Mark Francis’ musical career has varied from teaching, composing, performing and writing to orchestral administration. He has studied composition with Walter Hartley and James Eversole, and guitar with Joanne Castellani, Clare Callahan and Joseph Fratianni. He holds a D.M.A. in composition from the University of Kentucky and has taught at Mississippi State University, Centenary College, Northwestern State University, Emory University, Midwestern State University and Power Academic and Performing Arts Complex.
He has received 10 ASCAP Standard Awards and 8 ASCAP Plus Awards for his compositions. His works has been performed internationally and have been part of the Corcoran Gallery Contemporary Music Series in Washington, D.C. The Jackson State University Orchestra premiered his composition on the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., The Trumpet of Conscience, at the Library of Congress in 2007. Conners Publications and Imagine Music publish his compositions.
Edna Alejandra Longoria is a Mexican-American composer born in McAllen, Texas and raised in Reynosa, Tam. México. Longoria obtained a MM in Music Composition at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSULB, and a BM in Music Composition from UTSA. Edna’s music has been premiered by various ensembles and musicians such as Verdant Vibes ensemble, North/ South Consonance ensemble, Chatter ensemble, Sonic Apricity, Elixir Piano Trio, Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, pianist Clare Longendyke, flutist Iwona Glinka, soprano Noel Archambeault among others.
Ms. Longoria’s music has been performed at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, SCI National Conference, Music by Women Festival, SCI Region VI Conference, LunArt Festival and the Alba Composition Festival. Edna’s piece “Danzas cautivas” won the 2019 call for scores at the LunArt Festival. In addition, Miss. Longoria won the 2019 San Antonio Performing Arts Grant Award. Edna’s music has been premiered in the US, Mexico, and Europe. Bio
Barry Brake became a professional musician at age 14. He played piano at the Gunter Hotel as a high-school student, before earning a degree in composition from Baylor University where he studied under composer Richard Willis.
He is now a free-lance composer, arranger, performer, and producer of music, with numerous film soundtracks, stage shows, commercials, and CDs to his name. The San Antonio Current has described Barry Brake as a “respected pianist – composer” whose music “captivates us all.” He has collaborated with the San Antonio Symphony, lead singer Jon Anderson of Yes, lead singer Paul Rogers of Bad Company, and numerous local performers. He’s a founder and the pianist of the Jazz Protagonists, for whom he’s the main composer. Last fall he wrote a series of string quartet arrangements for the Avanti String Quartet and jazz-rock singer-songwriter Kara Stevens, who performed them in October at the Empire Theater. He lives in Mahncke Park with his wife and two young daughters.
“Lux (Light) is movement three from my first string quartet. As a whole, the string quartet depicts a transformation from dark to light. The final movement (Lux) is intended to be a celebration of light.”
Joel was commissioned to compose a new work, Lightscape, for
the opening of light artist James Turrell’s The Color Inside in 2013. The Houston Chronicle commented that Lightscape “evocatively captures the emotion of The Color Inside.” Joel is the only two-time winner of the PARMA Recordings Composition Competition, which selected
Lux and Synchronicity in Purple Minor for publication. His first work for wind ensemble, Aurora Borealis, was selected as finalist in the 3rd International Franck Ticheli Composition Contest.Joel recently completed a D.M.A. in Composition from the University of Texas at Austin and holds degrees from The University of Houston’s Moores School of Music (M.Music) and Lamar University’s Mary Morgan Department of Music (B.Music).