Lovers of classical music who attended the South Texas Youth Symphony (STYS) performance just one year ago absolutely agreed that they performed twice as well during the Mother’s Day concert sponsored by HEB at UTPA Fine Arts Auditorium.

Maestro Peter Dabrowski directs the STYS, and students receive teaching assistance with concert musicians from the Valley Symphony Orchestra. The impressive STYS is ‘75’ strong.

Some smaller adult American symphonies might not equal these auditioned, talented youth of the Lower Rio Grande and Northern Mexico.

Patrick Kim, first violin, and Niharika Pereira, principal cello, earned ovations for their performance. Patrons were enlivened by Brahm’s Hungarian Dance No. 5, and the Mission Impossible TV theme song brought down the house with its swirling strings.

Kathleen Hawkins instructs “Success Thru Strings,” a beginning violin program, to 10 students and growing in 2009-2010. They inspired much applause, as they are all first-graders, some quite small. They show bright promise after their performance at the opening number of this concert. The South Texas Youth Symphony’s seasoned students have shown rapid progress in just four years.

Free admission for mom with the purchase of a ticket on Mothers’ Day helped produce record attendance, several hundred, for this event. Buttercreams Cupcakery of Harlingen provided a cupcake reception and Jac-Lins Floral Gallery of McAllen provided each mom with a long stemmed rose. The Valley Symphony Orchestra honored graduating high school seniors. All 17 seniors in the South Texas Youth Symphony are attending college. (Texas A&M accepted three, University of Texas-Pan American two, Harvard, Massachusetts Tech and other major universities.)

The STYS is a 501(c) 3 organization. For more information about the South Texas Youth Symphony, STYS 2009-2010 auditions, volunteer opportunities, and/or support contact the Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorale at: 956-661-1615 or visit

STYS members follow, by instrument:

First Violin — Patrick Kim, Concertmaster; Anna Choi, Associate Concertmaster; Sofia Hidalgo, Andy Kim, Jeanette Ornelas, Adriana Rodriguez, Zachary Weber.

Second Violin — Pablo Jose Escobedo, Principal; Manuel Alberto (Beto) Brown, Angie C. Garcia, Michelle Koh, Ariza Martinez, Veronica Silva, Arnold Tamez, Micah Windle.

Viola — Ruben Balboa, Principal; Christine Martinez, Jose Minjares, Jeremy Wenzel.

Cello — Niharika Pereira, Principal; Jose Arenas, Elizabeth Choi, Benny Dominguez, Jisoo Kim, Nicolas Miranda, Victoria Nava, Katherine Son.

Bass — Dulce Salazar, Principal; Josefina Alfaro, Abraham Masso III, Sean Ramirez.

Flute — Yoonha Jeong, Principal; Rachel Koh.

Piccolo — Esliee Rincon.

Oboe — Dawn N. Iglesias, Principal; James Alaniz, Nathan Olivarez.

Clarinet — Louis Corpus Jr., Principal; Clarissa De La Garza; Victor M. Garza, Kriselda Nunez.

Bassoon — Justin Constantino, Elizabeth Garcia.

Horn — Jorge Gutierrez, Principal; Joshua Austin, Rovin Jo, Geremy Polley.

Trumpet — Joe Steven Eguia, Principal; Procopio Garcia, Ryan Wygant.

Trombone — Hector Solis, Principal; Jaime De Leon, Jonathan Padron, Arturo Salinas.

Tuba — Jose Luis Castillo.

Percussion — Gumaro Barrera, John Lee, Alex Padron and Freddy Solis Jr.