The West Texas Symphony Presents

“Opposites Attract”

Wally Minko – Composer and Pianist

A concert for Symphony Orchestra
and Jazz Quartet

Composed by Wally Minko

Saturday, March 2, 2024 – 7:30 PM


For two and a half centuries people have come to the United States from all over the world, bringing their musical traditions with them.

The ultimate expressions of this musical melting pot can be found in the wildly diverse, uniquely American styles collectively known as “jazz”.

These compositions start with elements of Dixieland, Cool Jazz, Irish Jig, Spanish/Flamenco, Viennese Waltz, Modern Classical, Pop, R&B, Contemporary Ballad, Polka, Second Line and Calypso.

We then infuse them with jazz rhythm and harmony, and finally marry them to the European classical orchestral tradition to produce a collection of new music that is both thought-provoking and lots of fun…and music shows us once again that the future is relentlessly optimistic.

The Orchestra:

The West Texas Symphony

The Quartet:

Wally Minko – Piano
Gary Meek – Saxophones & Flute
Ernest Tibbs – Bass
David Zarlenga – Drums

The Venue:

Wagner Noel
Performing Arts Center
1310 Farm to Market 1788
Midland, TX 79707
Tickets: 1-800-514-3849

Wagner Noel
Performing Arts Center

1310 Farm to Market 1788
Midland, TX 79707

The Quartet:

Wally Minko

Grammy-nominated composer, arranger, producer, and pianist Wally Minko was born in Akron, Ohio.

He studied classical piano with renowned professor Laura Lagarda for many years before embarking on a career in jazz and popular music.

Residing in Los Angeles for over 25 years, Wally has performed and recorded with jazz superstars Jean-Luc Ponty and Arturo Sandoval, pop stars Tom Jones, Barry Manilow, and Deneice Williams; R&B artists Pink, Toni Braxton, En Vogue, New Edition, and Expose’, prog-rock superstar Jon Anderson, Rock & Roll Hall-of-Famer Gregg Rolie of Santana and Journey and many more.

Dave Zarlenga

Drummer David Zarlenga is a California native currently residing in the Santa Clarita Valley.

David studied with highly regarded percussion instructors Murray Spivack and Fred Gruber for several years.

He has worked with many well-known artists and has performed all over the world. In the 1990s David served as musical director and drummer for the internationally known Tom Jones.

He has performed on various television shows including The Tonight Show, The Simpsons, and Conan O’Brian.

David is currently working as a freelance musician doing live dates as well as recording and teaching.

Ernest Tibbs

Graduated from Bass Institute of Technology in 1989 and received the Bass Student of the Year Award. Since then, he’s gone on to develop an impressive list of credits, including work with Natalie Cole, Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight (musical Madam Lilly), James Ingram, Melba Moore, Eloise Laws, and Debra Laws.

Ernest has also toured and/or performed with Allan Holdsworth, Larry Carlton, Simon Phillips, Andy Summers, Jeff Richman, Thom Rotella, David Benoit, David Garfield, Phil Upchurch, Dan Segal, Tom Scott, Eric Marienthal, Brian Auger, Ronnie Laws, Jeff Lorber, Kevin Toney, Pat Kelley, Lee Ritenour, John Pisano, Brian Bromberg, Brandon Fields, Norman Brown, Russian Pop Star Alsou, as well as symphony orchestras in San Francisco, Atlanta, and Los Angeles.

Ernest was a member of the Debbie Allen directed musical “TWIST” at the Pasadena Playhouse in Los Angeles, California.

Ernest was a part of the teaching staff at Musician’s Institute for 19 years. He’s also made clinic/concert appearances with Mike Stern, Danny Gottlieb, and Oz Noy.

His TV appearances include two appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Rosie O’Donnell Show, and the 2002 American Idol finale.

His recording credits are equally impressive: Allan Holdsworth Leverkusen 2010, Simon Phillips & Protocol II, III, IV, &V, Derek Sherinian, Dean Brown, Phil Upchurch & the Phil-Harmonic Orchestra, David Garfield, David Benoit, Pat Kelley, Kevin Toney, Carlton Schroeder, Mijares, MSM Shmidt, Vernell Brown, Jr., Ray Fuller, and Sonny Axell. He was also a part of the recording band for “Livin’ for Live”: The Natalie Cole Story.

Gary Meek

Gary Meek is a lifelong multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and recording artist with 7 solo CDs.

He has appeared on over 200 records, including Herb Alpert, Dave Weckl, Airto Moreira and Flora Purim, Jeff Lorber, Green Day and Oscar Castro-Neves to name just a few.

He has performed both as a sideman and a leader all over the planet, on saxophones, flute, and keyboards.

The Venue

Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center

The Premiere Music Venue for West Texas

Since 2011

Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center is the cornerstone of a much broader effort by the partnership to develop a nationally renowned program of cultural events and provide a world-class venue for performing arts organizations. Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center continues to promote the development of the performing arts on campus and for all levels and ages among the communities of the region.



  • 7:30PM
  • 6:30 PM
  • $12 – $60 *$12 student tickets