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Music alumna will use original compositions for cultural history, education | UTSA Today | UTSA



Music alumna will use original compositions for cultural history, education


JUNE 29, 2020 — When Edna Longoria ’12 decided to attend UTSA, she desired to study architecture. However, her true happiness was at a piano keyboard, so during her freshman year she changed majors and followed her heart.

Since receiving her bachelor’s degree in music composition, Longoria has attended the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University for her master’s in music composition. She is the recipient of several awards and recently was awarded a grant from the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture.

We spoke with Longoria to discuss her plans as a Mexican American music composer.

Where did you spend your childhood?

I was born in McAllen but was raised in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

“Music is a great outlet for youth to express themselves in a safe and artistic way.”

How do you plan to make a difference as a Mexican American composer?

I hope to inspire other Mexican American musicians to follow their dreams and to never give up, especially women composers, since there aren’t many of us. I hope that can change soon. I also like working with organizations that help Hispanic children get music opportunities, such as the Classical Music Institute of San Antonio.

What do you plan to do with the NALAC grant?

The NALAC grant will support two new music compositions that I will be writing for CMI, which provides classical music education to Bexar County youth during outreach programs. One of my pieces will be written for the CMI faculty and the second one will be written for the CMI students. The latter will allow for me to collaborate with the underserved young musicians of Bexar County during the two-week program.

One of my goals as a composer is to give back to my community and to increase awareness as well as an appreciation of the benefits of music education. CMI performs outreach concerts throughout the year, and my piece will be showcased in one of these concerts.

How does your work benefit youth on San Antonio’s West Side?

I believe music is a great outlet for youth to express themselves in a safe and artistic way. A lot of parents have two jobs or even three jobs and aren’t really able to spend much time with their kids because they are trying to provide them with a better life. After-school music classes are a great way to bring the community together as well as foster a safe environment for kids to express themselves emotionally, artistically and mentally.

This is one of the reasons why I like collaborating with organizations such as CMI. They have an amazing goal, which is to provide free music classes to underserved communities here in San Antonio. They just need more financial support to make this an all-year program.

Tell us about your participation in the Chicana Art Song Project.

The project is a multidisciplinary endeavor aimed at giving voice to Chicana artists in literature, music and the visual arts. The Chicano movement gained momentum in the 1960s and has yet to achieve its goals in most art forms. The movement supported advancement of civil rights and education reform among Mexican American citizens in the United States.

The creator of the project is Dr. Noel Archambeault. She asked if I wanted to be the composer for this project. I quickly said yes when she described it to me. We recently were awarded two grants that have helped with partial funding. The project has 27 poems written by Chicana poets, and so far I have set 13 poems to music. These 13 songs were presented in a concert at UTSA at the Festival of New Music featuring poet Carmen Tafolla as our special guest.

Noel and I are planning to premier all 27 songs at a concert in spring 2021 at Delaware University. We also have plans to perform several songs at Incarnate Word in the future and if we have the funds, Noel would like to tour this recital around South Texas.

Finally, what is the biggest lesson you learned during your time at UTSA?

I think one of the best lessons for me was to never give up. I actually didn’t get accepted after my first audition as a music major because I hadn’t had piano lessons for several years. I decided to not give up, so I took piano lessons and I prepared better for the audition, and I got in the second time.

I think this lesson has stuck with me throughout my career every time I feel like giving up, I come back to it and remind myself that everything is possible if you work hard for it.

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Is Music Streaming Bad For The Environment?




The global music landscape has enabled consumers to discover a wide range of genres, sound and artists via music streaming apps such as Spotify, Apple Music and SoundCloud – thanks to digital technology. Spotify is now the global leader in music streaming with a worldwide community of over 200 million active users and an estimated 130 million paying subscribers.

Based on data from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the global revenue from music streaming in 2017 grew to 41.1 percent of the music industry’s total income of US$17.3 billion.

A 2019 Statista report revealed that music streaming revenue in Southeast Asia amounted to US$254 million last year and is projected to grow to US$293 million by 2023. 

Streaming music appeals to users as it allows them to store thousands of songs offline on multiple devices, making purchasing music downloads unnecessary. 

Numbers of music streaming users
Source: Statista 


Despite the allure of digital media, vinyl records stand to be one of the fastest-selling and growing mediums for music. And surprisingly, the re-emergence of analogue formats such as cassettes and vinyl are happening in parallel to digital streaming. According to media reports, global vinyl record sales in 2015 was valued at US$416 million and is expected to reach US$800 million to US$900 million in sales this year. Nevertheless, with the current coronavirus crisis, the projection of sales for 2020 reported last January might be affected.  

In Southeast Asia, the cassette revival is an underground fixture. There are no vinyl-pressing plants here, but cassette plants still dot the region. In Malaysia, the cassette has become an inexpensive format for fledgling artists to get their music heard. The manufacturing cost for cassettes can be as low as RM4 (US$1) per tape, compared to RM60-80 (US$14-19) for a single vinyl record. The high cost of vinyl is also a barrier for many young bands and DIY labels in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.  

