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The Power of Music Symposium

September 12 2012 - September 13 2012 7:00pm - 9:00pm

The Power of Music Symposium: The Impact of Music from Generation to Generation

September 12-13, 2012

Jackson Auditorium

All events free and open to the public.

Music in the Lives of Children

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

7 p.m. in Jackson Auditorium

Music Professionals Talk About the Impact of Music on Their Childhood Development

Laurie Scott

Director, University of Texas Strings Project; Associate Professor of Music & Human Learning, University of Texas at Austin

Laurie Scott is Associate Professor of Music and Human Learning at The University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, she serves as the director of The University of Texas String Project, named “String Project of the Year” in 2008 by the American String Teacher’s Association and the National String Project Consortium.

Previous to this appointment, Dr. Scott served as professor of violin and viola and director of music education studies at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. Dr. Scott was co-director of the Armadillo Suzuki Organization, the Austin Metropolitan Suzuki School, and the Texas Suzuki Tour Group. She holds a master's degree in applied violin from the University of Nebraska, and a bachelor's degree in music education from the State University of New York at Fredonia. She received her Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Texas. Before moving to Texas in 1981, Dr. Scott taught in rural string programs in Nebraska and performed with the Omaha and Lincoln Symphonies and the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra. As a music educator in Texas, Dr. Scott has served as an officer of the Texas chapter of the American String Teacher's Association, taught for the Austin ISD at Lamar Middle School and Travis and McCallum High Schools, was co-conductor of the Austin Youth Symphony, and served as Region XVIII College Division Chair for the Texas Music Educator’s Association. Professor Scott was co-editor of the public school column in the American Suzuki Journal and was named chairman of the Suzuki in the Schools division of the 1998 International Teacher's Conference. She has performed with the Austin Symphony, Austin Lyric Opera and Ballet Austin Orchestras.

Since her 2002 appointment at The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Scott received the Teaching Excellence Award for the School of Music and the College of Fine Arts and in 2012, along with colleagues William Dick and Winifred Crock, was awarded the “Creating Learning Community” award from the Suzuki Association of the Americas. Dr. Scott is a registered teacher trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas, and is on the editorial board for the American String Teacher. She is a guest clinician and conductor at state and national conventions speaking on string pedagogy, public school music education, and character development through the arts. She is co-author with William Dick of the textbook, Mastery for Strings Volumes One and Two. Her more recent publications include Learning Together: Sequential Repertoire for Solo Strings or String Ensembles co-authored with William Dick and Winfred Crock, and From the Stage to the Studio: How Fine Musicians become Great Teachers co-authored with Cornelia Watkins.Her articles have appeared in The American String Teacher, The American Suzuki Journal, The Journal of Research in Music Education and The Journal of Music Therapy.

Akiko Fujimoto

Assistant Conductor, San Antonio Symphony

Hailed as “a very talented conductor who knows her score and her musicians” (Virginia Gazette), Akiko Fujimoto is the Assistant Conductor of the San Antonio Symphony, where she conducts classical, educational and pops concerts as well as the Nutcracker. In the 2012-2013 season, she will also lead the Symphony’s new Baroque series.

Previously, she served as the Conducting Associate for the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the William & Mary Symphony Orchestra from 2007 through 2011. As a member of the Virginia Symphony conducting staff, Fujimoto made her debut on the Classics series conducting Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3, “Scottish,” and a world premiere of Behzad Ranjbaran’s Double Concerto for Violin, Viola and Orchestra. Other orchestras Fujimoto has conducted include the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, National Arts Centre Orchestra in Canada, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Prior to arriving in Virginia, Fujimoto was the Music Director of the Harvard-Radcliffe Mozart Society Orchestra where she led the MSO to many milestones, including performing with pianist and Mozart scholar Robert Levin. She took a leave from that position during the 2003-2004 season to serve as the Interim Music Director of the Stanford Symphony Orchestra at Stanford University.

A native of Japan, Fujimoto attended high school in California and graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts in music and psychology. She holds Master of Music degrees in conducting from the Eastman School of Music and Boston University.

Documentary Screening

Following the speaker presentations, a short documentary about the Texas Lutheran University/Mid-Texas Symphony Community Music Academy will be screened. The CMA provides opportunities for students to be exposed to the power of music through the Lindenbaum Suziki Outreach program, which includes Strings Classes, a Training Choir and Beginning Youth Orchestra.

