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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

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