Wednesday, June 29, 2022
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Texas Master Naturalist meeting focuses on South Texas archeology

South Texas archaeology is the presentation topic at the October 28 meeting of the South Texas Border Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists.

Guest speaker is Donna Otto, a 25-year member of the Texas Archeology Society, a member of the South Texas Archeological Society and a Texas Historical Commission Archeological Steward. She is a South Texas Border Chapter Texas Master Naturalist.

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Happy 50ish: The Musical offers Music and laughs

It’s a surprise party and you’re invited to Happy 50ish, the musical that proves you haven’t lived until you’ve hit middle-age. The musical will be held on October 21 and 22. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with curtain at 7:30 p.m.

Although there are several milestone birthdays most of us anticipate such as 16, 18, 21, and 30, the one that, traditionally, causes the most anxiety is the big 5-0. Mired in stigma and fear, turning 50 really isn’t what it used to be with many people actually calling it “the new 40” and a birthday that can actually be a great time to start new careers, relationships, or other adventures.

But meet baby boomer Bob. He’s facing the big five-oh with fear, beer, and a letter from AARP. His mid-life crisis is killing him, but he’s finding laughter is the best medicine.

Bob has arrived early for his surprise party; his wife is late; and the guests are waiting outside. He reads his birthday cards aloud while realizing what’s in store for him in this new era.

Much of the music has an appealing pop style and a golden oldies vibe that nicely captures the feeling of a sentimentalized past.

The musical will be held at South Padre Island Convention Centre, 7355 Padre Blvd. Call 956-943-4700 for more information.

Archeology in action at Palo Alto Battlefield

20191016 Archeology in action at Pal Alto 450x500Put on your Indiana Jones hat and get ready for adventures in archeology at Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Park on October 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

At the 13th Annual Rio Grande Delta Archeology Fair, visitors can take part in activities, demonstrations and displays that show the Rio Grande’s connections to prehistory (the native peoples who lived here) as well as battlefield archeology and historic archeology.

The free event invites visitors to dig for buried treasure and figure out what it is and who left it behind. Living historians or reenactors, people who have studied the soldiers of the Mexican-American war and will be on hand to tell about their “life” in the Army. Members of indigenous tribes will teach how to throw a spear using an atlatl. Visitors can also try their hand with a metal detector. Numerous other demonstrations and activities are designed to keep visitors entertained.

The event is designed to introduce people to archeology, local archeological resources, and the value of resource preservation. Visitors can learn about the methods and tools archeologists use and find out about current research. The goal of the fair is to create a feeling of shared stewardship of archeological resources.

The event is cosponsored by are the Community Historical Archaeology Project with Schools program (CHAPS) from UTRGV, Southern Archeological Consultants, and the Brownsville Historical Association.

Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Park is located 600 feet north of the intersection of FM 1847 (Paredes Line Road) and FM 511, between Brownsville and Los Fresnos. For more information, call (956) 541-2785.

Broadway in McAllen opens this weekend with Cats

20191016 Jersey Boys 500McAllen Convention Center will host a stellar line up of entertainment in the Broadway in McAllen and McAllen Live! Series this season. Broadway in McAllen opens this weekend with Cats. Performances will be held at 8 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Saturday.

The Broadway in McAllen Season includes four other spectacular titles including the wonderfully funny Blue Man Group on December 2 and 3, the spirited, nimbly staged delight Finding Neverland on January 28, the Tony & Grammy Award – Winning Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on March 15, and the original rock musical Rent on April 28.

McAllen Live! is back with its all-new series including the Queen – inspired rock musical We Will Rock You on October 26, the heartwarming classic A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage on December 10, the Tony Award Winning Musical Jersey Boys on March 3, the mind-blowing spectacular The Illusionists – Live From BroadwayTM on March 6, and the timeless hits of Rain – A Tribute to the Beatles on May 1.

As always, season tickets are available. Full season packages are available, as well as savings on buying tickets to any two or more shows. Season tickets must be purchased through www.liveinmcallen.com or through their phone number at 888) 200-4036.

For information on individual tickets and show times, visit their website at www.liveinmcallen.com.

UTRGV Performing Arts has full calendar

20191016 UTRGV Wind Ensemble 450x500UTRGV Performing Arts, Patron of the Arts, is all about entertaining this year. Their calendar is quite full of music ranging from flamenco to holiday music. Their season started in early September with a piano concert and will end in the Spring with a tuba concert.

