Garcia is Music Man to 1,100 Kenosha Students
Alvaro Garcia, assistant professor in the UW-Parkside Music Department, served as guest conductor for the Kenosha Unified School District’s 44th annual Orchestra Festival in March. The event featured more than 1,100 students from Kenosha Unified elementary, middle and high schools.
The festival has become so popular that family and friends of the performers begin filling the Bradford High School Field House almost two hours prior to the start of the concert.
The combined orchestra opened the program with an arrangement of The Star Spangled Banner. The same massive group closed the performance with an arrangement of Highlights From Harry Potter, and a piece by contemporary American composer Elliot Del Borgo titled Aboriginal Rituals.
In a letter to Garcia from Larry Simons, coordinator of fine arts for the Kenosha Unified, Simons said, “The level of musicianship that you were able to elicit from our students was impressive. The massed orchestra played with an expressiveness … that we have not thought to be possible in a group of this size.”
In addition to praise from Unified administrators, the students also enjoyed their experience with Garcia.
“He took it step by step and broke it down so we could get it right,” said Ashley Ramchick, a Bradford freshman.
Garcia, a native of Spain, came to the United States in 1997 and has been at UW-Parkside for almost two years. He did his graduate work at Yale University and served as assistant conductor of the Yale Symphony Orchestra and the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra.
He also served as cover conductor for Gustav Meier with the Greater Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra and was assistant conductor to Ransom Wilson in the world premiere of the opera Ochelata’s Wedding by Jean-Michele Damase at the 2000 OK International Mozart Festival in Oklahoma.
At UW-Parkside, Garcia is director of the UW-Parkside Symphony and the Parkside