Youth orchestra will perform variety of pieces Friday

Symphony violist Dr. Melissa Meléndez

BEEVILLE – The Corpus Christi Area Youth Orchestra will present a concert Friday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m. at the A.C. Jones High School Auditorium for the Beeville Concert Association.

Under the direction of Dr. Melissa Meléndez, symphony violist, and Dr. José Flores of Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, the youth orchestra will play a program of outstanding, audience-engaging symphonic music. They also will present two afternoon concerts for Beeville ISD students.

The program is partially sponsored by a generous grant from the Joe Barnhart Foundation.

The CCAYO will play a variety of music, including Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Capriccio Espagnol”; Tchaikovsky’s “Waltz of the Flowers”; Michael Story’s “Patriotic Bits and Pieces”; and Ralph Matesky’s “Cowboy Rhapsody.” The featured selection is “Danzón,” by Arturo Marquez.

Meléndez is co-director of the Corpus Christi Area Youth Orchestra. She is a former member of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and the recipient of the 2004 President’s Concert Competition held at the University of Arizona. She has performed in Europe and the Americas both as chamber musician and as a soloist. Meléndez is the principal violist of the Kingsville Symphony Orchestra, the principal violist of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, and the assistant principal violist of the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra.

Meléndez holds a Bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University, a Master’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, an Artist’s Diploma from Duquesne University, and a Doctorate from the University of Arizona. Currently, she is the orchestra director at Miller High, Metro Prep High School and Driscoll Middle School in the Corpus Christi Independent School District. 

Flores is a great advocate of orchestral music education, an accomplished professional musician and an experienced orchestral conductor and clinician. He is the director of orchestral studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and has been professor of violin and viola at the university since 2006.

Flores is on the faculty of Switzerland International Music Academy, where he teaches violin, viola and coaches chamber. As one of the pioneer teachers in El Sistema, Flores taught in a program which today transforms the lives of more than 500,000 of Venezuela’s most vulnerable children by giving them the chance to excel as young musicians.

Flores holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Arizona, a Master of Music and a Bachelor of Music from the Aaron Copland School of Music in New York. The 2019-2020 season marks the 11th year Flores has served as director of the Corpus Christi Area Youth Orchestra.

The CCAYO has been an educational branch of the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra since 1996. The program, founded in the 1950s, was originally an extension of the Corpus Christi Independent School District.

Admission for adults is $10 at the door or a BCA season ticket. Admitted free are students through high school age, an adult accompanied by two students, and Coastal Bend College students.