Coming up this month is flamenco guitarist Nino de Pura, or Daniel Navarro Cruz. Cruz is one of the most prize-winning guitarists in Spain. His performance will be on Friday, October 18. Saxophonist Josiah Boornazian will be performing a recital on Saturday, October 19. Boornazian is an assistant professor of music at UTRGV where he teaches saxophone and jazz studies.

On October 22, you have a chance of seeing the UTRGV Master Chorale and University Choir Fall Concert “Adventure is Out There!” The concert is inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach’s famous 250-mile walk across Germany to hear Dietrich Buxtehude play a series of concerts. Music includes Bach’s Cantata 150 Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, and Buxtehude’s cantata Jesu Meine Freude. It will also include music from Russia, France and the United States featuring composers such as Samuel Barber, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Debra Scroggins, Nathaniel Dett, and others.

Brass lovers will be able to listen to Jim Decker on Trombone on Friday, October 25, an Octubafest on Saturday, October 26, and a Trumpet Festival on Wednesday, October 30. There will be Halloflute concert on Sunday, October 27 and the UTRGV Jazz Combo will perform on Thursday, October 31.

Their concert schedule is full through the fall and spring. Check out their full schedule at http://patron.utrgv.edu/patron-calendar.

Most concerts are held at the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley Performing Arts Complex at 1201 West University Drive in Edinburg, or TSC Performing Arts Center at 90 Taylor Avenue in Brownsville. Tickets are $5 for seniors, $10 for general admission.

More information, and a full schedule, can be found online at patron.utrgv.edu or by calling 956-882-7025, or 956-665-3881.

RVHS present Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Robert Vela High School Fine Arts department is pleased to announce their 7th annual fall musical, The Hunchback of Notre Dame performed by the SaberStagers. The SaberStagers have received five Hidalgo County PALM Awards, including 2018 Best Musical.

The show will be performed December 5, 6, 7, 12, 13 and 14 at 7 p.m. and December 7, 8, 14 and 15 at 2 p.m. There will also be two ASL interpreted performances on Saturday, December 14 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for senior citizen 65+. For more information, call (956) 289-2650. RVHS is located at 801 E. Canton Rd., in Edinburg.

STC Theatre opens its 10th season October 17

20191016 STC Theater Miss Holmes 10.17 450x500South Texas College Theatre celebrates their 10th anniversary with a season packed with classics and comedy. The Theatre invites the community to become a Season Pass subscriber for another year of fun and quality entertainment.

STC Theatre opens the season on October 17, at 7:30 p.m., with William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. The opening production runs through October 20 and is followed by Rick Johnston’s farce comedy Cahoots, from November 14-17.

In the spring, the STC Theatre will sing to their hearts’ content with William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin’s musical favorite Cyrano de Bergerac, February 20-23. The 2019-20 season wraps up with the Cooper Cabaret – an event celebrating the theatre’s 10th anniversary by showcasing local talent May 2-5.

“We wanted to celebrate our 10th anniversary by returning to the classics and farces that were a part of our earlier production seasons,” says Drama Department Chair Joel Jason Rodriguez. “We have grown so much in the past 10 years and we want to celebrate and honor that by ending the season with the Cooper Cabaret.

“Our productions have always been a mixture of STC and UTRGV students, graduates, and community members, and we believe this is what makes South Texas College Theatre so vibrant and rich,” Rodriguez said. “What better way to end a season than to showcase the talent that brought us to where we are today?”

All Sunday matinee productions are ASL interpreted by student interns from STC’s Interpreters Training Program. Individual ticket prices for Main Stage productions are $5 for students/faculty/senior citizens/military and $10 general admission. Studio productions cost $5 general admission.

Season passes are also available, allowing patrons to attend all the productions and choose between general or reserved seating. All subscribers also receive special deals for any additional guest performances that may arise throughout the year.

General season passes are $15 for students/faculty/senior citizens/military and $25 for the community. Reserved seating season subscriptions are $25 for students/faculty/senior citizens/military and $35 for the community. Season Passes can be purchased online at https://kioskportal.southtexascollege.edu/marketplace.aspx.

For more information about STC Theatre, call (956) 872-2301. All productions will be held at STC’s Cooper Center for Communication Arts, located at the Pecan Campus, 3201 W. Pecan Blvd. in McAllen

RGVBF has more than birds to talk about

20191016 2019 RGVBF FerruginousPygmyOwl 450x500The Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival, going on its 26th year, is nothing new to Harlingen, but this year they plan to shake it up a bit. The RGVBF is keeping things fresh and exciting with a change in location, new field trip destinations, and a few other changes that will be sure to excite the birder and all its attendees.

