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Alejandro Vela's Residency at MECA Nearing Its End.

HOUSTON -- Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts (MECA) and MECA's Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts Concert Series presents Dances and Fantasies. This will be the penultimate concert of MECA Artist-in-Residence Alejandro Vela's three-year residency.

Dances and Fantasies will also feature Vela's Juilliard classmate Terrence Wilson and special guests from the Shepherd School of Music.

Vela, a former MECA student, has been collaborating with MECA on a three-year residency that began in the fall of 2005.

Alejandro Vela was born in Piedras Negras, Mexico, in 1976, and began his piano studies at the age of seven with his mother. After relocating to Houston to attend the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, his principal teachers included Robert Avalon, former MECA Artist-in-Residence and Artistic Director of the Foundation for Modern Music.

Vela is one of MECA's greatest success stories. His residency has featured performances, workshops, master classes and lessons with MECA students.

Terrence Wilson, a native of the Bronx, has appeared with many prestigious ensembles, including the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Washington, DC (National Symphony), San Francisco and St. Louis, as well as with the orchestras of Cleveland, Minnesota and Philadelphia.

Having won numerous awards and prizes including the SONY ES Award for Musical Excellence, an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Juilliard Petschek Award, and musical collaborations around the world, Wilson has established a reputation as one of today's most gifted instrumentalists.

Vela and Wilson are both graduates of the Juilliard School and have studied under Yoheved Kaplinsky.

Dances and Fantasies will feature music of Antonin Dvorak, Felix Mendelssohn, Franz Liszt and Franz Schubert.

Special guests (Sonja Harasim, Lauren Magnus, Marie-Michel Beauparlant, Stanley Chyi and Tracy Jacobson) from the Rice University Shepherd School of Music will accompany Vela and Wilson in paying homage to Vela's mentor Robert Avalon by performing his work Ballet Cinco de Mayo.

The event will be held at MECA's Dow School Campus (1900 Kane St. Houston, TX 77007) on Friday, May 2, 2008 at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance via www.ticketweb.com.

For additional information on this and other 2008 performances contact Armando Silva or visit www.meca-houston.org.
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Date:Apr 22, 2008
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