Read about the inaugural CMA class in the fall of 2010 in TLU's Torch magazine

Performance by Community Music Academy Strings Students and Youth Training Choir

Panel Discussion

David Mairs

Music Director, Mid-Texas Symphony

In 2012-2013, David Mairs will celebrate his seventeenth season as Music Director of the Mid-Texas Symphony. Concert attendees enjoy the wonderful performances he inspires Mid-Texas Symphony musicians to create and his engaging, natural way of sharing his knowledge about the music, its history, and its composers.

Mairs began his professional career playing Solo Horn for the elite U.S. Army Band in Washington, D.C. Following his military service, he became Associate Principal Horn of the Pittsburgh Symphony, Solo Horn of the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet, and a member of the New Pittsburgh Quintet brass ensemble.

Mairs’ interest in conducting led him to the Flint Symphony where he served as Assistant Conductor and Music Administrator. He moved to the San Antonio Symphony in 1988 where he served as Resident Conductor until 1999, directing classical concerts, audience-pleasing pops, and educational and family concerts. Mairs also hosted the weekly “Symphony Spotlight” on KPAC radio.

Mairs has conducted leading orchestras around the country, including the Houston, Dallas, Colorado Springs, Dayton, Austin, Saginaw Bay, Phoenix, Charlotte, West Shore (MI), Kansas City, and Ft. Worth symphonies. He has been an annual guest conductor with the Flint Symphony since 1987 and conducts the Educational Concerts for the Austin Symphony.

Mairs has been a leading Texas music educator for over 35 years, and was named Denton ISD’s 2010 Teacher of the Year (after a short four years in the school system as Denton High School’s Director of Orchestras). Mairs has served as Conductor of Orchestras at UTSA, Music and Administrative Director of the North East School of the Arts, and Music Director of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio. Mairs twice participated in sessions of the League of American Orchestras Conductors’ Workshop, designed to teach up-and-coming conductors their craft.

His passion for education and talent for communicating with audiences of all ages make the annual Mid-Texas Symphony’s Children’s Concerts outstanding, yet fun, educational experiences. As the Seguin Gazette-Enterprise wrote, Mairs “is looking for a lot more than offering students a unique experience. He’s looking to change lives.”

In addition to conducting, Mairs composes and arranges orchestral, band, and choral music. Many of the arrangements for children’s chorus heard at the Mid-Texas Symphony annual Christmas concert have been composed or arranged by him.

Mairs holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Divinity degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. His wife Beth is a music educator and member of the Mid-Texas Symphony horn section.

Dr. Eliza Thomason

Director of Strings and Assistant Professor, TLU School of Music

Dr. Eliza Thomason is the Director of Strings and Assistant Professor at Texas Lutheran University, holding the Anita Windecker Endowed Chair. A sought after performer, Dr. Thomason is an active recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral violist. She currently plays with the San Antonio, Mid-Texas, and Corpus Christi Symphonies, and has won positions with the Spokane Symphony, New Haven Symphony, and New World Symphony. Her orchestral solos as principle violist with the Aspen Concert Orchestra have been featured on The Classical Station of New York City and NPR's show, Performance Today.

An advocate of new music, Dr. Thomason has premiered several works for solo viola, chamber ensemble, and orchestra, most recently recording new chamber music for the MSR Classics recording label; "Winning Works of the 2010 Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition." She has studied at Vanderbilt and Indiana Universities, and recently earned her Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). At CCM she served as a teaching assistant to Masao Kawasaki and Catharine Carroll, as well as holding several other teaching appointments. Principal mentors and teachers have included Masao Kawasaki, Catharine Carroll, Atar Arad, Mimi Zweig, and Kathryn Plummer.

Marj Peters

Music Teacher, Navarro Elementary School

Marj Peters is a graduate of Texas Lutheran University in music education. She has been a classroom teacher, private piano teacher and is in her 25th year teaching music at Navarro Elementary School in Geranimo, Texas. She is a hosting music teacher for one the TLU/MTS CMA Lindenbaum Suzuki Strings Outreach class.

Marj has served on the Mid-Texas Symphony guild for over thirty years as well as the symphony board for more than twenty years. Marj has also been in charge of the Mid-Texas Symphony Music Memory contest for area school children for the past twenty years.