The festival will be held at the Harlingen Convention Center this year and expects to see hundreds of attendees. Last year the event saw 600 attendees that came from 41 states and six countries. Attendees come to see the many birds that are only seen in the Valley and take part in one-of-a- kind field trips.

Because of the Valley’s unique ecosystem comprised of coastal marshes and plains in the east, desert chaparral in the west and a lush corridor of riparian woodlands along the river, the Valley has 30 unique species of birds. The RGV is also major migration corridor because of the convergence of two major flyways, the Central and Mississippi.

The big numbers aren’t that bad for the Valley birder, and those that come and visit just to see the birds. Of 950 bird species in North America, the United States has over 800, Texas has 600, and more than 500 of those can be found in the Rio Grande Valley.

The birding festival began in 1994 when the Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce and members of the birding community capitalized on the RGV’s biodiversity with an initiative to create this one-of-a-kind birding festival. Propelled by volunteers that first year, and funded by sponsors, the festival was a success and served as a model to many festivals across the country and abroad. Birding and nature tourism were making waves and the RGV was on the leading edge.

According to coordinators, last year’s event brought three million dollars to the local economy. According to a recent Texas A&M Economic Impact Study, ecotourism has an economic impact of nearly half a billion dollars on the Rio Grande Valley annually, extrapolating over 6,000 jobs in the Valley.

The success of ecotourism in the Valley has led other cities to create festivals and events where the wildlife is celebrated. The Valley also has the World Birding Centers, nine distinctly different nature centers, that draw thousands of visitors throughout the Valley.

In previous years, donations have been used on projects for the Red-crowned Parrots and Harris’s Hawks. Last year the Tejano Parrot Project was able to purchase telemetry collars and tracking equipment. Volunteers have been able to conduct weekly roost surveys in Brownsville, Harlingen, Weslaco and McAllen utilizing the tracking equipment on collared birds in three of those roost areas. Funds from this year will be used to purchase additional collars for birds in other Valley communities to continue gathering behavior information on these amazing parrots that visit the Valley.

20191016 2019 RGVBF Purple Gallinule 450x500The Harris’s Hawk project was able to use donations to purchase climbing equipment enabling researchers to access and band chicks in 22 nests. Donations this year will be used to study interaction of these banded birds with the adults from the same nests and to compare and analyze DNA samples extracted during the banding process.

A new project added this year is the South Texas Hummingbird Banding Project. This effort will provide the lower Rio Grande Valley with its first and only hummingbird bander. Buff-bellied Hummingbirds of the Rio Grande Valley will be the focus of this project.

Speaker presentations will be held on Thursday and Saturday afternoons that will give more details of these projects.

This year’s festival will include family activities and nature activities that will be held at the convention center on Saturday and Sunday. Activities include the Kiskadee Korner, a raptor show, a bird walk and the Birders Bazaar. Special events during the festival include a silent auction, a student awards ceremony recognizing artwork area students have drawn, a Star Party on Wednesday evening, and the American Birding Association’s 50th anniversary podcast bash.

Field trips include visits to the local Birding Centers, State Parks and refuges, McAllen Nature Center, Laguna Madre, Bahia Grande, local battlegrounds, a ride on the Riverside Dreamer, biking field trips, breakfast with the birds at The Inn at Chachalaca Bend, a butterfly field trip, South Padre Island, and more. Topics discussed during field trips include ornithology, parrots of the area, banding, Valley raptors, and photography. There will be workshops on how to do birding with technology, how to record bird sightings, learning to listen to the sounds around you, improving field identification skills, and so much more.

The festival will run from November 6 through 10 where visitors will descend on the City of Harlingen, eager to experience all that makes the RGV so special. There will be music, food, wildlife, habitats to explore, and of course, friendly, warm people.

There is a $25 registration fee for everyone attending. Field trips are designed for beginners to advanced. Prices for field trips range – all prices can be found online. Prices for seminars and keynotes range between $10 and $20, but a Kiskadee Pass is available for $30 which allows entry to all of those being offered in the auditorium. These tickets must be purchased during open registration, before the day of the event. Individual tickets for seminars and other events (excluding field trips) can be purchased at the door. The Bargain Bazaar and some other events are free and open to the public. Please visit their website to get a full list of details.
The Harlingen Convention Center is located at 701 Harlingen Heights Dr. For more information and full list of field trips, visit www.rgvbf.org.

 

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