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My passion in life is composing and sharing music. I'm a composer, classical guitarist, orchestral/choral conductor, organist and therapeutic musician. Below you can read more about some of my experiences, education and what I do.
Creativity is my main drive in music.
Composing music is one of my favorite activities in life. I have been awarded top prizes in competitions and my compositions are performed by internationally acclaimed artists and ensembles. My sacred music, which consists of music for choir, organ, piano and guitar, cover all the church year. Many of my compositions can be heard in my Youtube channel. I have taught music analysis, counterpoint, harmony and music appreciation in several schools, including the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, the Conservatorio Nacional de Música of Santo Domingo, and the Instituto de Cultura y Arte. I studied composition with Tania León, Alice Parker and William Averitt, and counterpoint with the Dominican composer, Manuel Simó.
The classical guitar is my primary instrument.
I studied classical guitar at the National Conservatory of Music of Santo Domingo, Brooklyn College in NY, The University of Texas at Austin and Shenandoah University. The guitar is my 1st instrument, organ the 2nd, and piano the 3rd.
I got my musical education in the Dominican Republic and the USA.
I began my basic musical studies at the local Music Academy "Patria" in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic, which consisted only of two years of solfege. Later I attended the Conservatorio Nacional de Música of Santo Domingo where I studied with guitar teachers Rafael Lagares and Luis Francisco Simó. Rafael Lagares encouraged me to become a guitarist and we played a few guitar duets in different places. I went to New York City and attended Brooklyn College,where I found great education. I have good memories of Sherman Van Solkema, my wonderful music theory teacher who showed me how to compose music from different periods. After I finished my BM, I went to the University of Texas at Austin, staying only a year because I opted to go back to the DR to teach music. After about seven years in the DR, I decided to finish my graduate degrees at Shenandoah University, where I got a teaching assistantship.
I have taught music in the Dominican Republic and the USA.
A: I went back to the DR because I was offered a guitar teaching position at the National Conservatory of Music. I also taught at the Instituto de Cultura y Arte in Santiago, which was a great experience with very talented musicians, and at the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo. Now I teach guitar at Mary Baldwin University, at Randolph College, and in my music studio in Charlottesville, VA.
My performance career.
I spent seven years teaching in the DR and my career developed slowly at first. There wasn't any tradition of solo performers offering regular concert tours in the different towns and provinces. The 1st concert was at the Centro Cultural Dominico-Americano and after that, I managed to play often and I had great experiences doing that. I've performed in guitar festivals, such as the Ibero-Americano Guitar Festival in Washington DC, the Eastern Shore Guitar Festival and Workshop in Maryland, at the Bethlehem Guitar Festival at Moravian College, and guitar festivals and competitions in the Dominican Republic, among others. I have performed two solo recitals at Carnegie Hall in NY, at El Teatro Nacional, El Teatro del Cibao, the National Conservatory of Music, the Universidad Autónoma and the Universidad Central del Este in the Dominican Republic, Bilkent University and Marmara University in Turkey, East Carolina University, University of Virginia, George Washington University, Pacific Union College, City College, Randolph College, Sweet Briar College, Brooklyn College, Mary Baldwin College, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and Shenandoah University in the USA, among others; plus many churches, public libraries, TV and Radio stations throughout the USA, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Turkey, Venezuela, and Canada. I have organized seven guitar festivals in the Dominican Republic, where I have invited renowned guitarists and I organize the Charlottesville Classical Guitar Festival & Competition and the Charlottesville Classical Guitar Concert Series.
I'm an orchestral and choral conductor.
I did a MM in orchestral conducting and did choral conducting studies, too. I have led the Filarmónica del Cibao, the Shenandoah University Symphony Orchestra, and the Sinfónica Juvenil "Juan Pablo Duarte". As a choral conductor, I have led in the DR the "National Police Choir", the Supreme Court of Justice Choir and I have been a section leader at the "National Choir", all in the Dominican Republic. Currently, I conduct the Madison Choral Society in Virginia. I studied orchestral conducting with Jan Wagner, Jan Wnek, Fernando Geraldes and Scott Nelson; and choral conducting with Robert Shafer, and Steven Cooksey.
I'm an organist and church music director.
I love church music and it's an important part of my life. I have worked in churches as organist and choir/music director for many years. I have a graduate church music certificate from Shenandoah University, which is a 3-year summer program. I have four of the five professional certifications that the AGO (American Guild of Organists) awards. I perform sacred music concerts in churches and I am the music director and organist at the Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Charlottesville, Virginia. I studied organ with Frank Speller, Steven Cooksey, Dale Krider and David Norfrey.