OPSU Welcomes Exchange Student

—By Laura Hays on 10/14/2011 Flora Frete introduces the piano piece she performed at Noche de Gala.—Matthew Crook photo Flora Frete introduces the piano piece she performed at Noche de Gala.—Matthew Crook photo Goodwell, Okla.—Flora Frete was surprised to learn that most of her peers at Oklahoma Panhandle State University learned music in school and also that most are given the opportunity to participate in sports. In her native Argentina, music classes and athletics are an option, not a requirement. This music composition major hopes that one day, perhaps through teaching, she can help make those opportunities more accessible to youth in her native country. She believes that offering people an opportunity to engage in music and sports brings dignity to their lives.

Flora brings her enthusiasm to OPSU this fall as the third student from her country to take advantage of the exchange program between OPSU and Universidad Nacional de Villa Maria (UNVM) located in Córdoba Province, Argentina. It began in the spring of 2009 when OPSU hosted 2 students, Juan Sassatelli and Julia Ancari and then OPSU's Pam Gutierrez visited the UNVM the following year.

The UNVM musical composition major is enrolled in a wide variety of music classes including orchestration, composition, and piano and percussion education classes as well as piano and vocal lessons. In fact, Frete hopes to finish and premiere original music that she is writing for band at the final concert scheduled for December 1.

She embraces and performs a wide variety of musical styles and is adding more to her repertoire while in Goodwell. Back in Argentina, Flora helps support herself by playing in a Celtic music band as well as in a Spanish rock band that also covers traditional Argentine folk music and some jazz.

Flora lives at home with her parents and 3 brothers and when she's not practicing or performing, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and attending cultural events. Spending the semester in Goodwell is proving to be an amazing cultural experience as well as an educational one. Flora said she did not realize how rural the area was, but quickly added that she likes the small classes, her instructors, and is particularly impressed with the facilities. "I am making new friends, and being with people from such different backgrounds opens my mind and gives me another perspective," she said.

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