Congratulations to Jorge Variego, one of seven recipients of the 2017 Undergraduate Faculty Research Mentor of the Year Award! He received the top award in the Humanities division in the College of Arts and Sciences. Variego is a lecturer and adjunct assistant professor of music theory and composition.
One of Dr. Variego’s students, Elise Stephens, praises his exemplary personal mentorship. She writes that “during the past year, he has taken me under his wing showing me how to collaborate creatively, achieve dreams, tackle technical problems, and advocate for my education. Always available to talk about my research blending visual art and music, he has helped me overcome performance fears and included me in chamber ensemble comprised of music students. He has served as an unwavering supportive voice during times of doubt. He has served to give me an extra push when my work wasn’t equal to my potential.”
Another student, Alex Gray, adds that Dr. Variego has worked to provide unique opportunities for his students: “I am a member of Dr. Variego’s ensemble, the UT Electroacoustic Ensemble, and he has opened the doors for us to play at several other universities, a music festival in New York, and Big Ears Festival. He also made it possible for us to produce a CD and market it online, giving most of us our first credits on a published album and helping us learn how to produce and sell an album.”
Besides being recognized for his instructional role, Variego has received several awards for his own compositions and performances, including 1st prizes in the “Carlos Guastavino” and “Jorge Pena Hen” composition contests. He received his bachelor’s degree from the National University of Rosario, Argentina, an MM in composition and clarinet performance from Carnegie Mellon University, and a PhD in composition from University of Florida. His faculty profile can be found here: https://music.utk.edu/faculty/variego.php.