On September 18, 2021, Venustiano “Venus” Reyes, Class of 1988, received the Missouri Military Academy (MMA) Hall of Fame Award in Arts and Sciences at the Alumni Recognition and Donor Awards Banquet during MMA Homecoming. The award recognizes his expertise and significant accomplishments in the arts, and that he is a visionary who serves as a coach, mentor and developer for those who follow in his footsteps.
As an MMA cadet, Reyes was discovered to be a musical prodigy. Having grown up under his father’s musical guidance – an accomplished conductor who studied at Columbia University in New York – Reyes began composing at eleven. By the time he enrolled at MMA, his musical abilities surpassed his peers and what MMA’s music curriculum could offer. To ensure Reyes found continued musical growth and development during his time at MMA, Colonel Churches, a former MMA music instructor, organized for Reyes to receive advanced private piano lessons outside of MMA, in addition to his rigorous music curriculum and involvement in MMA’s Jazz Band.
“I got involved in the music department under Colonel Churches,” Reyes said about his time at MMA. “That year – with strong, permanent and continuous contact with music, and performing all year – was fundamental for me to become a professional composer and an active musician.”
Today, Reyes is a world-renown composer and musician. Committing himself to symphonic music for the past 20 years, he has contributed significantly to the Latin-American symphonic and choral repertoire through compositions such as “Mass for Our Lady of Guadalupe,” “A Jesuit Symphony,” “Requiem” and “The Fifth of May Symphony.” He has also published 10 record albums, and his music has been performed in the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Italy, Poland, Ukraine, Argentina, Peru and Mexico; and in important venues and historical sites such as the Carnegie Hall, in New York City; the Basilica of Saint Peter in Chains, Rome; the Music Conservatoire of Frankfurt, Germany; the International House of Music and the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire, in Moscow, Russia; the National Center for the Arts, Mexico City; the Aberystwyth Arts Center of the University of Wales, United Kingdom; and the Conservatoires of Venice and Ferrara, in Italy.
Additionally, Reyes is a scholar, lecturing in law, philosophy, and art. He has written and has published two fiction books, two volumes of poetry, and several papers on law and philosophy. His prolific work is a testament to his dedication to his artistic crafts and love of learning.
Throughout his life, Reyes has made an impact in the arts while keeping true to MMA’s core values. It is our honor to recognize his accomplishments with induction into the MMA Hall of Fame.
Learn more about the MMA Alumni Hall of Fame awards.