Madalyn Blanchett is an Instructor of Music at San Antonio Community College, in Texas. She has performed with many professional ensembles, including the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. She grew up in San Antonio playing in a variety of Latino bands, with her sister Alice Gomez, and other family members. Since 1972, she has performed with the San Antonio Early Music Ensemble, specializing on the recorder.
Blanchett and classical guitarist Terry Muska perform together as Musette on the recording, "In A Spanish Garden". Blanchett is also featured on several recordings with Alice Gomez and Marilyn Rife.
Drawing on her multi-cultural background, Alice Gomez is rapidly gaining international acclaim for her Latino and Mexican Indian influenced compositions. She grew up in San Antonio, Texas, a city rich in cultural diversity, playing the drums in her father's Latino dance band. Alice spent three years, from 1993-1996, serving as Composer-in-Residence, through Meet The Composer, Inc., with the San Antonio Symphony - a role that united the symphony with the largely Hispanic community of San Antonio. During her tenure, Ms. Gomez created 21 new works. Since 1990, she has also worked as an arranger of Hispanic and popular music for the San Antonio Symphony. She has arranged music for its Pops series featuring Tejano artists Emilio Navaira, Patsy Torres and Esmeralda. The television broadcast of the 1994 "Pura Vida" Hispanic Music Awards opened with Ms. Gomez' "La Charanga Sinfonica", performed by the San Antonio Symphony. The Symphony also performed Ms. Gomez' musical arrangement of the Tejano Song of the Year, "La Charanga", by Fandango, U.S.A.
In 1996, Ms. Gomez was selected to participate in the Gateways '96 Commission, a residency with the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio. This commission includes teams of Mexican and U.S. choreographers, composers, and playwrights, creating and participating in the production and presentation of new multi-disciplinary works in the performing arts.
Alice is also an Instructor of Music at San Antonio College where she teaches basic composition, percussion, world music, and jazz ensemble. As a percussionist, she performs professionally with a variety of musical groups including The San Antonio Early Music Ensemble and The San Quilmas Consort, as an extra percussionist with the San Antonio Symphony, and as a co-founder of the Latin folk performing/recording group Marimba Quest. In addition to performing, she has lectured at several schools and universities throughout Texas. She has also served in an advisory capacity on panels for The National Endowment for the Arts and Meet The Composer, Inc..
Alice's first orchestral composition was a concerto for timpani and orchestra entitled "Primitive Echoes". This concerto is a spiritual piece based on Mexican and American Indian rhythms. The premiere performance was in November of 1992 by the Winters Chamber Orchestra before a capacity audience at Trinity University's Ruth Taylor Hall. The concerto was written for and performed by Marilyn Rife, Principal Percussionist and Assistant Timpanist with the San Antonio Symphony. Ms. Rife has also performed "Primitive Echoes" with the San Antonio Symphony.
Various political and social struggles have influenced Gomez' compositions. In the fall of 1993, Alice was awarded an individual artist's grant from the city of San Antonio's Department of Cultural Arts and Affairs for her "Mass for Justice and Peace". This composition is a musical and spiritual plea for universal peace and understanding, and was inspired by the devastation of the starvation in Somalia. Ms. Gomez' chamber work for viola, percussion and piano, "Number 9", depicts the Bosnian struggle. "...and justice for all" was commissioned by the City of San Antonio for the 1995 Diez y Seis celebration, and premiered by the San Antonio Symphony at the Avenida Guadalupe. In February of 1996, the San Antonio Symphony premiered Ms. Gomez' "Homenaje a Cesar Chavez", a tribute to the widely-known fighter for migrant farm workers' rights.
In 1998, Ms. Gomez received an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) award for the fifth year in a row. This award is granted by an independent panel of musicians, academicians and critics.
Ms. Gomez' music has been featured regularly on San Antonio public radio
station KPAC, as well as on programs for public television such as "Heritage"
and "ArtBeat". Recordings of her non-symphonic works are commercially
available, as well as sheet music for her symphonic and chamber compositions,
for purchase or performance rental.
Formerly Principal Percussionist/Assistant Principal Timpanist with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, Marilyn Rife moved to Portland, Oregon in December of 2002. Before moving to Portland, she had performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as an extra musician in subscription concerts, tours, and recordings. She was also an instructor of percussion at Trinity University and St. Mary's University, both in San Antonio, Texas. She has served in an advisory capacity on orchestra panels for The National Endowment for the Arts in 1994 and 1996.
In addition to her duties as Orchestra Manager for the Oregon Symphony, Marilyn has performed with the Oregon Ballet Theater, Portland Chamber Orchestra and the Portland Symphonic Choir.
"... snappy, impeccable percussionist who really ought to be declared
a national landmark."
About Marilyn ...