Reviews by Students and Parents
The success of a school is reflected by the impact the training has on its students. Read what present and past students and families say about El Paso Conservatory of Music and how their years at the Conservatory has impacted their music and their lives.
Victoria Torres (Song writer and audio engineer in Nashville) - I attended the El Paso Conservatory of Music the very first year they opened all throughout high school. Those four years laid down a solid foundation for me in music. I took weekend classes as well as private piano, voice, and french horn lessons there and I excelled thanks to them. I still continue to play and sing and I use what they taught me on an everyday basis. I am an audio engineer and song writer in Nashville now, and all the lessons of dictation, theory, and musicality play a role in my recording and creating of music. I could not imagine where I would be without those lessons, I am truly grateful I was able to experience it. I would highly recommend the El Paso Conservatory of Music to anyone who is serious about being a musician, no matter what their musical goal is at the end.m a paragraph.
Natalie Cottrell (student at AMDA American Music and Drama Academy, L.A. & N.Y.) - My daughter started attending EPCOM when she was in the 8th grade. We were looking for a Music Program that would 1) provide music experts that would help our daughter reach her full potential, 2) would work hand in hand with us to make sure that our daughter would be able to get into the college of her choice when she graduated and 3) provide a highly disciplined, BUT family oriented environment so that our daughter would feel at home while she was working hard. Mr. Prentice Loftin and Mrs. Yvonne Marmalejo (as well as the other EPCOM staff) exceeded all of our expectations. We will be eternally grateful for everything they did for my daughter. She is currently starting her Sophomore Year at a Music Theatre Program in Los Angeles and has on many occasions reported to my wife and I that she would not have been prepared without the training that she received at EPCOM. Randy Cottrell for the Cottrell Family
Larisa Lopez (student at AMDA American Music and Drama Academy, L.A. & N.Y.) - I really enjoyed my time at the conservatory. The teachers are kind, intelligent, working performers who know how to talk to their students. They understand that learning new techniques is hard and sometimes frustrating, so they use that understanding to encourage students to keep pushing on. As for the students, everyone attending the conservatory is ready to learn. Students come to class prepared, focused, and behave professionally (even the younger students). The atmosphere in the classroom is that of a warm, supportive place. Everyone is excited to perform, or learn the next chapter, or just to see each other. The variety the conservatory offers is great. They offer numerous performance classes, but they also offer what I call technical classes...music theory, composition, sight-reading, etc. By learning about how the songs were made and all the work and thought that was put into each word choice, note, rest, and rhythm, my performances became easier because I knew what I was singing about. Now that I'm in college, I realize exactly how much I've learned from the conservatory. I can look at a song and figure out the rhythms, the basic melody, and even play my part on the piano if I ever struggle with a phrase. I don't fear trying songs in any language, or style. Even at times when I come across a song that makes me nervous, I know that I have the skills to sit down and analyze exactly what's going on so that I can understand what I need to do. Thank you El Paso Conservatory of Music for everything that you have and will continue to teach me.
Monica Cuellar (High school senior) - The El Paso Conservatory of Music is such an amazing place where everyone is friendly, and everyone is willing to help you grow as a musician and as a person. I have attended the conservatory since 2008, ever since my singing skills have developed so much that I am now working on some strenuous arias. The conservatory gives students the opportunity to participate in exquisite productions such as Carmina Burana (Carl Orff), The Messiah (Handel), the Opera Amahl and the Night Visitors and the upcoming Mozart's Coronation Mass, Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music and Mark Hayes Te Deum Concert. I am also part of the Conservatory Young Ladies Choir which has changed my life completely and has made me realize why I began singing in the first place. We have traveled all around the world doing what we love the most while improving our music skills at the same time, and to finish up my last year here, I will be heading to Austria in the summer with the Young Ladies Choir to visit Mozart's home. Overall, the El Paso Conservatory is the best place to be at because of it's incredible faculty such as Mrs. Yvonne Marmolejo (Voice & Diction), Dr. Esequiel Meza (Piano & Coaching), Mr. Prentice Loftin (Voice, Conducting & Sightreading), Melissa Parks (Voice, Music Theatre & Opera) and many more. I am extremely happy here and proud to say that everything that I know about music and all the wonderful things that I have accomplished are thanks to all of these amazing people.
Mika Vinson (student at Americas University, D.C.) - My son Caleb started attending the El Paso Conservatory of Music when he was in the eighth grade. Prentice Loftin inverviewed him and astutely recommended Dr. Zeke Meza as a teacher - the result was immediate, profound, and ultimately magical. Zeke is a passionate and complex artist who is also a wonderfully passionate and intuitive teacher. Under Zeke's tutelage Caleb progressed rapidly to acquire a repertoire that reflects his own spirit - great bold classical and romantic works that he loves and will take with him always. Zeke pushed him hard but also nurtured the boy inside the budding pianist. My thanks also goes to Prentice and Yvonne (and all the Saturday Conservatory teachers) for their musical inspiration, their professional savvy, and their personal support as they guided Caleb over the years, giving him first-hand insight into the ups and downs of a professional career. Although Caleb will not pursue a career in music, he continues to play in college and will always be a musician. At the Conservatory, he added respect and understanding to his love of music - and these are gifts he will carry through his life.
