2019 West Texas Walk of Fame inductees announced

Local News

Images of Susan Graham, David Kneupper, Romeo Reyna and Larry Trider
(Photo provided by Civic Lubbock Inc.)

LUBBOCK, Texas – On Monday, the Civic Lubbock, Inc. board announced the 2019 West Texas Walk of Fame inductees.

There will be four inductees this year — Susan Graham, David Kneupper, Romeo Reyna and Larry Trider. Each inductee was born within the West Texas area and has made unique contributions to the West Texas music and art scene.

The induction ceremony will be held at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center Theatre, 1501 Mac Davis Lane, Thursday, September 19 at 7:00 p.m.

Below is a statement from Civic Lubbock, Inc.

Civic Lubbock, Inc. Announces 2019 West Texas Walk of Fame Inductees

[Lubbock, Texas] The Civic Lubbock, Inc. Board is pleased to announce the upcoming inductions into the West Texas Walk of Fame for 2019. The honorees are: Susan Graham, David Kneupper, Romeo Reyna and Larry Trider. The induction ceremony will take place on Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 7:00pm in the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center Theatre located at 1501 Mac Davis Lane.

Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham was raised in Midland, Texas. She is a graduate of Texas Tech University and the Manhattan School of Music. She made her New York Metropolitan Opera debut in 1991 and her international debut at Covent Garden in London in 1994. Susan, hailed as “an artist to treasure” by the New York Times, rose to the highest echelon of international performers within just a few years of her professional debut, mastering an astonishing range of repertoire and genres. Her operatic roles span four centuries, from Monteverdi’s Poppea to Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, which was written especially for her. Today Susan is one of the foremost opera stars as well as a versatile and compelling singing actress with a devoted international audience. She has sung leading roles from the Baroque and Classical to contemporary creations in the great opera houses of the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala Milan, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Vienna State Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Dresden’s Semperoper and is a favorite at the Salzburg Festival. Susan has appeared with most of the world’s leading conductors and orchestras and sung alongside artists such as Renee Fleming, Anna Netrebko and Placido Domingo. In great demand at home and abroad, Susan enchants audiences with her expressive voice and her natural, engaging acting ability in both comedy and tragedy. In addition to being a Grammy award-winning artist, Susan was awarded the French government’s prestigious “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur” for her popularity as a performer in France for her commitment to French music. In 2004, she was named Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year. A cover article in Gramophone magazine dubbed her “America’s favorite mezzo.” Susan is a Texas Tech University Distinguished Alumna.

Composer and sound designer David Kneupper earned his Master’s degree in Music Theory and a Ph.D in Fine Arts (music composition) at Texas Tech University. He had his Carnegie Hall debut in 1993. David knew at a very young age that he wanted to compose music and began his professional career when in 1984 he heard a demonstration of a Kurzwell K250 and decided to use the new electronic musical instrument for his Ph.D dissertation. Shortly thereafter, he was approached by an advertising agent and asked to compose twenty-nine seconds of music for an ad. David increasingly found himself writing music commercially and finished his Ph.D in 1987 while also building a professional resume. He works primarily with theme parks, museums, branded experiences and new media. David has worked extensively with Universal Studios, the Walt Disney Company, Warner Brothers, Six Flags and many other attractions across the US, Europe and Asia. One of the highlights of his career was when he was asked to compose a score for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. The goal was to have the music for individual exhibits mix artistically with adjacent exhibits. David was challenged to write three different songs for three separate exhibits that would still be harmonious when played at the same time. This project, which resulted in over three hours of music, took about 15 months to complete. Other attractions that David has created original music and sound design for include: Madagascar: A Crate Adventure, Steven Spielbergs’s Light, Camera, Action! for Universal Studios Singapore; The Soul Of Nashville for the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN; the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at the Shanghai Disney Resort; Alamo The Experience, San Antonio, TX; the Shuttle Launch Experience for the Kennedy Space Center in Titusville, FL and many more. Eleven of his projects have been awarded the Themed Entertainment Association’s THEA Award for Outstanding Achievement. David is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Motion Picture Sound Editors Guild, the Themed Entertainment Association and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. David is a Texas Tech University Distinguished Alumnus.

Textile and visual artist Romeo Reyna was a long-time resident of Lubbock. Born in 1935, he first encountered Lubbock as a migrant worker with his parents. Romeo, at the age of 16, was the youngest student at that time to enter the Chicago Art Institute. His perseverance and talent made it possible for him to continue his studies at the Los Angeles Arts Center and the Otis Art Institute. Romeo became a nationally recognized textile/visual artist and was featured several times in Architectural Digest, Interior Design and Texas Monthly. Romeo specialized in designing, creating, and installing extra-large tapestries. Other artistic work included fiber hand-woven rugs, quilted leather wall and floor coverings and three dimensional fabric wall sculptures. Some of his selected commissions included installations for the Hagadone Building in Idaho, the Sheraton Plaza in Palm Springs, the Black Angus Restaurant in Seattle, which at the time was his largest tapestry measuring 275’ by 4 stories tall, the Bob Hope Cultural Center in Palm Springs, Maxim’s Restaurant in Houston as well as many other banks, museums, offices and private homes in Texas and around the United States. Various commissions were installed at locations in Germany, Spain, Singapore, Columbia, Canada and Mexico. His work has been exhibited in various fine art museums including the Kamsky Gallery in Beverly Hills, the Palm Springs Desert Museum, the Pasadena Art Museum, the Laguna Beach Museum and various international shows. Romeo passed away April 26, 2016 at the age of 80. He will be inducted posthumously during the 2019 Walk of Fame Induction Ceremony. His sister, Lala Cavazos, will be accepting the honor on his behalf.

Singer/songwriter and bandleader Larry Trider was born in 1937 and raised on a farm outside Lazbuddie in the West Texas panhandle. He once said his only choices were farming or music, so he picked up a guitar and started playing at a young age. A collaboration with Rick Tucker in Amarillo gave Larry some experience before he began fronting a series of his own bands and touring, beginning with Larry Trider and The Nomads, Larry Trider’s Playboy Quartet, Larry Trider and the Psychos, and Larry Trider and the Road Riders. Under the management of the Norman Petty Agency, he appeared at the Panther A-Go-Go [Panther Hall] in Fort Worth, with The Crickets in 1965 and also recorded at Petty’s studio in Clovis, New Mexico. Releases came from Roulette in 1961, Coral in 1963 and 1964, Dot in 1965, and Amy Records in 1968. Trider and his band toured extensively, covering 42 states from New York to Kansas City to Portland. In the early 1970’s, Las Vegas supplied a majority of bookings, particularly at the Golden Nugget, where “The Larry Trider Show” played for 18 months during one engagement. In between, there were benefits, auctions, and additional venues in Michigan, Colorado, New Mexico, and West Texas. In 1974 Trider put together the album Country Soul Man, released by Ranwood Records. The late 1970’s and 1980’s found Trider appearing closer to home around the “Golden Spread” of the Texas Panhandle. Larry is considered a mentor by many of the West Texas singers/musicians who were beginning their music careers in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. His recordings from the vault of Norman Petty’s recording studio were recently released by Nor-Va-Jak Music and include 31 tracks from the original master tapes.

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