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The Sound of Leadership ̵ ...

My first exposure to Troy Peters was his presentation at the 2016 TEDxSanAntonio conference, during which he and several student members of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio (YOSA) offered a compelling lesson in how the performance of music can serve as a metaphor for leadership and for life. Troy has been Music Director and Conductor of YOSA since 2009, when he left a fourteen-year position with the Vermont Youth Orchestra to come to the Alamo City. The journey from Greenock, Scotland (where Troy as born) to San Antonio, Texas has been an interesting one, replete with education, accomplishment, and the breadth of experience one would expect from someone who travels the world teaching and performing orchestral music. But first things ...

Rose Monday – Going the ...

A few months back—before words like coronavirus and Covid19 became a part of everyone’s vernacular and daily life—I had the pleasure of interviewing Rose Monday for this issue of The Dominion magazine. Indeed, by late February I had managed to get a few articles ahead on interviews, which turned out to be a good thing, what with the social distancing that became the norm starting in mid-March. What Rose and I did not yet realize at that time—though it was certainly becoming at least a plausible possibility—was that the 2020 Olympic Games, originally scheduled for this July, would end up being postponed, along with every other sporting event we’ve come to take for granted. That’s a pretty big piece of a context for this story, ...

Doc Watkins – Calling th ...

So what exactly is the story with the cardboard box full of rubber chickens? Full disclosure: I confess that I’ve wondered about this ever since the first time I visited Jazz, TX nearly two years ago and noticed the box on stage tucked discreetly beneath the baby grand piano. And though I’ve waited two years to get my answer, it didn’t occur to me to ask club owner and house bandleader Brent “Doc” Watkins this question until near the end of our conversation. But answer it he did, after a meandering discussion about how an Oregon native made his way to San Antonio and what made him want to start the area’s first true jazz club in a city known for, well, lots of other things. Doc Watkins hails originally from the Portland, Oregon ...

Burl Yarbrough – Mission ...

If you’ve lived in San Antonio for any length of time and you have no idea who the Flying Chanclas or Henry the Puffy Taco are, then you seriously need to pay close attention to this profile. If you do know who they are, then you’re obviously a fan of baseball in the Alamo City. Full disclosure: baseball is by far my favorite sport, and I’ve followed it my entire life—first as a Red Sox fan growing up in Maine, later as an Astros fan in Houston. But, like many people, I’ve mainly followed it at the big league level, never paying much attention to the minors, until, that is, I arrived here in San Antonio in 2011, where the only baseball option is the minors, specifically the San Antonio Missions, our local affiliate that plays its ...

Richard Aste – The Art o ...

“Art is empathy. When you experience a work of art, you’re seeing the world through someone else’s eyes. Now more than ever, as the world is experiencing an empathy deficit, museums have even more of a responsibility to the communities they serve.” We’re barely a minute into our interview, but Richard Aste’s thoughts go straight to the passion that informs his life and his life’s work—the visual arts—and in particular, the sharing of that art with the world, or, more specifically, with the citizens of the city of San Antonio, his adopted home of three years. As director of The McNay Art Museum since September of 2016, it is his charge, and his privilege, to transform the museum from “an exclusive place of high art” to ...

Acú Bistro – Cuisine in ...

I grew up in a family that knew virtually nothing about cooking (think Hamburger Helper and Chef Boyardee). So anytime I get the opportunity to talk with somebody whose family does know about cooking, does a great deal of it, and even celebrates it, I am immediately envious, and then, shortly after that, curious to learn all that I can about how they go about it. All of which made my recent conversation with Acú Bistro Bar owner Karlo Orduna, his sister Karla, and his business partner Jeff Treviño all the more intriguing and rewarding. Acú Bistro Bar is a newish (open about a year and a half) casual/fine-dining restaurant located in the Dominion Crossing center on the eastbound side of I10, just outside the Dominion main gate. The four ...

Sichan Siv – A Journey o ...

“Any definition of a successful life must include service to others.”                                                                         George H. W. Bush   I first met Ambassador Sichan Siv in 2012 through the Columbia University Alumni Association of San Antonio. He had received his Masters degree from the School of International Affairs in 1981, around the same time I was beginning my undergraduate studies at the engineering school. Our paths crossed again years later when it turned out we were both members of the San Antonio squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, a search and rescue auxiliary of the USAF. From these brief interactions, I could tell there ...

Tim Morrow – Animal Spir ...

The San Antonio Zoo has been around—officially—since 1914 (the zoo celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1989). But if you spend some time exploring the history of the zoo—which CEO and Executive Director Tim Morrow, subject of this month’s profile, was kind enough to provide to me—you’ll find references to animal collections dating back to as early as the 1870s, with the original small animal collection residing in San Pedro Park. Credit for creating the original zoo goes to Colonel George W. Brackenridge (also founder of the Express News), and since its inception just over one hundred years ago, the zoo has had seven executive directors, with Tim having begun his stint in the position in December of 2014. But the path that got ...

The Culinary Institute of Amer ...

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) is the preeminent culinary college in the world, and the San Antonio campus at The Pearl is one of just three locations in the U.S. (the others being Hyde Park, New York and Napa Valley, California). Those of us fortunate enough to live in San Antonio have long known the Alamo City for the astonishing quality and diversity of its restaurants, but—just to make it official—UNESCO named San Antonio a Creative City of Gastronomy in October 2017, one of just two cities in the U.S. to be so honored. The San Antonio campus of the CIA opened in 2008, and it has since gained a well-deserved reputation for the quality of its instruction and the culinary innovation of its graduates. Notable local alumni ...

Sebastian Lang-Lessing – ...

“I feel like I know a lot about the things you’ve accomplished,” I said to begin our interview at The Tobin Center, “but I don’t really know anything about who you are.” Sebastian Lang-Lessing has been Music Director and Conductor of the San Antonio Symphony since 2010, and his many career achievements and accolades are well documented on any number of web sites and magazine articles, hence the first half of my opening statement. The goal of this piece, though, was to learn a bit more about the maestro as a person. And so we started in the small town of Gelsenkirchen in northern Germany, a former mining town not far from the Dutch border, where Sebastian was born, the youngest of four, all of his siblings girls. The ...