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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.

“To conduct a group of blind players, you need to completely memorize the score 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.

“I had one of the most important professional experiences in my career by guest conducting the only professional band in the world comprised of blind musicians,” Garrido said. 

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