Two diverse passions fulfill Adams State student

(03-23-2009)

It takes discipline to compete at the college level in sports and music. Even one can be a full-time commitment and to participate successfully in both is admirable. Antonio Lopez, senior music performance and composition major, said it is a definite challenge but to choose between his love of running and playing the guitar would be like choosing between "eating and drinking." He said "I need to do both."

He performs in the jazz band, concert choir, and the guitar ensemble and competes in cross country and indoor and outdoor track. "The accessible, supportive environment of the music department helps me achieve both goals. My music professors are very understanding when I need to miss a concert for a meet."

His composition classes come naturally, he said since he was a young child he wrote songs before he could 'play or sing." Since the 9th grade Lopez has participated, first as a student and then as an employee, in the National Guitar Workshop on the East Coast. He now teaches music to the students there during his summers.

Dr. Matt Schildt, assistant professor of music, teaches the composition courses. "Antonio has been in many classes with me, has studied private composition, and has been a music lab work-study under my supervision for three years. He has done a remarkable job balancing being a student athlete and a musician. Though ASC track and cross country keep him very busy, he is dedicated to improving as a musician. As a composer, his music is individual and unique, and he has written some great music in a variety of styles."

Although Lopez first took piano lessons, he taught himself the guitar. "As a guitarist, Antonio can play in just about any style; he plays classical, jazz, and is also a great singer-songwriter," Schildt said.

"There are many different approaches to music, I know some outstanding musicians who can't read music, and those who can read music, but can't improvise," said Lopez. "I want to be well-versed in both the technical and emotion aspects of playing."

Besides music and track practice, Lopez tutors seven private students on guitar and piano, has a work-study job in the music lab; and helps out an elderly person in Monte Vista.

To continue to attract quality students, such as Lopez, the Adams State College Music Department is hosting "A Noteworthy Evening" at April 5 in the Luther Bean Museum to raise money for Music Endowment Scholarships. For information call 719-587-7621.

On the Web...

By Linda Relyea