Travis is a senior Choral Studies major from Portland, Texas and a Fall 2015 NUGI. He serves as Assistant Music Director this year and leads LHS so well. We are so thankful for your talent, patience, and leadership, Travis!
What is on your playlist right now?
Honestly, I've been really into Lil Dicky at the moment. We all know that I know Pillow Talking like the back of my hand, but his whole album Professional Rapper is a GEM. Also because it's close to Halloween (!!!) I've been listening to the Over the Garden Wall soundtrack! It's one of my favorite shows with absolutely stunning music. Definitely recommended!
Who are your biggest musical influences?
As a writer, I like to think that the sound I go for is a blend of Morten Lauridsen, Adam Guettel, Jason Robert Brown, and Claude Debussy (I'm such a nerd, I know). As far as my singing goes, I really look up to Derek Klena. He has such a clean belt and ridiculous range and I literally strive to be as talented/good looking as him every day of my life.
Describe your favorite performance/musical experience.
So as a lot of people know, I co-wrote a musical last spring entitled Zoom and Focus with the crazy talented Lilly Lane Stafford. One of my biggest aspirations in life is to be a composer for musicals, so the fact that I got to have something that I wrote performed and seen by real people (and the fact that it was all written in the course of about 8 months!) was really, really special to me. The show was so well received and so many people that I care about were able to come out and see it. As stressful as the experience was, it was, bar none, the proudest I've felt of any project I've ever been a part of. I can't wait to get back to writing someday soon once my schedule clears up!
What is your favorite Longhorn Singers tradition?
I am such a fan of LHThanksgiving. It's a time for all of us to sit down, eat good food, and share what we are grateful for as well as our struggles. I know for a few of us, LHThanksgiving feels just as genuine, open, and important as the real deal with our families (if not more so). I think it's important for a group where tensions can easily heighten, what with being around each other all the time for hours of rehearsal, social events, kick backs and so on, to have a time to sit down and think hey... we still love each other. And whether it be things in or outside of this group, we have a hell of a lot to be thankful for.
Written by Kate Howk
Anyone who’s familiar with Longhorn Singers knows that we take the Texas-Oklahoma rivalry about as seriously as our end-of-semester shows. From the first day of rehearsal until mid–October, we focus solely on perfecting our Texas music. By the time that OU Weekend rolls around, we can all perform “March Grandioso” in our sleep, among other difficult pieces. In addition to school songs, we sing music that’s historically significant to our state. Though it is arguably the most exhausting weekend of my year, traveling to Dallas for the game is a tradition that we have partaken in for two decades.
LHS at this year's annual Capps Family Texas-OU Bash
One of the reasons why we are able to perform year after year is Ken Capps, former president of Texas Exes and self-proclaimed biggest fan of the Longhorn Singers. When he first heard LHS perform in 1997, he invited us to sing for all Texas/OU activities for the weekend, and we’ve been grateful to him ever since. For 20 years now, Ken has hosted us at the Capps Annual Bevo Bash, with Bevo, Smokey the Cannon, and Texas Pom and Cheer there as well. It’s humbling, to say the least, that we are able to share the same space as these famous symbols of Longhorn pride. Each OU Weekend reminds me of how lucky I am to be in this group, because most of the other 50,000 students on campus will never be able to say they’ve lost in a push-up contest with Hook ‘Em.
We enjoyed mingling with the residents of the nursing homes where we performed!
OU Weekend is definitely the most rewarding experience for me as a Longhorn Singer because we are able to contribute to the Red River Rivalry in a tangible way. The division between UT and OU has existed since 1900, resulting in decades of rich tradition that I wasn’t aware our choir was involved with until I had auditioned for the group. Perhaps the only thing I look forward to more than the game itself is singing alongside whatever ensemble OU decides to send that year. It’s fun listening to them sing “Oklahoma” five times in a row, but we have an even better time watching their reactions when we sing our parody of the same song. People around Dallas have come to expect our yearly performances at the State Fair and the mall, and I love when we are cheered on by strangers who want to see UT win as much as we do. I can’t truly say I bled orange until after my first OU Weekend; representing the Longhorns during the most important week of the year instilled a school spirit in me that I couldn’t have attained any other way.
Abilio is a sophomore from Fresno, Texas pursuing a B.A. in Psychology and a Fall 2016 NUGI. He has been a joyful presence in LHS ever since he became a member, and he stayed positive and energized throughout our many performances for the Red River Rivalry last weekend. You are such a light, Abilio!
Who is your biggest musical influence?
My biggest musical influence is my grandfather, who was part of a very popular Mexican cumbia band (Super Brujo) from the early 70's to the late 90's. Ever since he realized I also had a passion for music, he has been my musical mentor and we still sing together at every family gathering.
What is your favorite Longhorn Singers event or tradition?
My favorite Longhorn Singers event/tradition is OU Weekend. Despite the lack of sleep and inevitable heinous moments, I find it truly amazing to see how much closer and more spirited the group gets in a matter of four days. Oh, and despite everything else, OU STILL SUCKS!
Did you have any weird quirks as a kid?
As a kid, I was extremely and uncomfortably clumsy. Even from the smallest speck of dust, I would trip over and land face-planted on the floor. I was also notoriously known to break anything that came in contact with me. Hm, now that I think about it, not much has changed. Yikes.
What is on your playlist right now?
As of right now, "Buy U A Drank (Shawty Snappin')" by T-Pain ft. Yung Joc has not only been on repeat on my playlist, but I hear it literally everywhere I go now. Thanks Kaycee, Pat, and Zac. Y'all have taken me back to the 2000s. Ooh ooh ooh.
Nooshin is a Senior Plan II Honors and English double major from Arlington, Texas and a Fall 2017 NUGI. Although she has only been in Longhorn Singers for a brief time, she is already giving it her all and is such a valued member of this organization. We're so happy you're here, Nooshin!
Describe your favorite musical performance.
Last March, a few of my Texas Choirs friends and I performed with German composer Sven Helbig at SXSW. At the time, I rarely deviated from classical or contemporary choral music, so it was a particularly neat experience because Helbig’s concept album “I Eat The Sun And Drink The Rain” relies heavily on synthesizer/live electronics. It was also just a lot of fun to see what goes on behind the scenes of a large-scale music festival like SXSW.
What is on your playlist right now?
I’ve been re-listening to a lot of The Wailin’ Jennys lately. They’re a bit of a throwback to high school for me, but you just can’t go wrong with their three-part harmonies, especially in songs like “What Has Been Done” and “Apocalypse Lullaby.”
Do you have any hidden talents?
In addition to music, the other creative activity that I devote extensive amounts of my time to is writing. Over the past few years, poetry has become a foolproof means for me to orient myself — to literalize and preserve my emotions. My current project is a full-length poetry chapbook for my Plan II senior thesis, inspired by my summer abroad in Oxford.
Is there anyone in LHS you would like to give a shout out to? Why?
From “Dawn & Dusk” in Fall 2014 to “Hello, Goodbye” last semester, I’ve been lucky enough to watch Chris Truong, Jessica Nicholson, and Evan Cooper grow with Longhorn Singers. Their love for the group, coupled with Chris’s support in particular, finally motivated me to give up my front-row seat at every LHS show for a chance at a spot in the group — and I am incredibly thankful.
Welcome to the official Longhorn Singers blog! Here, you can get to know the Singers better, as well as find more information about what we're doing in rehearsals, how the show is coming along, when we are selling tickets, and details about performances each semester! Updates will occur periodically throughout the year, so stay tuned!