Skip to main content

Texas A&M-Kingsville music students named finalist in National Opera Association competition

Posted on

Nine Texas A&M University-Kingsville music students will be competing at the National Opera Association’s National Conference next year. 

Dr. Melinda Brou, associate professor of voice and opera and the Opera Workshop director, submitted the students’ performance of Officer Krupke from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story.

Only the top four submissions were invited to perform in the national finals of the category they entered, Brou said. The competition will be Jan. 9, 2020 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame museum in Cleveland, Ohio.  

Vocalists include Ramon Garcia, senior from Pasadena; Kenneth Beal, junior from Victoria; Martel Gonzalez, junior from Laredo; Zachary Hamilton, junior from Victoria; Cody Macha, junior of Victoria; Shane Vasquez, of senior from Encinal; Gilbert Peña, junior from San Diego; Erik Zamorano, junior from Edinburg. They will be accompanied by graduate student pianist, Bora Cho from Corpus Christi.

Students who participated in the performance that was selected, but will not compete include Juan Carlos Gonzalez, senior from Kingsville; Oscar Lara, senior from San Benito; Gage Roberts, sophomore from Kingsville; Daniel Salinas, senior from Kingsville; Ryan Duncan-Ayala from Laredo; Joshua Martinez from Port Isabel.

“The singers being named national finalists is an incredibly big deal for the students,” Brou said. “The recognition validates all of the hard work we have been putting in and it gives us the motivation to keep pushing even further.”

Brou said the scene they will perform was taken from a production that was led by student directors for the first time. Alisha Beirne, senior from Corpus Christi, directed the scene alongside Brou.

“Students in the Musical Theatre class were given the opportunity to develop their own staging, and I mentored them through the process,” she said.

“I’m so thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase our tremendous students on the national stage. I’ve known for a really long time how special they are,” she said. “I am overjoyed that the rest of the country will now know as well.”

To help the students raise money, a GoFundMe account was created. Donations can be made through the website,

Category: Arts/Sciences , General Univ

Photo of Monica Lopez

Media Contact

News Archives