“Cassette culture isn’t going away anytime soon. The tape revival, which started kicking-in in Malaysia two years ago, has been a good thing. New bands have something to put out. Tapes are also not as expensive as records. You can now release something that is affordable and also very artsy,” Radzi, owner of Teenage Head Records – a Malaysia-based indie record store told local media. 

Harmful To The Environment

Vinyl is short for polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and its production process is not particularly eco-friendly as it involves toxic acids and consumes a lot of energy. Andie Stephens, associate director of Carbon Trust, a corporate carbon footprint measuring company, said that the environmental impact of vinyl include energy used in the extraction of crude oil from the ground and the subsequent processing and manufacturing. 

Recycling of PVC is also an issue, as it takes at least 100 years for it to decompose. A 2019 article, ‘The environmental impact of music’, by Sharon George and Dierdre McKay from Keele University, revealed that the sales of 4.1 million records would produce 1.9 thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2). 

The idea that streaming is a zero-carbon medium for listening to music is a misconception. All streaming services depend on a network of energy-intensive server farms consisting of computers. Music is not stored on personal computers or smartphones and is instead, stored on servers within huge data centres. 

“An expected by-product of digital growth has always been a decrease in the perceived heavy environmental cost associated with physical products,” wrote Dagfinn Bach, author of ‘The dark side of the tune: the hidden energy cost of digital music consumption,’ which was published in 2012.

Data centres generate an immense carbon footprint. These warehouses run 24 hours a day every day, producing heat that needs to be continuously cooled. This entails a massive amount of electricity, which in most cases relies on fossil fuels for its generation. 

Even though vinyl has a higher upfront cost of production, it may have a lower footprint over time. According to Sean Fleming’s article, ‘Streaming music isn’t as green as you might think,’ featured by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the carbon footprint of a vinyl record remains the same no matter how many times it is played, requiring only enough electrical energy to spin the record and provide its amplification.

“A very different picture emerges when we think about the energy used to power online music listening. Storing and processing music online uses a tremendous amount of resources and energy – with a high impact on the environment,” said Kyle Devine from the University of Oslo, who led a research on the environmental cost of recording formats. 

Streaming may reduce the upfront production of carbon but it makes increased energy demands and emissions every time a song is played. Bach wrote that streaming an album over the internet 27 times can use more energy than the manufacturing and production of its vinyl equivalent. This is something to think about the next time you stream your favourite song. 

Related Articles:

Music’s Future Is Streaming

Will Malaysians Stick To Netflix And Spotify?

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Illinois State Program Plans Virtual Camp for Music Students – NBC Chicago




Aspiring string musicians in Illinois can sign up for a virtual camp offered by the Illinois State University String Project this month.

The virtual camp is open to students of the violin, viola, cello and bass who are entering grades four through eight. Students must have at least one year of experience.

The String Project typically holds weekly group classes for children, supervised by Illinois State University faculty and students majoring in music. Leaders have turned to virtual options during the coronavirus pandemic.

Camp classes will be held using the video call service Zoom. Students also can upload assignments for one-on-one feedback.

The five-day camp runs July 27 through July 31 and costs $50. Students need their own instrument, a music stand, a reliable internet connection and a computer or tablet.

Students should register by Wednesday.

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Coronavirus: London Ont., Home County music festival going virtual – London




The Home County Music and Art Festival is going virtual this summer due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

What would’ve been its 47th year has now been changed to “Stay Home County 46.5 Festival” with two days of music to be streamed online.

Tim Fraser, the artistic director of the festival, spoke with Jess Brady on 980 CFPL’s Afternoon Show on Friday.

“We’ve got 12 artists — some local, regional and some are international.”

Read more:
3 major London summer festivals postponed until July 2021 due to coronavirus pandemic

“This was supposed to be the 47th version of the festival, but we’re going with 46 and a half,” Fraser chuckled.

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In previous years, the festival has taken place at Victoria Park with music as well as vendors.

“A lot of people actually start their holiday shopping at the festival and they’ll buy stuff from the local crafters and artists, so we’re going to be working on some stuff throughout the rest of the summer to make sure people still have the opportunity to shop from local people.”

Canadian music legends take to social media amid coronavirus outbreak

Canadian music legends take to social media amid coronavirus outbreak

Fraser says he hopes the festival can return to Victoria Park in 2021 for its official 47th year.

The 2020 festival is running Thursday, July 16 and Friday, July 17.

Line-up for July 16:

  • Saidat
  • Julian Taylor
  • Megan Bonnell
  • Alash Ensemble
  • AHI
  • The Small Glories

Line-up for July 17:

  • The Marrieds
  • Ken Yates
  • Leela Gilday
  • Wolf Saga
  • Terra Lightfoot
  • DJ NDN

Read more:
Summer festivals for 2020 in London, Ont., in limbo due to coronavirus pandemic

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Meanwhile, TD Sunfest 2020 will be held online Friday, July 10 and Saturday, July 11 from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. both days.

Sunfest ’20 Connected will involve 15 international and national music ensembles representing countries like Brazil, Colombia, South Korea, Sweden, Mozambique and Ukraine.

-With files from 980 CFPL’s Jacquelyn Lebel

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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