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Meet the Music Makers! Las Cruces Symphony highlights members


Meet the music makers!

The Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra (LCSO), directed by Maestro Lonnie Klein, has postponed its season because of state public health orders. LCSO has created a new program called Meet Your Musicians, which will feature a different orchestra member in a series of social media posts. The first featured musician is Jim Shearer, who plays tuba. 

Shearer is the regents professor of music at New Mexico State University, where he also holds the title distinguished achievement professor. Shearer holds both a D.M.A. in performance and literature and a performer’s certificate from the Eastman School of Music.

Shearer has toured the United States, Europe, South America and the Far East as a member of the NMSU Faculty Brass Quintet, El Paso Brass and the Eastman Wind Ensemble, and as a soloist with many other ensembles, large and small.

He has recorded with the Eastman Wind Ensemble, the Creole Dixieland Jazz Band, blues artist Eric Bibb, bluegrass musician Steve Smith and Memphis’ Beale Street legend Charlie Wood. He also is a Yamaha Performing Artist.

Shearer is the author of two textbooks, “Jazz Basics” and “Music 101.” He has four commercial CD releases on the Summit Records label, “The Memphis Hang,” “Haunted America Suite (Music for Horn, Tuba, and Piano),” “Music for Tuba and String Quartet” and “Secret Frets.”

Shearer’s wife, Celeste, also is a music educator and performer (horn and piano). She has a new Summit CD coming out this spring titled “Sultry & Eccentric:  The Music of James Grant,” which features Jim Shearer in a massive double concerto for horn, tuba and wind ensemble.

“During my schooling and my early career, I was thoroughly trained as an orchestral tubist,” Shearer said. “I've always enjoyed orchestral playing, though it's never been my main focus, as I've directed my career more toward solo playing, chamber music and, of course, jazz. In recent years, however, I've found myself on the back row again in both Las Cruces and Roswell, and I must say at this stage in my career, it's been a great pleasure to reacquaint myself with these orchestral masterpieces. And, perhaps most importantly, it's wonderful to once again enjoy the very special comradery among a large group of musicians preforming together for such amazing artistic goals. For a town our size, the LCSO is a very special group of musicians who perform on a very high level, easily competing with much larger orchestras.

“Maestro Klein has done a tremendous amount of work over the years to raise the professional level and stature of the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra,” Shearer said. “The guest artists have been consistently impressive, and the repertory is always solid and rather adventurous at times for a regional orchestra in a town our size.

You can donate to LCSO through its nonprofit, Las Cruces Symphony Association, P.O. Box 1622, Las Cruces, N.M. 88004-1622 or online at www.lascrucessymphony.com. Contact LCSO at 575-646-3709 and manager@lascrucessymphony.org.  Visit www.facebook.com/LasCrucesSymphonyorchestra.