The Arts: Meet Dr Arturo Ortega, Conductor of Voices of Flower Mound – Cross Timbers Gazette | South Denton County | Mound of flowers
By Elizabeth Brannon, Flower Mound Cultural Arts Commission Member
When the Voices of Flower Mound were looking for a conductor, a member who was also part of the Robson Ranch Choir suggested that their conductor might be a good choice.
The Voices Research Committee attended a Robson Ranch Choir concert, not only to enjoy the music, but also to “audition” Dr. Arturo Ortega without him knowing he was auditioning for Voices. Everything went well, as Arturo has been the conductor of the Voices of Flower Mound since 2016, minus the months of COVID in which the bands weren’t rehearsing or performing.
Arturo is called the runt of the litter because he is the youngest of five children and grew up with music from the 70s and 80s. A native Texan born in Laredo, his life has always included music. He studied piano, learned to be a percussionist as a child, and actually has an undergraduate degree in percussion. Conducting was his first passion, but no conducting degree was offered to undergraduates. Arturo loved his instructor and the University of North Texas music program, and eventually graduated from UNT. His area of specialization was conducting.
One of the things that brings him joy now is working with the talented musicians of UNT on special concerts and performances. Arturo no longer plays professionally but teaches chamber music and is guest conductor for other orchestras (mainly in foreign countries). COVID has cut back on guest management but it’s still a passion for him.
Arturo has been in North Texas since 1993 and is proud of his association with the Robson Ranch Choir and the Voices of Flower Mound.
Arturo is thrilled to lead Voices and inspire them to grow and flourish artistically. He sees them as a great group with great voices who are also good sight readers. These skills make teaching notes and music less of a chore and more of an opportunity for Arturo to turn music into something exciting and surprising that audiences enjoy and find entertaining and uplifting.
For Arturo, it’s about having a loyal and enchanted audience that will support the music and concerts and share the word with other people. He always wants to impress the public, and for him the greatest reward is the praise of the growing public and the faithful. He enjoys knowing that he is helping make the arts visible in the community and providing an opportunity for people to be a part of music.
When Arturo selects the music he is keen to create a program that the audience will love and support and that the singers will find stimulating and satisfying. He loves it when audiences are shocked at the quality of Voices Band and when they know they’ve given the community something they didn’t think was possible. It is important that the concerts are captivating, engaging and compelling and as good as the concerts offered in the big cities at higher prices.
Arturo invites all residents to come to a concert and experience them. This group of 55 to 57 singers has members aged 20 to 70 and many communities including Flower Mound, Plano, Fort Worth, Justin, Richardson, Southlake, Grapevine and even Paris, TX.
For residents who might be interested in joining Voices, their rehearsals are Tuesday evenings at the Lamb of God Lutheran Church. The group performs at the city’s Veterans Day event and at the Memorial Day event at the Senior Center. Voices of Flower Mound receives a grant from the Town of Flower Mound and the remainder of its income comes from ticket sales and membership dues. For those who would like to travel, two concerts are planned for 2022 – performing and touring on the Amalfi Coast in Italy and performing in Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic. There’s even an invitation for Voices to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York!
Arturo is already working on the music for their big spring concerts, which will be offered at the Lamb of God Lutheran Church on May 7-8, 2022. The concert will feature gospel and spiritual music and guest singer, Martin Clark, who is the tenor frontman of the Chicago Lyric Opera. The Chancel Choir of the Trietsch Memorial United Methodist Church, sister organization of Voices, will join them for the spring concert.
More immediately, the annual Christmas Concert will take place on Saturday 11 December at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday 12 December at 2:30 p.m. in Trietsch. The Flower Mound Symphony Orchestra and the Chancellor’s Choir of Trietsch will perform with the Voices of Flower Mound. Tickets are $ 10 in advance or at the door and $ 30 for a family. The much-loved music promises to be a great addition to the traditions celebrated in December. Join Arturo, all the singers and musicians and enjoy one of the great artistic events offered by Flower Mound.
Artistic thoughts: “Music is the universal language of humanity.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow