth orchestra music program in the country.
Hill Country Youth Orchestras
Hill Country Youth Orchestras (HCYO) is the only organization of its kind in the country offering free tuition, low-cost string instrument rentals and scholarship assistance for private lessons to all children who participate regardless of race, color, creed, disability, or economic status.
For 33 years the HCYO mission has been to “bring the joy of the orchestra experience to the youth of the Texas Hill Country” with the vision to nurture, encourage and assist young musicians by sharing the love and joy of music through quality instruction, concert performances, and community service. The core HCYO belief is that unlimited and early exposure to music fosters lifelong recognition of its value and instills life skills, development of leadership, teamwork, responsibility, and discipline.
More than 150 students from the Texas Hill Country participate in the program annually. In addition to its main campus in Kerrville, HCYO has satellite campuses in Fredericksburg and Boerne.
HCYO is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. HCYO is supported through the generosity of its individual donors, foundation grants, community businesses and very generous support from Mr. Keen’s concert with the entire concert proceeds going directly to the Endowment and Scholarship Funds of the Hill Country Youth Orchestras, Inc.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Tickets and VIP Reception packages are available at the Cailloux Theater Box Office, 910 Main Street, Kerrville, TX 78028, (830) 896-9393 or online at caillouxtheater.com.
We have three new staff members this season.
Welcome them all and we thank them for being a part of the HCYO Team!
Karen Billingsley, Executive Director
Greg Shrader, Development Director
Noelle Neely, Administrative Assistant
A simple way to keep up with HCYO news for family, friends, and fans!