Four New Mexico Highlands music students will perform in the Thomas Mishler Scholarship Recital at 3 p.m. March 9 in Kennedy Lounge.
Each year, music students compete for this esteemed scholarship by submitting a resume of their musical experience and an essay describing what music means to them. References from professors and other community members are included in the application. Members of the music department, along with Professor Robert Mishler and his wife Ann, review the candidates and make their selections.
The Thomas Mishler Scholarship is to encourage and reward New Mexico Highlands University students in their pursuit of music. The scholarship was started in honor of the Mishlers’ late son, Thomas. Thomas played both the guitar and the trumpet and was a gifted musician. This year’s winners include Nita Lujan, Devin Barad, Joseph Chavez and Karliz de Marco. The students will perform both classical pieces by such composers as Mozart, Copland, Handel and Massenet and contemporary songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Gershwin. Duets involving Karliz de Marco and Devin Barad, and Karliz de Marco and Joseph Chavez will also be presented. Nita Lujan will perform selections from Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.” Piano accompaniment will be by Deborah Wagner and Andre Garcia-Nuthmann.
Nita Lujan has been a part of the Highlands University Music department for more than six years. She earned her BA in music performance and is completing her master’s degree in school and guidance counseling and licensed professional counseling. Lujan has performed as a soloist on many occasions both for Highlands events and for jazz choir.
After seven years at Highlands studying music and theater, Devin Barad will receive his bachelor’s degree in music this spring. During his time at Highlands, he played roles in several plays, soloed in various choir productions and will present his senior recital in May. Barad traveled with the NMHU Chamber Choir to Eisenstadt, Austria for the Classical Music Festival. He studies voice with Regina Safarty Rickles in Santa Fe. Devin is a member and cofounder of the NMHU Performing Arts Club.
Joseph Chavez plans to graduate in two years with a degree in music performance. Since returning to Highlands University, Chavez has formed the Performing Arts Club as a way to get students involved in extracurricular musical and theatrical venues. His first production was “An Enchanted Disney Journey,” which he designed and choreographed. He has also performed solos in several choir concerts. Chavez is pursuing a career in musical theatre.
Las Vegas native Karliz de Marco, second soprano, has been well known as a singer with mariachis for almost 10 years. Now a student in the music department at Highlands, she specializes in classical, opera and choral music. She performed solos in the chamber choir’s Vivaldi concert in the spring of 2007, traveled with the choir to Eisenstadt, Austria for the Classical Music Festival and has auditioned for the Santa Fe Opera summer program. Karliz is studying with Regina Safarty Rickles in Santa Fe. She is a member of the Highlands Performing Arts Club. The recital is free; however, donations are welcome.