WT Student Quartet to Give On-Campus Recital As It Prepares for NYC Debut


CANYON, Texas — A West Texas A&M University student string quartet will give a free recital March 26 as it continues to raise funds for its Carnegie Hall debut.

The JAMS quartet in November won the collegiate strings category of the American Protégé International Competition of Romantic Music and will perform May 27 at the Weill Recital Hall in the legendary concert house in New York City.

Now, quartet members are raising $4,000 to fund their trip via a GoFundMe page and a special recital at 2 p.m. March 26 in the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex Recital Hall. Donations will be accepted.

The concert will include a lineup of favorites by Joseph Haydn, Dimitri Shostakovich, Ludwig van Beethoven, Sergei Rachmaninoff and more, as well as two movements of Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel’s String Quartet in E-flat Major. JAMS will perform the first movement of Hensel’s quartet in its Carnegie Hall concert.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the JAMS String Quartet to represent WT and the Canyon/Amarillo area,” said Sydney Buckner, second violinist and senior animal science/pre-vet major from Amarillo. “However, it costs quite a bit to get a quartet from Canyon to New York City. With flights, hotels, food, transportation and incidentals, this trip comes with a rather large price tag, and the competition does not cover travel costs. This performance would not be possible without the help of the community.”

Quartet members also include Josenir Cerqueira Jr., first violinist and graduate student in instrumental performance from Criciúma, Brazil; Jasmin Caldera, viola player and sophomore health science/pre-dental major from Amarillo; and Anna Ng, cello player and freshman biology major from Amarillo.

The quartet was formed four years ago when Buckner, Caldera and Ng were students at Tascosa High School in Amarillo. Caldera and Ng also performed together in Ensemble Next, which offers select students weekly lessons with Evgeny Zvonnikov, WT’s Harrington lecturer in violin and Harrington String Quartet member, as well as masterclasses with guest artists and performance opportunities across the region, state and beyond.

“As a coach, it is a pleasure to work with students who willing to put in extra work for their development as artists,” Zvonnikov said. “As a teacher, I pleased to see their progress and their professional development as chamber group and as individuals. I am glad that they have an opportunity to perform in one of the most famous concert halls in world. It’s great first step on their future professional journeys, wherever they might lead.”

Fostering an appreciation of the arts is a key component of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021 — has raised more than $120 million.



Photo: JAMS String Quartet members are, from left, Anna Ng, Josenir Cerqueira Jr., Sydney Buckner and Jasmin Caldera