THIBODAUX – Having won first prize last month in the Young Artist Strings portion of the Music Teachers National Association’s South Central Division Competition, a Nicholls State University sophomore will move on to compete in the MTNA national competition in Atlanta, Ga. The event is part of the 2009 MTNA National Conference, slated for March 28 to April 1.
Christiano Cruz, a violin major from João Pessoa, Brazil, is the first student from the Nicholls strings program to win first place in the regional competition – conducted this year at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Contestants included students from Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
“We are quite proud of Christiano’s accomplishment,” said James Alexander, adjunct instructor of music. “It is incredibly positive not only for his professional development, but for the Nicholls strings program and the university as a whole.”
Cruz began playing violin at the age of 4, under his aunt’s instruction. At 15 he debuted as a soloist with the Bahia Symphony Orchestra, and he has since played in several orchestras, conducted numerous solo performances and won various awards. Alexander recruited Cruz to Nicholls during a master-class program in Brazil.
“I plan to grow as best I can in violin,” Cruz said. “If I do that well, everything else will follow.”