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High Desert Music Teachers Association performers: Back Row: Flutist Debra Veit, Violist Bianca Samaniego, Guitarist, and HDMTA President Jordan Covert. Front row: Britta Covert, Pianist Catherine Douglas, and Non-member Vocalist Kathy Cummings. / Laura Austin Photo

High Desert Music Teachers Association is back in concert

By LAURA QUEZADA News Review Staff Writer–
The Maturango Museum Coso Gallery is the site for the High Desert Music Teachers Association (HDMTA) performance, “Our Favorites,” A Music Teacher’s Concert. Tickets are available at the museum. Adults are $20 and those under 12 years old are $5. The music starts at 7 pm on Saturday, January 28. 

This is their first in-person performance since January 2020. In 2021 the group posted individual videos on YouTube. The videos are still online and can be found by searching using their name. Also on YouTube is their 2022 full concert video.

Stephanie McManus is the concert’s Impresario and will introduce each piece. Concertgoers will be treated to vocals, flutes, piano, and Spanish guitar with solos and collaborations from familiar composers and original compositions by HDMTA President Jordan Covert.

Baritone David Hodgson / Laura Austin Photo
Mezzo-Soprano Amber Petersen / Courtesy Photo

Covert’s two original compositions include La Brisa Maritima (with the accent on the first “i”) played on a Spanish guitar he purchased in Spain. A quartet, comprised of his wife Britta, Amber Peterson, David Hodgson, and Covert, will sing his  Requiem, a Kyrie written in honor of his brother who passed in 2016, and his mother who passed in 2020. “ The Quartet piece is intended for choir and orchestra, but for this context, it’s being reduced to four singers, one for each vocal part and piano. But eventually, the plan is to set it for orchestra as part of a larger Requiem work,” says Covert.  

Non-member Kathy Cummings was asked to sing. She chose I’m Alive and I Can See, a Black gospel. “If you’re familiar with Matthew, Mark, and Luke, they all tell the story of Jesus coming out of Jericho and there’s a blind man on the side of the road,” says Cummings. “The blind man calls to Jesus to come and heal him. And that’s what this song is based on.”

Violist Bianca Samaniego will play a piece by Dvořák from the late Romantic Period. Pianist Catherine Douglas will play Rubinstein, Beethoven, and Chopin. She will also collaborate with Covert as he sings a solo composed by Haydn. Baritone David Hodgson will sing a Schubert composition.  Debra Veit and Joann Freeman will perform in a flute duet composed by German composer Fürstenau

HDMTA was formed in 1962. Covert tells us, “We’re a collection of music teachers that share resources with each other. One of the things that we do for each other is set up recitals periodically throughout the year for our students. We have one day out of the year where we have a recital that’s for the teachers, and that’s what this concert is.” 

You can learn more about HDMTA on their Facebook page: