EDINBURG, RGV – The University of Texas-Pan American is planning a spectacular evening of the arts this evening to mark the grand opening of its new $42.7 million Performing Arts Complex.

Dr. Dahlia Guerra
Dr. Dahlia Guerra

The Grand Premier Concert starts at 7:30 p.m. and features performances by faculty and student artists from UTPA and The University of Texas at Brownsville.

From the lilting strains of the string and wind orchestras, to the colorful dances of the UTPA Folklórico and the passionate music of the award-winning Mariachi Aztlán, the evening, sponsored by Plains Capital Bank, will have something for everyone, said Dr. Dahlia Guerra, dean of the UTPA College of Arts and Humanities.

“The new Performing Arts Complex will be a beautiful venue for wonderful events, fabulous performances, guest speakers and presentations. It will be the heart of the performing and fine arts in the Rio Grande Valley,” Guerra said.

On  Wednesday, UTPA held an open day for the media to see the new complex.

The 1,000-seat, state-of-the-art facility, took two years to construct. Funding was approved by the University of Texas System Board of Regents in 2011. It included money for renovations to UTPA’s Fine Arts Buildings B and C, which house practice rooms, classrooms, and music analysis and listening labs. Performing Arts Complex Building A will provide students and faculty support space with four rehearsal halls and dressing rooms.

Guerra said the grand auditorium offers patrons an ultra-modern experience, with the latest in lighting and sound equipment, the best acoustics possible and built-in art galleries. The Performing Arts Complex also provides much-needed academic space, with four large rehearsal halls that will be in constant use by some 400 music majors and future students of The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, set to open in fall 2015, Guerra said.

“The PAC will bring great opportunity to UTRGV, providing the best facilities for the education and training of our students, and a fabulous arts venue to unite our community,” said Guerra, proudly.

UTPA’s press office says the Grand Premiere Concert will feature a variety of musical performances – including “a spirited opening with more than 30 trumpets to commemorate the significance of this important moment for the Valley community. Other featured performances include the UTPA Choir, UTPA/UTB Classical Guitar Ensemble, UTPA Wind Ensemble, and UTPA String Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra. Also, paintings by Kirk Clark, a patron of the UTPA arts, will be showcased in the new PAC art galleries.”

Doors open at 7 p.m. for the Grand Premiere Concert, and the public is invited to be part of the free festivities. For more information or if special accommodations are needed to attend the concert, call (956) 665-5301.

Editor’s Note: The main picture accompanying this story was taken by RGG/RGV Public Radio’s Mario Muñoz.