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The Amazing Educational Opportunity that Texas UIL provides us

25 Nov 2018 12:25 PM | Anonymous

I'm thankful for my job teaching high school guitar class in Houston ISD, and I am especially thankful this time of year for Guitar UIL in Texas.

The musical selections that appear on the UIL Prescribed Music List for Guitar Solo, Trio and Quartets are pieces I introduce and re-use year after year in my high school guitar class.  They are quality pieces, well-composed and well-sequenced for high school guitar students.

While preparing this article, I realized there is no existing information sheet on Guitar UIL in Texas, so we started one here:

This year, the excitement about students to do UIL started early.  In late July, I began investigating UIL pieces for my high school guitar students to compete with.  I checked the UIL PML for Guitar and looked at the most recently added pieces (highest UIL ID numbers).

To my great and thrilling surprise several new pieces were added to the UIL  list this year!   Challenging concert pieces, including the quartet Techno by Jürg Kindle, and quartet arrangements of Danzas espaňolas Nos. 1, 3, 4, 6, 11 & 12 by Enrique Granados (arrangements by Jan-Olof Eriksson) were there on the list for my students to play!

Now, in late November, we are working on these pieces and as we rehearse, I can’t help but smile, the repertoire is so fun and engaging that students are attending most of the voluntary, lunch-time rehearsals! 

And I smile again when I remember the students will play these pieces later for two highly-qualified UIL adjudicators in the spring semester.  They will have all the educational impact of preparing a challenging and intricate piece for presentation and then they will receive deeply significant feedback on their performance!  It is an all-around, bases-loaded, grand-slam home run music education experience!

To make this year's iteration of learning and performing UIL pieces especially inspiring is the coincidence that I happened to know the guitar teacher who submitted the request to add the piece Techno to the list!  (I can provide details upon request).  My colleague and I marveled that the UIL Guitar Prescribed Music List submission process works so well and that the Guitar UIL Committee is serving Texas teachers and students so efficiently! 

I'm thankful for the structures and educational opportunities for students provided to us by our state government, the TEA, TMEA and UIL. 

And I'm also so thankful for the guitar directors in our TGDA network committed to developing quality and providing life-changing guitar education in their home communities.

I'm wishing you the best of luck as you investigate and sign up students for UIL in your region.  

I look forward to hearing your stories of success with Guitar UIL in Texas!

Happy practicing!


- Edward Grigassy

President, Texas Guitar Directors Association

What questions do you have about Guitar UIL in Texas?  What would you like to share about your Guitar UIL experiences with other guitar directors?

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