Two violin students from William Carey University won state-level awards March 2 during the Mississippi Music Teachers Collegiate Competition.
Jessica Achon Villar of Havana, Cuba, won first place in the Strings Solo Division. Jonathan Frelix of Hattiesburg won second place in the Strings Solo Division and the Strings Concerto Division.
Both are students of Professor Jorge Gonzalez of the WCU Winters School of Music.
“They have a healthy competition going on between them that helps them become better musicians. It is a blessing to have students who push themselves to the next level,” Gonzalez said.
Dr. Wes Dykes, dean of the Winters School of Music, agreed.
“Jessica and Jonathan are incredible students of music and are making a significant impression on their peers. I am grateful for them and the work Mr. Gonzalez does to teach them each day,” he said.
Gonzalez was hired in 2018 to lead the WCU String Department, where he teaches violin and viola and conducts the WCU Orchestra. The string department has more than doubled in the two years he has been leading the program – with students representing the United States, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba and Mexico.