A Q&A with Music’s Lia Uribe

by | Sep 27, 2019 | Dean's Corner, Faces of Fulbright, Q & A

Lia Uribe. D.M.A.
Associate Professor of Music/Bassoon and
Undergraduate Director of Studies for the Department of Music

In this conversation, Uribe talks about her love of helping students to grow and succeed as musicians, her passion for highlighting Latin American art music in her recitals and concerts, the importance of social responsibility in the music profession, her community and local orchestra involvement, and the thriving Northwest Arkansas arts scene.

Q: Tell us a little about your research, academic passions and/or role within the college. What excites you about this?

Through my research, I purposely draw attention to composers, performers, audiences and communities specific to Latin America and to other marginalized groups. 

I love conveying to my students the importance of social responsibility within the music profession – to help them better understand and commit to representation, diversity and inclusiveness.

I’m passionate about highlighting Latin American art music in my recitals, lecture-recitals and recordings; bringing music of minorities to national and international festivals and conferences; and supporting living marginalized composers through the commissioning and performance of their music as a way to acknowledge and authenticate their contributions. 

But also, to intentionally use available platforms and bridges in my surroundings to be artistically excellent and impact-driven, while fostering change, equity and social justice around me.

Q: How long have you been at Fulbright College? What have you enjoyed most about your time here?

Photo by Kat Wilson.

I was hired in the fall of 2013. What I enjoy the most is my interaction with students. 

I love seeing them grow, expand, change, succeed, and watching their process brings me hope and strength to continue doing what I do.

This position has also become a platform to connect with the community, from collaborations with other artists to becoming part of boards of art organizations. 

This is a time of change in which more than ever there is a need and a movement to encourage and embrace diversity in the arts. I have been fortunate to be able to join my voice and experiences, and definitely being a University of Arkansas professor has added volume to my message. 

Last but not least, my connections with colleagues in my department and beyond. The bar has been set very high in all research endeavors, and the inspiration I get constantly from them is refreshing, enriching and renewing.

Q: What do you most hope your students remember from their classes and/or interactions with you?

I hope to convey to my students my passion for music and my belief that music has the potential to offer powerful, valuable and humanizing experiences for each and all of us, as well as positive social change.

Q: What do you like to do during your time outside of the university?

When not at the university, I work as a peer facilitator for Artist INC, a professional development program for artists, and as principal bassoonist in our local orchestras, SoNA (Symphony of Northwest Arkansas) and APO (Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra).

I serve as a member of the Walton Arts Center Board of Directors and belong to and lead several diversity and inclusion initiatives with different local, national and international organizations.

I travel a lot because of music, so there is also practicing a preparation for concerts and lectures. 

And of course, family, my partner and two kids, who keep me loved, inspired, balanced and grounded.

Q: What’s up next on the horizon for you?

Photo by Kat Wilson.

Music, music, and more music. I recently learned that I was one of the 20 recipients of the Artists 360 grant (many of them, by the way, are from Fulbright College!) which will keep me busy starting now and all 2020 with a recording and commissioning project.

My latest CD “Sound Perimeter” will be released soon. This recording features my colleagues and friends Miroslava Panayotova (piano), Fernando Valencia, and Matt Brusca (percussion), and showcases music by Latin-American and Latin-American-inspired composers.

In the spring of 2020, I will be performing with the University of Arkansas Symphony Orchestra conducted by Robert Mueller, a newly commissioned concerto for bassoon, “Impressions of Manuela Saenz,” by Argentinian/Brazilian composer Noam Faingold.

Also, in May, I will be a soloist with the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Steven Byess, with the piece “Dead Elvis” by Michael Daugherty. 

And in the summer, I will be a guest artist/teacher in Guatemala.

Meanwhile, I hope to continue being an active member of our Northwest Arkansas arts community tapestry in many capacities, and a good ambassador of the University of Arkansas and of my many identities: musician, artist, immigrant, Latinx, woman, educator.

And advocating. And representing. 

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add or let readers know?

I’m from Colombia, South America, and I learned to dance salsa before I learned to walk. 

In my office there is always chocolate to share with my students. 

My latest found favorite quote: “When one teaches, two learn.” 

Also, I may or may not like Tchaikovsky.

Andra Parrish Liwag

Director of Communications, J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences 

479-575-4393 // liwag@uark.edu