The Tex-Mex Conjunto (ensemble) was established at UT Austin Fall 2006. Students have the opportunity to learn a repertoire of Texas music by learning to play the 3-row button accordion and bajo sexto (twelve stringed bass guitar made to accompany the accordion). There are no auditions, and the ensemble welcomes all levels from beginner to advanced. Reading notation is not required. However, sheet music transcriptions and recordings of the semester's repertoire are provided in the course packet of materials. Students learn how to play melodies, rhythms, and instrumentals from a variety of Tex-Mex traditions. The ensemble meets Tuesday and Thursday evenings 5-6:30 in MRH 6.252 and sectional instruction and rehearsals are held as needed. Instruments are provided and students may bring their own. Singing in Spanish (and English) is encouraged.
Works to be studied and/or performed include the following Tejano (Texan) conjunto dance rhythms: polkas, waltzes, redovas, mazurkas, schottizes, danzones, paso dobles, boleros, cumbias and huapangos. It is possible, based upon student interest, that other traditional working class music such as zydeco, cajun, country western, blues, rock n' roll, and swamp pop may also be explored.
Rehearsals and Performances
One concert performance is required, usually scheduled for Thursday evening on the 13th week of the semester. One extra dress rehearsal is required in preparation. The dates of these events are listed on the syllabus handed out during the first class meeting. In addition, ensemble members can volunteer for performance opportunities during the semester. The instructor on a strictly volunteer basis in which a small version of the ensemble is recruited for a particular event solicits performances for these events. These possibilities can and have included: outreach to public schools; festival performances; in-community events; exhibitions.
The University of Texas College of Fine Arts / Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music as well as the Center for Mexican-American Studies support this ensemble. Those who share an interest in the music and cultural practices of the Tejano/Texan world considerably enrich our activities.
For more information, please contact
Dr. Robin Moore
Praise for Conjunto Ensemble