WT Orchestra, Amarillo Mass Choir to offer concerts with ‘Voice’ finalist

The Amarillo Mass Choir is set to join the West Texas A&M University Symphony Orchestra for special Black History Month concerts in February. (Courtesy Photo)
Michelle Brooks-Thompson

CANYON A finalist from NBC’s “The Voice” and the Amarillo Mass Choir will join the West Texas A&M University Symphony Orchestra for special Black History Month concerts in February.

Michelle Brooks-Thompson, who competed in the third season of the reality singing competition, and the North Amarillo-based choir will perform twice with the orchestra: a 7 p.m. Feb. 15 gospel concert at New Light Ministries, 1001 N.E. 24th Ave. in Amarillo, and a “Music of Inspiration” pops concert at 7 p.m. Feb. 17 in Mary Moody Northen Recital Hall on WT’s Canyon campus.

Admission is free to both concerts. For information, call 806-651-2840.

Brooks-Thompson is a winner of Amateur Night at the Apollo and has appeared on Trinity Broadcast Network and elsewhere.

“I first met Michelle when she was a glee club member at Mount Holyoke College, where I was the orchestra conductor,” Dr. Mark Bartley, director of orchestral activities, the Lilith Brainard Professor of Music and associate dean of the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities, said in a news release. “I’ve watched her career blossom over the years, and I’m thrilled that she can join us not only for these two concerts, but also as a guest artist to work with our students.”

The concerts are a joint production with the WT School of Music, the Office for Engaged Citizenship and the WT Guest Artist Series.

“My role involves identifying opportunities to engage our students in learning experiences that not only complement their classroom education but also connect them with valuable community resources and experiences extending beyond academia,” said Angela Allen, WT’s director of engaged citizenship, in the release. “When reaching out to the community for participants, we emphasized inclusivity, welcoming individuals from diverse denominations, races and ethnicities to form a choir to collaborate with our students. This collaboration is going to be an exceptional experience for both our students and the community.”

Singers from 17 different churches are scheduled to participate, Allen said.

The gospel concert will feature music by CeCe Winans, Tasha Cobbs, Walter Hawkins and others, including Brooks-Thompson’s original composition “Never Give Up.” Special guests will include Amarillo musicians Devlon Jones, SUA (Sisters Under the Anointing) and Teresa Webb.

The pops concert will feature R&B songs like “Greatest Love of All,” “Listen” and “I Will Survive,” plus favorites from the soundtracks of movies like “How to Train Your Dragon,” “The Prince of Egypt” and more.

WT concerto competition winner Dillon Martin, a junior music education major from Odessa, will play André Waignein’s “Rhapsody for Alto Saxophone” with the orchestra, the release said.

An orchestra roster is below.

1st Violin

  • João Paulo Grissoe, Linz, Brazil [Music Performance soph]
  • Keila Batista, São José, Brazil [Music Performance grad]
  • Jose Luis Forero Daza, Bogotá, Columbia [Music Performance grad]
  • Tatiana Kolesnik, Saint Petersburg, Russia [Music Performance senior]
  • Indra Aguirre Sankar, Bogotá, Columbia [Music Performance grad]
  • Wendy Lambert, Amarillo [Biology sophomore]

2nd Violin

  • Josenir Junior, Criciúma, Brazil [Music Performance grad]
  • Marissa Partida, Victoria [Music Performance senior]
  • Michael Mata, Victoria [Music Performance senior]
  • Cassidy DeMarais, Rockwall [Music Education, junior]
  • Luis Lozano, Bogotá, Columbia [Music Performance grad]
  • Elena Moreno, Amarillo [Music Education junior]


  • Jasmin Caldera, Amarillo [Health Sciences junior]
  • Patrick Daly-Williams, Amarillo [Music Education, soph]
  • Mia Brandyberry, Amarillo [English, Language Arts, Reading, senior]
  • J’Sean Berillo, Lubbock [Music Performance freshman]
  • Robert Hansen [WT Faculty]


  • Eduardo Esparza, Amarillo [Music Performance freshman]
  • Katherine Cook, Midland [Music Therapy soph]
  • Rodrigo Alonzo, Amarillo [Music Performance junior]
  • Tristan Tilman, Alamogordo, NM [Music Industry senior]
  • Bethany Mueller, Amarillo [Music Performance grad]
  • Drake Klepzig, Mt. Pleasant [Animal Science freshman]

Double Bass

  • Emily Arciniega, McKinney [Music Education junior]
  • Ryan Evans, Amarillo [Music Education junior]
  • Joe David Romo, Amarillo [Music Education senior]
  • Kortni VanDamme, Amarillo [Music Industry and Composition]
  • Marcus Curnutte, Midland [Music Education junior]
  • Carson King, Rockdale [Music Education soph]


  • Kyndahl Britton, Pflugerville [Music Performance junior]
  • Alejandra Mulgado, Clovis, NM [Music Performance grad]
  • Abigail Wade, Missouri City [Music Education and Performance senior]


  • Tobin Brooks, Canyon [Music Education senior]
  • Marissa Portillo, Lubbock [Music Industry freshman]

English Horn

  • Abigail Hite, Nashville, TN [Music Performance senior]


  • Dayton Scholz, Amarillo [Music Education junior]
  • Joey Henriquez, Arlington [Music Industry senior]
  • Kaitlyn Rubinski, Amarillo [Music Education, junior]


  • Daniel Gonzales, Taylor [Music Education junior]
  • Kegan Otoole, Friendswood [Business Administration junior]
  • Katherine Clark, Canyon [Music Education junior]


  • Christopher Santiago, Odessa [Music Education junior]
  • Kinslea Blau, Odessa [Music Education freshman]
  • Kevin Olivas, Amarillo [Music Performance freshman]
  • Catherine Dockery, Wichita Falls [Music Therapy soph]


  • Emily Sotelo, Midland [Music Performance grad]
  • Brayden York, Odessa [Music Education junior]
  • Gisselle Martinez, Amarillo [Music Education freshman]
  • Adam Johnson, Springtown [Music Education senior]


  • Abraham Wood, Floresville [Music Performance senior]
  • Spencer Owens, Levelland [Music Education junior]

Bass Trombone

  • Justin Slaughter, Odessa [Music Education senior]


  • Lucas Martinez, Lewisville [Music Education senior]


  • Hien Doan, Amarillo [Music Education senior]
  • Caleb Martin, Plainview [Music Performance grad]
  • Colton Gallandat, Joshua [Music Education junior]
  • Mason McWest, Amarillo [Music Education soph]
  • Brandon Garcia, Amarillo [Music Education soph]
  • Mason Rumsey, Joshua [MA Undeclared]
  • Payton Hayes, Midland [Music Education soph]
  • Aidan Caballero, Odessa [Music Education soph]


  • Piper Fowler, Amarillo [Music Performance junior]


  • Luke Rodriguez, Rosenberg [Music Technology senior]