Donors #POWEROURSOUND! in Education and help Houston’s students like Salvador Flores achieve excellence in music.
A junior from Galena Park High School and saxophone student, Salvador excelled locally and nationally under the guidance of Dave Connor, a Houston Symphony Community-Embedded Musician. Salvador’s growth in musical interpretation and execution prepared him for Texas Music Educators Association All-State and Interlochen auditions. He explained, “working with Dave has brought my musical skills to new heights that I would’ve never imagined possible at this age. This includes being able to focus clearly on a specific style and phrase, the ability to be dynamic with things such as vibrato and color, and heightened sense of awareness while performing.” Salvador not only got into Interlochen’s Summer program, he was rated the second best saxophonist out of all applicants from across the nation and received a fifty percent merit scholarship. This impressive feat would not have been possible without Dave’s support and encouragement.
Dave is proud of Salvador’s accomplishments and continues to guide his musical pursuits. He works closely with Salvador’s band director, Jessie Meng to make sure that Salvador’s goals are constantly rising. Interestingly, the first time they met, Dave recognized that Salvador was not used to being challenged by his normal music classes, and decided to be more direct with how he could improve musically, not to embarrass him but to demonstrate that he still had room to grow artistically—and the benefits have translated beyond Salvador’s music studies. He has also become a better student. “Being a better musician has allowed me to do better in my academics in that I can focus on the task at hand much more efficiently,” says Salvador.
This experience started a strong relationship that Dave hopes will continue in the future. “I really think that he needs to learn how to play jazz. As a saxophonist, you just should be able to do that if you want to make a living, period. Now that the Interlochen thing is in the bag, I think we will approach that subject with him next time.”
The Houston Symphony’s long-term engagement with students like Salvador wouldn’t be possible without the Houston Symphony’s comprehensive education programs. The High School Residencies alone give 1,350 students the opportunity to work with Houston Symphony musicians this season. This all happens because of donors like you. Philanthropic support accounts for more than two-thirds of the Houston Symphony’s annual operating budget and is why the Houston Symphony is able to invest $5 million into its community and education outreach this season.
As we aim to realize a successful end to the 2015-16 Season, please consider a new or increased gift of $100 or more to POWER OUR SOUND! throughout the city. Your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a generous Houston Symphony Board member up to $400,000.
You can make your gift online at https://www.houstonsymphony.org/donate.