About & Contact

Hola. I’m a Conservatory-trained musician (piano major, voice and pipe organ double minors) and write mostly about music, classical music performances I’ve enjoyed, with symphonic choral music being my focus, along with piano performance. As a pianist, I was trained more as a Performance Major even though I was in the Music Education degree programme and vocal music concentration. To the surprise of my piano professor, I learned the Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 in c minor on my own over Summer breaks, learning the first movement one Summer and then the second and third movement the following Summer. Then years later, I “learned” the Rachmaninov Third.  I put “learned” in quotes because some piano concert artists say that one does not ever “learn” the Rachmaninov Third; that it’s a lifelong project. I agree, it took me 9 months to just get through that intense concerto. I also received extensive piano accompanying experience at the Conservatory — sometimes it was too much at the expense of my own piano repertoire since we were required to accompany three musicians and I had — what felt like — about 33, although it was probably realistically closer to about 10-13 musicians at any given time. The Chairwoman of the Accompanying Department kept sending students to me, which initially I really appreciated, until it became too much. I accompanied mostly wind and brass musicians and a couple of voice majors. Still, it was too many at the expense of my own work load, accompanying many of the orchestral musicians for their Student Recital and end-of-semester juries. I also served as piano accompanist for the Conservatory Concert Choir so I had that repertoire work load as well.  And for awhile (my senior year) I was Keyboardist for the Conservatory’s Symphony Orchestra.  It was a lot to do.  But I look back on all of it as very good experience that most people didn’t have. So I feel very fortunate in that regard.  I’m a “choral person” and I’ve had the privilege of being a chorister in three major Orchestra Choruses in the US: Norman Scribner’s Choral Arts Society of Washington and Dr Paul Traver’s renowned University of Maryland Chorus — they were not your average University Chorus by any definition — with frequent performances with the National Symphony Orchestra and guest (inter)national orchestras in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall (mostly) although a couple of performances at Wolf Trap, as well as a chorister in Vance George’s San Francisco Symphony Chorus (with interim Chorus Director Margaret Hillis, Founder and Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chorus) with performances in Davies Symphony Hall. All three Orchestra Choruses were invaluable experiences for me. Since my High School days — which served as a major catalyst for my strong interest in symphonic choral music — I had wanted to perform in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall with the superb Choral Arts Society of Washington and the superb University of Maryland Chorus and with major symphony orchestras, performing many of the symphonic choral works I had come to enjoy since my days of serving as piano accompanist for the High School Chorus. So I accomplished that goal and it was very rewarding and thrilling. And I’ve also served as Organist-Choirmaster in Anglican parishes. That should give you an idea of my musical experience and training.  You can read articles from my “In the Conservatory” series over on the right. Chau.—el barrio rosa

E-mail address: