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PAC student makes All-State Jazz Ensemble

By Stephanie Alonso | Pulse staff reporter

Adam GarciaOne of Palo Alto’s very own students, Adam Garcia, has been chosen two years in a row for the Texas Community College All-State Jazz Ensemble.

Garcia won lead chair for Alto Saxophone at the annual competition held at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center.

“I’ve played for a lot of people, just random stuff,” Garcia said.

He heard the eighth grade band play when he was a fifth grader and that is what sparked his interest in playing some type of instrument. He also gave credit to the awesome band teachers who taught at his middle school. He keeps in touch with them to this day. Garcia started with the French horn then moved to the euphonium and mastered the saxophone.

Garcia practices at least three times a week for three and a half hours, and he frequently listens to other artists.

“I also like to play Classical music,” Garcia said.

Garcia currently plays with the Symphonic Band San Antonio’s Youth Wind Ensemble. He has also played with local musicians at Blue Star and The Cove.

“I get advice from some of the artists I have performed with,” Garcia said. “Practice and listen to other musicians play,” was his advice for all aspiring musicians.

Garcia also worked a seasonal position at Sea World in San Antonio on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. to midnight. A new maze ride was introduced in October 2012 and to alleviate the anxious customers wait, he walked up and down the line serenading the crowd with his saxophone.

“They just wanted to hear 'Careless Whispers,'” said Garcia with a big smile.

Garcia also writes his own patterns for theory class, heading into the analysis direction. In his free time, he likes to listen to saxophonists Bill Evans, Dexter Gordon and Cannonball Adderley.

Garcia plans to continue pursuing a degree in Music Education and Jazz Studies. Palo Alto College offers first and second year classes to earn a associate’s degree in Music.

Garcia is currently the only Jazz saxophonists attending Palo Alto College. This is his second year at Palo Alto under the direction of Dr. Armin Marmolejo, lead instructor of Music.

Marmolejo, his mentor, has performed in every state in the U.S (except for) Alaska. As a professional, he performed with artists such as Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles.

The organizer of The Access Music Film Festival, Mike Beck, heard Marmolejo’s original material and knew there was a leader in him, so he invited him to perform at the music/film festival held in Salt Lake City, Utah, in January 2013. Marmolejo secured a rhythm section and tenor saxophonist. He rehearsed with the University of Utah Music Department in preparation for the performance.

The showcase details, including schedule and artists, can be seen at http://accessfilmmusic.net/. Marmolejo also attended the Composer/Director Roundtable titled “Music and Film: The Creative Process” at the Sundance Festival. Topics discussed included formulas for creating a successful film score and the ingredients of an effective composer/director relationship.

“Palo Alto has one of the best music facilities in town,” said Marmolejo, detailing its state-of-the-art practice rooms, piano lab, 400-seat theater, recital hall and computer lab.

“You do not have to major in Music to sign up for courses,” he added.

For more information, call 210-486-3205 or visit alamo.edu/pac.