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Former NFL player goes 'From Football to Opera' at A&M-Commerce

By Jasmin Brown
On January 20, 2011

The A&M-Commerce Department of Music will present the concert "From Football to Opera" with performers Lawrence Harris and Renee Guerrero on Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m.

According to an A&M-Commerce press release, Harris was a football player through high school in Sherman, Texas, in college and then for the Toronto Argonats, Buffalo Bills and the Houston Oilers from 1975 to 1983. He pursued his other passion, singing, after his time as a professional player, and attended Texas State University to study music. While studying there, he met Guerrero, who eventually became his wife. Together they moved to New York City after completing their education to pursue music further.

Guerrero, a pianist, received her Master's degree and Professional Studies Certificate in Piano Performance at the Manhattan School of Music. She is an active performer and teacher.

Director of Choral Activities Randall Hooper said Harris is a "long-time" friend of his and is a unique model for young men interested in music.

"Because of his physical strength and presence, he is well suited for operatic, dramatic baritone roles that require a larger than life physical presence and a powerful voice," Hooper said. "I am also excited to have Lawrence on our campus to help our younger men who like to sing see such a powerful, large, masculine man sing, and to have the opportunity to bring him on our campus to share his story and his powerful music."

Hooper said the performance will be an important testimony to how one can attain success in the professional world of music.

"They (Harris and Guerrero) are working performers who are able to support their family through a career in music," he said. "It is a hard road to support oneself through a career in performance. They are a testament to how hard work, talent and a passionate vision can make a career in music as a performer possible."

According to Hooper, this will be the first solo vocal concert held in the new Finney Concert Hall at the new Music Building.

"We are excited to hear a concert of solo voice and piano in our new hall," he said. "Because of the flexibility of the acoustics in the hall, I believe Lawrence and Renee will be very pleased with how the hall responds to their music."

Admission to the concert is free. For more information, contact Hooper at 903-886-5284 or at

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