Tim Thompson (Professional singer and guitarist, choral director) - My experience at the Conservatory was wonderful. I highly recommend this institution to any inspiring musician who wants to further his or her skills to the next level. The instruction and curriculum is second to none. It's not just a great place to start it's a great place to continue. As a performer and teacher in El Paso the experience helped me considerably. I feel a great sense of gratitude to Prentice and Yvonne for helping me when I needed help the most. Thank you.
Sheen Sanchez (Professional singer and conductor) - Excellent conservatory, from the administration and faculty members to the programs, which is reflected in their products - the students and graduates. I fist came across the conservatory when i googled it way back in 2008 when i just moved in El Paso from the Philippines. The directors, Prentice Loftin Yvonne Marmolejo, and met up with me and a colleague to talk about music opportunities in the sun city and surrounding areas. A week later, I began taking Voice Lessons with Prentice while getting me to sing with the El Paso Chamber Singers, El Paso Chorale, El Paso Opera and the Sanctuary Choir at St. Mark's United Methodist Church. The conservatory also set up solo recitals for me in different venues with the very supportive Pianist and Coach, Dr. Ezequiel Meza. Summer of the same year, I volunteered to assist in the summer music program where the students took intensive classes in the chosen instruments, as well Theory and Sight Reading, Ensemble, Choir and Keyboard Classes. Here, i witnessed the work ethics and quality of training that the conservatory has imparted on the students. My short stay in El Paso has not just helped me with my music skills but has given me a new and supportive musical family and has encouraged a great deal in pursuing not just a musical performing career but a teaching career as well. I currently work in Los Angeles as a Choir Director, a Voice Teacher, a Singer, and with the help and guidance of Mr. Loftin and Ms. Marmolejo, an administrator of my own conservatory of music in the near future.
Stephanie Sanchez (Professional opera singer) - The El Paso Conservatory of Music has been a key factor in furthering along my vocal training in operatic performance. Yvonne Marmolejo has provided me with world class instruction that has resulted in successful Young Artist auditions in the ultra competitive world of professional singing. I am so happy to say that I am making my professional debut with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis this coming Spring.
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Renee Iglesias (High school junior) - The El Paso Conservatory provides an excellent musical program for all students. I personally have attended the conservatory for three years, and although classes are a commitment, I have grown and flourished as a musician. I have also been affiliated with the conservatory’s Young Ladies Choir, and have found in it a second family. Devoted instructors, along with the rigorous classes, and opportunities provided have not only made me more professional, but have also given me a voice in my music. Finding the element that sets you apart as a musician is arguably the most important step in one’s career. The conservatory and its instructors provided the environment which allowed me to no longer decipher, but to interpret my music. Ultimately, my experience with the conservatory has been excellent, and I strongly recommend its instruction to all developing musicians.
Walter Bueno (College student) - It´s a place of excellence for learning music. Teachers, teaching tools, classrooms, every person and everything you find there is professional for the complete musical training. My personal experience has been great I have been able to sing in other places beacuse of the knowledge acquired with Mr. Loftin. In this moment they have very young students prepared to succeed I have huge gratitude for all the people of El Paso Conservatory of Music.
Mary Camargo (College student) - It's a great school for anyone who loves music! There are great teachers, and since there are small groups, each student gets personalized attention. So it doesn't matter if you’re a beginner or a more experienced musician, you will get musical improvement in short time. I took the music skills classes some years ago. That gave me the preparation to participate in operas, concerts, and recitals in Juarez, El Paso and Las Cruces; and also it prepared me to present a successful audition for the Music program in the University of Juarez. Now, I need to keep my voice active, so I am retaking my private voice lessons at the Conservatory.
Christian Martin (Pursuing politices) – I was enrolled at the El Paso Conservatory of Music for four years. El Paso Conservatory of Music has the best teachers, great learning environment, friendly staff and students. If you are serious about singing, playing the piano, drums, guitar, or music in general, this is the best place to learn and build on your talents.
Eric Quezada (High school student) - Great school for anyone wanting to learn music whether your a beginning student or a student with experience. The teachers here are very experienced and care about the progress of the students. They have very young students who have won and placed in competitions and have been accepted to study at prestigious universities and conservatories
Donna Holshouser Stinson (Adult community singer) - I decided to take voice lessons (first ever) at the Conservatory, shortly after moving to El Paso. I have now been taking them for nearly two seasons, and the experience has been wonderful! (Humbling, but wonderful.) The management and teachers have been supportive and professional. Their passion for music and for the community shines through.