Music Professor Conducts the Blind
University of St. Thomas chair of Music Dr. Glenn Garrido made Argentine history when he conducted the Argentina National Symphony of Blinds, a symphonic band composed entirely of blind musicians in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from Oct. 21-28.
“I had one of the most important professional experiences in my career by guest conducting the Argentinean Symphonic Band of Blinds, the only professional band in the world comprised of blind players,” Garrido said.
Garrido comments on his experience with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“To conduct a group of blind players, you need to completely memorize the score (like them) so you can concentrate on gestures needed to help them with entrances and tempos,” Garrido said. “This includes hitting the music stand with the baton, loud breathing and soft verbal instructions.”
Aside from conducting blind musicians, Garrido also worked alongside artists such as guitarist Eduardo Issac, pianist Lorena Eckell and conductor Jose Luis Caldera. Selections the band performed included Libertango by Piazzolla and Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin.
Additionally, Garrido had the opportunity to visit the Catholic University of Argentina and meet Dr. Diana Fernandez Calvo, the dean of the College of Arts. During their meeting, Garrido and Calvo discussed possible exchange options for students in Argentina and UST.
“It was a great experience for me,” Garrido said.