Rev. Carl McCauley

Pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Seguin

Carl McCauley has been pastor of First Presbyterian Church since 1983. He is a graduate of San Francisco Theological Seminary where he received both a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degree. He is also a graduate of Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, holding a B.A. in secondary education with a teaching minor in instrumental music. While at Westminster he was a trombone player in a variety of ensembles as well as the Westminster Community Orchestra.

Carl has been a member of the Mid-Texas Symphony Board for twenty-three years and chaired its young artist competitions and worked with the children’s concerts held in Seguin and New Braunfels each fall. He holds as one of his favorite activities from the past being a Suzuki piano parent for both of his children.

Music in the Lives of the Elderly

Thursday, September 13, 2012
7 p.m. in Jackson Auditorium

Introducing ALIVE INSIDE documentary

Dan Cohen, Executive Director of Music & Memory

About Music & Memory

Music & Memory is a non-profit organization that brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly or infirm through digital music technology, vastly improving quality of life. For more information, visit

ALIVE INSIDE Pre-Festival Screening


ALIVE INSIDE is the story of Dan Cohen, a small town social worker who discovers the power personalized music has to "awaken" and regenerate deeply locked memories in patients with dementia and Alzheimer's.

In a clip ( from the film, we meet Henry, a 94-year-old dementia patient unable to recognize his daughter or even remember how many daughters he has. However, after listening to music from his past, he “awakens” almost instantly and is seemingly brought back to life.

Alzheimer’s and dementia are a reality for an increasing and often unseen population. Though well intentioned, many nursing homes are not equipped to fully meet the needs of these residents. We are left with several questions without any real or comforting answers: How do I want to age? What can we do for our loved ones? Can we do better?

Alive Inside investigates these questions and the power music has to awaken deeply locked memories. The film follows Dan Cohen, a social worker, who decides on a whim to bring iPods to a nursing home. To his and the staff’s surprise many residents suffering from memory loss seem to “awaken” when they are able to listen to music from their past. With great excitement, Dan turns to renowned neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks, and we follow them both as we investigate the mysterious way music functions inside our brains and our lives.

Alive Inside focuses on one man’s journey, but it raises many deep questions about what it means to still be Alive Inside. It questions when we stop being human, and what it takes to re-start a life that has faded away. It asks questions about how we see our elderly, and how we are going to treat an epidemic of these degenerative diseases.

A film by Michael Rossato-Bennett. An Ximotion Film. (

Panel Discussion

Maxine Perez-Vieyra

Programs Specialist, San Antonio Alzheimer’s Association

Maxine Perez-Vieyra is the Program Specialist for the Alzheimer’s Association, San Antonio & South Texas Service Area. Her department delivers educational programs to the community in an effort to bring awareness of Alzheimer’s disease. Prior to joining the association, she was providing grant management support for a local nonprofit in the Rio Grande Valley, Colonias Unidas. The goal was to secure grants as well as enhance sustainability in an area which is undeserved of basics needs. She has 14 years combined experience working for local governments and nonprofits in community development as well as in social services. She is a prodigy of the LRGVDC-Area Agency on Aging, where she helped with contract management and secured vendor services.

Meredith Patterson


Meredith Patterson, RN, BSN, CRRN, is a rehabilitation-certified registered nurse with over 25 years of experience in neuroscience in a variety of clinical settings. She presently serves as consultant to Alzcare Assisted Living and is a frequent lecturer on the subject of brain health. Her blog and website may be found at

Stephanie Shehan

Music Therapist, Joyful Noise Music Therapy; President, Southwestern Region of the American Music Therapy Association

Stephanie Shehan is the current President for the Southwestern Region of the American Music Therapy Association. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Flute Performance from Texas State University in August 1991 and completed an equivalency in music therapy at Sam Houston State University in August 1999. She did her internship at The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR) in the medical center in Houston, TX. She then created a music therapy position at The School for the Blind in Austin, TX. After moving back to Houston she worked at TIRR as a staff music therapist for about 2 years. While working at TIRR she became a certified Neurologic Music Therapist and has since maintained her Fellowship status for 9 years. Her and her family decided to move back to Austin to be near family, and this is when she started her private practice, Joyful Noise Music Therapy, Inc. Joyful Noise Music Therapy, Inc. has provided music therapy services to several Alzheimer’s groups around Austin, such as Circle of Friends, MPAC, Clare Bridge at The Summit Northwest and at Mike’s Place. Stephanie finds it very rewarding to work with her clients with Alzheimer’s!

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