The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Feature: Sound of Music


NE orchestra steps into spotlight

Jose Romero

Photos by Logan Evans/The Collegian
NE orchestra has returned to the NFAB building for practice after a year of doing it virtually. Its first concert is Oct. 25.

Instruments roared through the NE orchestra room as the ensemble practiced “Pictures at an Exhibition,” preparing for their concert Oct. 25.

The orchestra was created in spring 2020 and performed its first concert March 2. One week later, the school shut down.

“We did not get together in-person during the pandemic, but we did meet regularly via Zoom and Blackboard,” NE orchestra director Bryan English said. “We would play music and then talk about it. Then, I would tell them about the origins of the piece or what’s cool about it.”

English’s history with music goes back to childhood. His father has been Willie Nelson’s drummer since English was six years old. His first instrument was the drums, but he said it became cyclical for him to pick up new instruments.

“My dad taught me,” he said. “It was drums, and then he put me in guitar lessons a couple years later in the third grade. Then, I started on trombone in band.”

English said he stuck with Trombone until he got to college but then eventually picked up the bass.

He laughed, then said, “Every band has a bass player, but not every band has a trombone player.”

His favorite type of people to teach is beginners because they have a passion for it, and they’re a blank slate, he said.

NE student and orchestra member Erica Holguin played the bass clarinet in band during middle school and high school. Initially, her major was nursing, but as she continued doing music at TCC, she changed her major to music.

“Changing my major, none of the credits I had when I was a nursing major transferred over to a music major,” she said. “They’re completely different.”

She said she was disappointed but she doesn’t regret switching.

“The way I thought about it was I don’t want to just do something just to do it,” Holguin said. “I want to do it because it’s what I like to do and it’s going to make me happy, so I kind of just buckled down and was like ‘I gotta do it.’”

She said she can’t put her passion for music into words. While playing, she sometimes begins to cry because it’s beautiful to her.

NE student and cello player James Delk said what draws him to music is how it can enhance and bring out emotions in people.

“The way it can make you feel somber, or excited just by a collection of audible tones is
amazing,” he said.

Like Holguin, Delk is pursuing a music major because of his experience in the orchestra.
Both had only praise to share about English’s teaching.

“Professor English is an amazing conductor. He is very uplifting, but he will still push you,” Delk said. “He makes you strive to play faster and really feel the music.”

Once Holguin receives her degree, she plans on becoming a music teacher. She said English’s style of teaching has rubbed off on her, giving her a model of what she aspires to be.

“He’s very easy to get along with,” she said. “I’ve had directors in the past who aren’t. He’s really cool and he’s very flexible with everyone’s schedule. He is always willing to help you understand the music.”

The ensemble is open to everybody — even those outside the TCC community.

“It’s open to current students, it’s open to former students and it’s open to the community,” English said. “I’ve got as many non-TCC individuals that are playing in the orchestra as I do current students playing in the orchestra.”

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