Rowlett High School teacher named winner of statewide music competition

ROWLETT, TX (March 6, 2015) Rowlett High School Assistant Choir Director Evan Ramos recently won the first-ever Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Composition Contest. He received the title for his original work “O Magnum Mysterium,” a piece written for middle school boys’ choirs.

“I was speechless when I found out I won, it is such an honor,” Ramos said. “So much time had passed between me submitting and the email telling me I won that I had pretty much written it off.”

Ramos entered the inaugural contest in the fall, thanks to a helpful and thorough counselor.

“My college adviser sent me an email listing the contests and scholarships TMEA was offering, and this competition caught my eye,” he explained. “I have been writing music for my school choral groups for years and thought it would be fun to enter.”

TMEA asked for compositions fashioned for beginning and developing choirs. Ramos decided to focus on a much-forgotten group—middle school boys—to help fill a significant void.

“Much of the choral music written for middle school boys is quite trivial,” Ramos stated. “I believe they are capable of experiencing music in a more meaningful way when they are allowed to perform good music that has a significant text. Due to the voice change that occurs during this time, a boy’s vocal range is very limited. I found the challenge of writing for middle school men very creatively stimulating.”

Ramos’ enthusiasm for the challenge helped him secure the win and a public acknowledgment. The RHS faculty member was recognized during the 2015 TMEA Convention Feb. 12 in San Antonio.

“It was such an honor,” he said. “My former and current professors came up and congratulated me. I was the only one of the finalists who was also a full-time teacher. Many people were surprised that I was even able to find the time to compose. This has boosted my confidence in my compositional skills. I truly appreciate TMEA and the multifaceted ways they support Texas music classrooms.”

Photo by Evan Ramos.

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