Wednesday, March 9, 2022

By Amanda A. Taylor-Uchoa

McALLEN, TEXAS – The public is invited to enjoy great music and the great outdoors atMusic in the Park: A Festival of Music and Nature in the Rio Grande Valley,” a free concert series established through a collaboration between the UTRGV School of Music and Quinta Mazatlán in McAllen.

The free concert series was made possible thanks to a recently awarded a grant for $50,000 by the Rea Charitable Trust to create an outdoor music series for the Rio Grande Valley community. The Rea Charitable Trust was created in 2009 with its primary purpose being “promotion of the arts.”

The series kicked off on Feb. 17 with the Valley String Quartet comprised by concert master of the Valley Symphony Orchestra, Geoffrey Wong; Dr. Lindsey Gamble, faculty from South Texas College on violin; Young Sin Choi on viola from the Valley Symphony Orchestra; and Dr. Patrick Hopkins on cello, faculty from South Texas College.

The second concert in the series will be held Thursday, March 10, and showcase the Mariachi Margaritas, an all-female Mariachi ensemble from Brownsville.

Each concert will be hosted from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Quinta Mazatlán, and the public is invited to sit on provided lawn chairs or sprawl out with blankets for a picnic on the lawn while enjoying a variety of music including classical, mariachi, jazz, and country. The performances will be outdoors in a socially distanced, natural setting, unless there is inclement weather where concerts will be moved indoors.

Concert goers are encouraged to bring food and drinks to enjoy a picnic during each performance. Food vendors will also be available during performances.

“We wanted to do this because it has been a difficult time for all of us, and we wanted to give something beautiful to our community in the form of free music concerts in a beautiful outdoor space,” said Dr. Krista Jobson, associate professor of flute within the UTRGV School of Music.

Jobson said the concert series was designed to include the whole family, where participants can enjoy talks with the musical artists as well as an interactive emcee for each concert who speaks in both English and Spanish.

Participants are invited to arrive early to take advantage of the multiple nature trail walks and to enjoy the outdoor scenery.

Upcoming concerts include: 

  • Concert No. 3 – March 31 – A classical/jazz crossover program featuring many UTRGV School of Music faculty including Dr. Krista Jobson (UTRGV Flute Professor), flute; Dr. Héctor Rodríguez (UTRGV Guitar Professor), guitar; Dr. George Amorim (UTRGV Bass Professor), bass; Dr. Juan Pablo Andrade (UTRGV Piano Professor), piano; and Lupe Barrera (faculty at Hidalgo High School), drum set.
  • Concert No. 4 – April 14 – Featuring “Ensemble Radieuse” from South Carolina, a flute and oboe duo, they will perform works with electronics.
  • Concert No. 5 – May 12 – Featuring Tish Hinojosa, aMexican American Singer Songwriter

To learn more about the free concert series, visit


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.