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Reunion concert follows student’s 2016 Sherman-Barsanti honor

UNT Music student Daniel Pardo has won the $10,000 top prize in UNT’s 2016 Sherman-Barsanti Inspiration Awards. Pardo was awarded the honor April 7 for his project From a Land Far Away (click here to view his application video). Daniel Pardo (left) with Dean of College of Arts and Sciences David Holdeman

From a Land Far Away is a musical project that joins avid instrumentalists from around the world to make the stage a celebration of culture, life and music,” Pardo said. “The U.S., Colombia, China, Italy, Spain and Puerto Rico are among the areas represented by musicians, and we render homage to music from those countries in addition to Venezuela, India, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, and more. The common element among the members of the band is this desire to bring joy to the audience and portray beauty in each music style.”

The $10,000 award is made possible by a $350,000 gift from donors Bob and Bette Sherman and honors student creativity. It is open to full-time UNT undergraduate or graduate students with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher in any academic program. Two other finalists – Anagha Krishnan, a student in UNT's Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, and Chelsea Wagenaar, an English graduate student – also were honored at the reception and received cash prizes of $3,000 and $1,000 respectively.

“We continue to be appreciative of the breadth of the creativity and imagination that is obviously present across the entire campus,” Bob Sherman said. “In each of the three years the awards have been given, the winners have come from diverse backgrounds and fields of interest. That is as it should be and is cause to celebrate. We are delighted that the faculty, staff and administration are so invested in putting these talents forward for all to behold.”

To help raise funds for a local church, From a Land Far Away will celebrate the win in a reunion concert at 7 p.m. June 11 at Gilley’s – South Side Music Hall, 1135 S. Lamar St., Dallas. Tickets are $25 for the concert only; $50 for the concert and a three hour drink ticket; and $75 for the concert, dinner and drinks (dinner begins at 6 p.m.).

“The band will perform a fundraising concert for the East Dallas Christian Church concert series with special guest violinist Karen Briggs from the PBS special Yanni: Live at the Acropolis,” Pardo said. “There also will be a CD release featuring UNT alumnus Jeff Coffin from Dave Matthews Band and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. After our reunion concert, I would like to orchestrate our music to perform with orchestras and Big Bands, to continue the discovery of artistic possibilities and reach wider audiences.”

Pardo also hopes that he can inspire peace through the project:

“I want to reach audiences throughout the world with this message of celebration and of brotherhood. I think we all need that. We need to remind ourselves that our neighbors are our brothers, and that we are always capable to love more. Music allows us to speak directly to our souls and to reach into the very fabric of our nature – love.”

For more information on opportunities to support UNT and its students, visit or call 940-565-2900.

-Courtney Taylor, news promotions

Photo by Emma Carnes

Posted on: Mon 25 April 2016

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