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Music Student to Attend Summer Program at The Juilliard School 
 
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – MAY 17, 2013 – The University of Texas at Brownsville Department of Music has added another feather to its cap.
  
Victor Flores
Victor Flores
Violinist and music education major Victor Flores is among a select group of 200 international students from 32 states and 14 counties accepted into the Starling-DeLay Symposium for Violin Studies at The Juilliard School in New York City.
 
“I am very excited to be going to this summer camp,” Flores said. “It’s something new, and I want to challenge myself and get a better understanding of the violin.” 
 
Departing Brownsville on Monday, May 27, Flores will spend the next week attending classes conducted by acclaimed artists, including the renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman. 
“I am very proud that Victor was able to get into the summer program at Juilliard,” said Martha Placeres, Master Technical Instructor in the Department of Music. “He is one of the most motivated students I have ever worked with.” 
 
Flores, 20, began his music career with the saxophone in the sixth grade band along with his friends. 
 
“I got bored with the saxophone and wanted to challenge myself and picked up the violin in high school,” said Flores, who bought his first violin when he was 14. 
 
Flores  graduated from Port Isabel High School in the top ten percent of his class and entered UTB in the fall of 2010 as a University Scholar. This scholarship program supports students’ academic and personal goals while requiring them to maintain a 3.0 grade point average.  
 
Flores knew he was committed to continuing with his violin study, and he decided upon pursuing a degree in music education. 
“Victor practically taught himself how to play the violin, since Port Isabel and Brownsville don’t have a string program,” Placeres said. “Although he started the violin in high school, it has been only over the past three years that Victor has been taking lessons. He is a dedicated student and has grown tremendously in these few years.” 
 
Flores demonstrated his dedication in preparing for his Juilliard audition that required a recent, unedited CD with specific selections among them, one movement from an unaccompanied partita by Bach and one Paganini caprice. He also had to submit letters of recommendation. 
“It took about two semesters to learn the music selections that I sent in on my CD.” Flores said. “I’m so grateful to Ms. Placeres for taking time away from her busy schedule to help me prepare.” 
 
Flores is also grateful for the encouragement he receives from his parents. 
 
“They have always been very supportive of my interest in music,” he said. “My parents are from Mexico, and it would be typical for them to hope their children would become doctors or lawyers. When I told them I wanted to go into music, they never said ‘no.’” 
 
The eldest of four children, Flores has inspired his younger siblings to pursue the joy of music. He is teaching his five-year-old sister to play on a 1/32nd size violin that he purchased for her. His 12-year-old brother plays saxophone with the Port Isabel Junior High School Band, and his sister who attends the South Texas Academy of Medical Technology played cello with the B-SMART Orchestra. 
 
The B-SMART (Brownsville String Musician Artist Retention and Training Orchestra) is an all-string afterschool music program, where Flores teaches as part of a music internship. He is also a violin instructor, teaching children from the ages of 9 to 16 at the UTB Music Academy. 
 
“I am glad to be part of these two important programs for the community,” Flores said. “The kids work extremely hard, and I am proud to be one of the many people who guides them to their success. I cannot wait until every school in Brownsville has its own orchestra; no one knows the amazing possibilities these children each hold as pioneers. Orchestras will eventually happen, and seeing their motivation, I have no doubt it is closer than we can imagine.”  
Traveling to New York will be Flores’ second trip out of state other than visiting family in Mexico.
  
“It’s something new, and I want to challenge myself and get a better understanding of the violin. If I can tell anyone who wants to pursue music and is afraid of failing, I would tell them to just go for it. You never know what can happen – all you have to do is give it a try.”
 

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