Soprano singer Nereida Garcia, accompanied by collaborative pianist Keith Critcher, performed a guest recital at Nicholas Martin Hall on Thursday night.

The recital included a blend of works that have Hispano-American roots. The pieces encompassed the countries of Argentina, Brazil, Spain, and Mexico, according to a pamphlet given out at the recital.

Garcia has performed for former President George H. W. Bush and sung in Houston’s Opera in the Heights, according to txwes.edu. She is a lecturer in voice at the University of Texas Rio Grande’s College of Fine Arts, according to the pamphlet.

The audience was excited to see her perform.

“I learned about this event through the school’s website,” said English major Rebecca Huang, explaining her excitement after learning the recital would be taking place.

Huang said she really enjoys listening to soprano music and singing. She was looking forward to seeing the recital and was already planning on going to see more throughout the semester.

Garcia ended the performance by infusing a pop song into the performance. Singing “Bésame Mucho,” she stood next to Critcher as he passionately played.

Music major Luis Calderón liked how the performance focused on one specific culture.

“She could have included cultures from other countries but since she focused on the Hispanic-American race, she did a good job getting the message across,” Calderón said.

He also paid close attention to the composition of each song during the recital.

“My favorite piece was ‘Solamente sola’ by Samuel Zyman,” he said. “I like how it kept the same idea and consistent theme [throughout it].”

Before singing “Solamente sola,” Garcia explained the connection she has with the piece.

She got in touch with the composer from the Juilliard School after discovering her liking for his work and not being able to find a copy of his music anywhere.

“I found him on Facebook of all places,” she said humorously.

After getting into contact with him, he sent her a copy of “Solamente sola”.

Audience member Jennifer Carr, an adjunct professor of opera, enjoyed every moment of the show.

“I really liked the piece ‘Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5,’ but ‘Júrame’ is a classic,” Carr said. “’Júrame’ makes me realize how much culture Mexico gives.”

Carr said she really appreciates just how much of an influence Mexico has on American culture.

“[People] sort of go, ‘Oh, it’s Hispanic music’ but the music is really juicy,” she said. “You don’t take that into consideration until you hear it in a venue like this.”

Nereida Garcia leaves audience members in awe with a performance of the song “Triste.”
Photo by Elena Maldonado

Keith Critcher and Nereida Garcia bow to the audience after their performance. Photo by Elena Maldonado

Nereida Garcia takes in the applause from the audience. Photo by Elena Maldonado

Nereida Garcia sings while Keith Critcher plays the piano.
Photo by Elena Maldonado

Students and staff watch Nereida Garcia perform at Martin Hall.
Photo by Elena Maldonado

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