(March 14, 2017) — UTSA Professor Matthew Dunne and his guitar students are traveling to Cuba this spring break to be immersed in the music scene and culture there.
During their seven-day trip, the quartet will perform four times around the country in cities like Pinar del Rio and Cienfuegos, ending with a performance at Havana’s Center for Hispanic Culture.
The idea to take students to Cuba to perform came to Dunne last year. He traveled there in the fall to plan the trip. Dunne said he’s excited for the quartet to collaborate with conservatory students in Havana and work with other professional guitarists.
“It’s important for our students to work with other musicians,” said Dunne. “To witness a different culture will be a very eye opening experience for them. I think they will be really inspired.”
The quartet, which is made up of one graduate student and three undergraduates, began rehearsing last fall semester to prepare for their performances in Cuba.
“I am really looking forward to performing and to experience another culture’s views and values toward the arts,” said Ashley Lucero, a first-year graduate student studying music performance at UTSA. “Not only will I be exposed to a diversity of halls and audiences, which will greatly expand my performance experience, but I will also be sharing some of my own original compositions with world-renowned composer Leo Brouwer. That opportunity will propel my development as a young composer.”
Dunne hopes his students gain new skills and make long-lasting relationships.
“This trip will be a great opportunity for the students to meet people who are quite a bit like them,” said Dunne. “They share a lot of the same passion for music.”
While in Cuba, the quartet is also giving back. Dunne said they plan to bring 100 sets of guitar strings, donated by the company D’Addario, for Cuban guitar students in need.
UTSA is ranked among the top 400 universities in the world and among the top 100 in the nation, according to Times Higher Education.
Kara Mireles, UTSA Today
March 14, 2017