Originally from Mexico, MARTHA PLACERES is known for her passion for music, music education, and conducting opportunities for female conductors. As a recognized conductor of her generation, Dr. Placeres has been featured with different orchestras in the US such as Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra, Texas Tech University Symphony and String Orchestras, University of Texas at Brownsville Symphony and String Orchestras, Washburn Opera, String and Symphony Orchestras, Texas All-Region 28 Middle and High School Orchestras, and Texas All-Region 32 Middle School Full Orchestra. Internationally, she has appeared as guest conductor with major orchestras such as Puebla State Conservatory of Music Symphony Orchestra (MX), Puebla State Symphony Orchestra (MX), University of Tamaulipas Symphony Orchestra (MX), Camerata Angelopolitana (MX), Puebla State Conservatory of Music Youth Symphony (MX), Lustenau Sinfonietta (Austria) and Camerata Angelopolitana on its 2013 Italy tour. She was the director of the Washburn University Symphony and String Orchestras as well as the Topeka Youth Symphony Orchestra. She has recently been invited to guest conduct the “Binational Youth Symphony Orchestra Germany-Mexico” 2016 Mexico Tour and 2018 Germany Tour, and the Voghera String Orchestra in Italy.
As a passionate music educator and advocate, Dr. Placeres created and developed the string and orchestra programs at the former University of Texas – Brownsville (now UTRGV – Brownsville), including the String Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra, and had an enthusiastic and accomplished violin/viola studio. Her former students had been accepted into top summer music programs including the renown Dorothy Delay Violin Symposium at The Juilliard School, won several competitions such as the University of Texas – Brownsville Symphony Orchestra Concerto/Aria Competition, and have been accepted into top graduate programs in the country. During her tenure at UT – Brownsville, she was also involved in bringing string education to the city of Brownsville by founding multiple string projects in elementary schools and the UT – Brownsville Music Academy, which led to the creation of the Brownsville S.M.A.R.T. Orchestra.
Since 2014 she is the Executive Director of the Orchestra and Band Conducting Symposium in Puebla, where she teaches orchestral conducting to band and orchestra conductors and students from all major music schools in the region. She is constantly invited to present workshops for several schools in the Topeka-Kansas City area, Texas Rio Grand Valley and Mexico. In the summer 2016, she taught a Beginning Conducting Workshop for the Puebla State Conservatory of Music and a Conducting Clinic for the US 501 School District. . As a certified member of the Texas Music Adjudicators Association (TMEAA) and Kansas State High School Adjudicators Association (KSHSAA), she is a regular adjudicator for Solo & Ensemble, and Concert & Sight Reading contests.
As an accomplished violinist, she has been part of different orchestras such as the Puebla State Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, Puebla State Chamber Orchestra, University of Tlaxcala Chamber Orchestra, Valley Symphony Orchestra, Lubbock Symphony Orchestra as well as founder and conductor of the Puebla Conservatory of Music Youth Orchestra. She was been the featured soloist performing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with well-known orchestras in Mexico and in 2005 she made a research and Recital about 20th century Mexican Music written for Violin and Piano. She is also a founder member of the “Trio Angelopolitano” in the State of Puebla and performs regularly in Mexico performing standard trio literature as well as bringing Latin American trio music to new audiences.
In 2016 she was given the Royal Decree of City of San Pedro Cholula in Mexico for her participation as the Mexican conductor of the Binational Symphony Orchestra Mexico-Germany, and given her outstanding musical career and constant advocacy for string music education, she is a recipient of the 2010 Exceptional Merit Award from the University of Texas – Brownsville and 2008 Woman of the Year in the Arts Award “Carmen Serdán Alatriste” from the State of Puebla. Dr. Placeres’ area of research is Latin American Music for chamber and symphony orchestra, and her research work has been published in “Síntesis” one of the most important newspapers in Puebla.
She has a Bachelors Degree from the Puebla State Conservatory of Music in Violin Performance, a Masters Degree in Music Education from the University of Texas at Brownsville and a Doctorate in Orchestral Conducting from Texas Tech University. She is currently the new Director of Orchestra and String Studies at Florida Southern College.
“The violin soloist, Martha Placeres, is so talented” — Brownsville Herald