Teachers & Performers Bio Performing Works
Dena Kay Jones
Piano Area Coordinator, Teacher,University of Texas.
Dr. Dena Kay Jones has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and in Spain, Mexico, Italy and Canada. In addition to maintaining a widely varied repertoire from the standard piano literature, Dr. Jones has focused her energies in the performance and research of Spanish piano repertoire. Her debut album entitled Luces y Sombras: Piano Works by Joaquín Rodrigo was sponsored by the Spanish Embassy in conjunction with U.S. Universities and released in 2007. A second recording project Haunted America Suite was released in 2015 by Summit Records, where she is a collaborative pianist with Jim and Celeste Shearer. A native of the Central Illinois area, Ms. Jones received both the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in piano performance from the University of Illinois. Her principal teachers in Illinois were Wilma Zonn, Lydia Artymiw, William Heiles and Andrew DeGrado. In August of 2001, Dena Kay Jones completed the Doctor of Musical Arts program at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, where she studied with Steinway artist Nohema Fernández. She joined the music faculty of the University of Texas at El Paso in 2002, where she is the Piano Area Coordinator and teaches applied piano, music and culture — as well as chamber piano. She is also on faculty at the Orfeo Summer Music Festival in Vipiteno/Sterzing, Italy.
Nolan “Alex” Ancil began studying piano at the age of nine years old. He currently works with Dr. Dena Kay Jones at the University of Texas at El Paso. Alex is employed at Del Sol Church of El Paso as an associate worship leader and keyboardist. He has also been a worship director and performer in Deagu South Korea (2013-2015). Some of the projects Alex has enjoyed the most working on include Choros No. 5 “Alma Brasileira” by Villa Lobos, Bach’s Italian Concerto, the Piano Sonata in E Minor, Op. 7 by Grieg and a unique and unknown work, Tercera Sonata “Breve Mexicana” (Third Short Mexican Sonata) by Mexican nationalist composer Antonio Gomezanda (1894-1961). Alex has been playing piano music for the majority of his life and couldn’t imagine a world where he was not a musician. He feels that music is a universal language that can affect the heart, body, mind and spirit in a way that nothing else in the world can.
Escenas Poéticas, Book II
Recuerdos de paisajes lejanos
El angel de los claustros
Canción de Margarita
Sueños del poeta
Mariah Matos-Nuñez is currently a student at the University of Texas at El Paso, majoring in Biomedical Sciences and minoring in Applied Piano Studies. She first began playing the piano at the age of four and is now taking lessons with Dr. Dena Kay Jones. Her primary teacher and continued mentor is Mrs. Betty Bassuk. Mariah was associated with the El Paso Music Teachers Association and partook in several performance activities, including Ensemble and Solo performances at the state level. This past summer of 2017, she traveled to Vipiteno/Sterzing, Italy where she participated in the Orfeo Music Festival program. The program enabled her to study and learn music from professors all around the world and perform in master and performance classes. The love and passion she has for the piano is what helps shape her as a person today.
Hailing from Nigeria in West Africa, Aina Olonade began his musical journey as a choirboy at All Saints Anglican Church in Abeokuta, Ogun State. He later developed an interest playing the piano and was enrolled in a basic music school under the tutelage of Mr. Lekan Taiwo. Aina was admitted into the Music Society of the Nigeria Diploma School in 2008, where he studied with Ms. Maria Aseeva, a world-renowned Russian pianist. He graduated in 2010 with a diploma in music. In 2013, Aina began studying at the University of Central Missouri with Dr. Mia Hynes, graduating in May of 2016 with a Bachelor of Music degree emphasizing piano performance. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), studying piano with Dr. Dena Kay Jones and teaching class piano to music majors. Aina also is church organist for the Western Hills United Methodist Church of El Paso, Texas. He enjoys playing duets with friends and collaborating with other musicians. He aspires to become a piano instructor and performer.
Allegro de Concierto
Cristina Melendez Rascon was born in the city of Juárez, Mexico. She started her journey in music with the guidance of Ana Luisa Hernandez Martinez. Cristina is now a part of the Dr. Dena Kay Jones studio at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), where she is pursuing a degree in piano performance. Throughout her college career, she has been a participant at the 2016 Summer Orfeo Music Festival in Vipiteno, Italy. Her future projects include the collegiate organization of the Holos Piano Collective and Tocando, an “after-school program that provides music learning and performing opportunities to elementary school students.”
Escenas Poéticas, Book I
Eva y Walter
Danza de la rosa
Cristina Melendez Rascon
Emmanuel Rodriguez was born in El Paso, Texas in the summer of 1998. He started his private piano lessons along with many other instruments at the age of five. During his high school years, he made all-state for piano solos and was part of the Mariachi, Concert, and Marching Bands where he played percussion and vihuela. He was voted “Musically Talented” for the yearbook in 2016. Emmanuel is also a member of a family band called “Los Rodhuiz,” where he plays accordion, keyboards, or percussion, depending on the type of music they play. They tour different parts of the United States and Mexico almost every weekend. “Los Rodhuiz” are on iTunes and Amazon. They have eight albums, including one that’s being launched in 2017 and where Emmanuel sings. He’s also working on his own pop rock album, with an expected release in late 2017. Emmanuel is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Commercial Music, emphasis piano performance.
Palacio encantado en el mar
Libro de horas
En el jardin
El invierno (La muerte del Ruiseñor)