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Events | Arts and Sciences | AlumniJuly 12, 2022

UAFS Bordertown Bones to Perform at Trombone Festival

The Bordertown Bones will perform Friday at the International Trombone Festival in Conway.

The group comprises UAFS students and alumni, high school students, and music educators from the Arkansas River Valley and eastern Oklahoma. It was selected in a blind, peer-reviewed process to present a recital at 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 15, at the University of Central Arkansas. The festival will be Wednesday through Saturday, July 13-16.

“It is truly an honor for the Bordertown Bones to be chosen to perform a recital at the International Trombone Festival,” said Dr. Alex Zacharella, Associate Professor of Music and Theatre. “I am privileged to be their director and conductor.”

The band, which traces its origins to the fall 2012 Tuesday Low Brass Studio class, first performed at UAFS Octubafest and during Hispanic Heritage Month.

The musicians perform Renaissance, classical, modern, Latin, and jazz works.

“The compositions we chose reflect the group’s commitment to performing in a variety of styles of music. We try to add new repertoire for the trombone choir canon, including several new works commissioned by the UAFS Low Brass Society,” Zacharella said.

“The three world premieres for this recital are exciting, and the group members are thrilled to be included alongside the top university trombone choirs in the country.”

Dr. Don Bowyer, former dean of the School of Arts at Sunway University in Malaysia, composed “Ellos Huesos” (Them Bones), and Dr. Valentin Bogdan, professor of Music at Mississippi University for Women, composed “From Beyond.” Elizabeth Momand, UAFS Voice faculty and director of the Opera Musical Theatre Workshop, has composed “Fanfare for New Beginnings.” The group will also perform works by Piazzolla, Gagliardi, and more.

In addition, Zacharella and Momand will present a lecture recital on the songs of women composers on Saturday, July 16, at the festival.


Bordertown Bones Current Members

UAFS Students
Raul Ortiz, Northside High School, Fort Smith.
Tommy Thavonekham, Northside High School, Fort Smith.
Ashton Nichols, Muldrow High School, Muldrow.
Kyler Mendiola, Sallisaw High School, Sallisaw.
Jesus Sanchez, Northside High School, Fort Smith.

UAFS Alumni
Christopher Jones, Northridge Middle School Choir Director, Van Buren. Northside High School graduate.


Community Members
Jesus Barroso, Northside High School graduate, Fort Smith.
Pablo Cortes, Northside High School graduate, Fort Smith.

High School Students
Jesus Ortiz, Northside High School, Fort Smith.
Evan Law, Northside High School, Fort Smith.
Rylan Ward, Greenwood High School, Greenwood.