Texas State diversity shows importance of music

By Aaryn Stafford – ads133@txstate.edu

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS – The Wittliff Collections at Alkek Library are adding new exhibits. Headed by its new curator Hector Saldaña, the Texas Music Collection will showcase Texas artists.

This collection will contain a diverse catalogue of Texas music. It will have well known Texas music like tejano and conjunto, but will also showcase the talent found in other genres.

“Bill Wittliff wants it to be about all Texas music. Can we only be about outlaw country? Is there room for hip-hop, tejano and conjunto? Yes,” said Saldaña.

The collection will bring big name artists like Willie Nelson and George Strait, but also wants to bring attention to smaller, local artists, like Charlie Robison, as well as Randy Rogers, who is an alumnus of Texas State.

Photo by Aaryn Stafford
Saldaña showcases local Texas artists like Sunny Sweeney and the Randy Rogers Band

Saldaña said they’re looking for artists people will talk about 10 or even 20 years from now, and that the Wittliff Collections is the place to present these artists because it’s not just an exhibit, but a museum as well.

“Texas music is all kinds of music, not just old performers… The Wittliff Collections is a research center, but it also functions as a museum and library,” said Saldaña.

Saldaña says this exhibit is all about diversity, and he believes it is important not because Texas State is near a music hotbed like Austin, but because it’s near the smaller, more intimate places like Gruene Hall and Whitewater Amphitheater.

Photo by Aaryn Stafford
Saldaña speaks on the importance of music in Texas.

“It’s a place to really learn deeply and intimately learn the history of the collection and archives. We’re in the playground of Texas music where a lot of Texas music was born,” said Saldaña.

He also believes music is important because it’s a creative outlet, and it lets you see the story of a musician’s life.

Many professors at Texas State also feel this way.

Larry Carlson, an electronic media professor, brought his class to see Saldaña speak. Carlson believes this exhibit is important because everyone can relate.

“It’s the universal language for college students, and really people everywhere. Everybody likes music. So I thought, Hector is the guy to bring this in and let people know what a treasure there is here at Texas State,” said Carlson of the new exhibit.

But it’s not just the professors. There are students that agree on the importance of music as well.

Peyton Grover, a junior music education major, believes local artists need to be supported more than ever.

“I think now, with so many people making music and it being so easy to put yourself out there on the internet, we need to support these local guys even more. They need that recognition,” said Grover.

Additionally, Saldaña says they want to have the collection cover the entire 7th floor within three years, showing that the love for music is alive and well at Texas State.

More information on the new exhibit can be found at the Wittliff Collections website.

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