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New Music Chair Conducts Milan Orchestra

Dr. Glenn GarridoDr. Glenn Garrido, new chair of the Music Department at the University of St. Thomas, started his semester by conducting the Civic Orchestra of Milan on Sept. 8 at the Court of Honor of the City Palace, or Palazzo Marino, in Milan, Italy. Garrido was the first U.S. citizen to guest conduct the more-than-150-year-old Orchestra.

“The program was well-received,” Garrido said. “When you have an experience like that, you grow professionally. Your capacity and intellectual level expands because you’re experiencing a high-caliber activity. Experiences like this motivate you and make you feel more confident.”

The concert, “Made in the Americas,” was part of the series “I Concerti Di Palazzo Marino,” which featured many international artists from July 9-Sept. 15. Garrido’s selections included works by composers from the United States, the Caribbean, Argentina, Brazil and his birthplace of Venezuela. The event was free to the public, and Garrido performed for a full house.

Garrido was celebrated by the Council of Milano for his understanding of the rich culture and music of the Americas. During the last 20 years, Garrido has lived in New Hampshire, Florida and Georgia, and he now lives in Katy, Texas. He relocated when he accepted the job at St. Thomas in August.

“Professionally, it’s a big growth in my career, but if you’re a teacher, real-life examples are the best for the student,” Garrido said. “It brings authentic, first-hand experiences to the students when you are talking about music, history and places when you’ve actually been there. It’s more realistic when you can give them information not in the book.”

During his visit to Milan, Garrido went to the opening of the world-famous music festival MITO SettembreMusica 2012, saw the National Orchestra of France and conductor Daniele Gatti, and was the special guest of the Council of Milano to visit “The Last Supper,” by Leonardo da Vinci.

Dr. Glenn GarridoAlso, Garrido signed an agreement with the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory to initiate artistic exchanges between UST and the historic musical institution. The exchange will allow UST students to go to the Conservatory to receive two complimentary applied lessons, participate in rehearsals with the choir, band and orchestra, and attend performances on campus. The exchange also includes UST faculty offering clinics at the Conservatory and Conservatory faculty will visit UST to present master classes, play recitals and guest conduct performing groups.

During the Thanksgiving break, Garrido will conduct the Costa Rica Philharmonic in San José, Costa Rica at the National Museum.

Garrido said, after coming back from his trip, he feels full of energy and ideas to start the semester at UST. His ultimate goal is to produce citizens who can serve the Lord and the community through music.

“When you combine music and religion, you are creating a magical formula,” Garrido said. “Students can come here and get the discipline and skill they need to serve the Catholic community and the general community.”