La Sierra University

04/12/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 04/12/2019 14:50

Concerto winner Sanchez builds upon musical roots in Mexico

Violinist Pablo Sanchez, a second-year Performer's Certificate student from Mexico won this year's annual concerto competition by playing sections of Johannes Brahms' 'Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 77.' He started learning the richly arduous and varied piece last summer, chosen in part because it is a favorite of his father's. The elder Sanchez teaches history and piano and plays double bass in the orchestra at theSeventh-day AdventistUniversity of Montemorelos in Nuevo León, Mexico.

On Saturday,April 27, Pablo will perform the full Brahms work, a nearly 40-minute piece, with the La Sierra University Orchestra as the featured artist for the 61st Annual Choral and Concerto Concert. The programwill be held at8:15 p.m. atthe La Sierra University Church and will include the university chorale, chamber singers and Loma Linda University Church Sanctuary Choir under Dr. Ariel Quintana. Guest conductor Miguel Campos Neto will direct the university orchestra. La Sierra's Director of Vocal Studies Raejin Lee will perform as soloist.

To win the concerto, Sanchez faced stiff competition from 15 other talented musicians. It was the largest group of concerto contest participants in recent years. The contenders played portions of their selected concertos on their respective instruments for a panel of three professional musicians - Ana Maria Maldonado, principal cellist with the San Bernardino Symphony, Mike Zonshine, former principal trumpet with the Honolulu Symphony, and Alpin Hong, international concert solo pianist.

The judges rated the students on tone, stage presence, intonation, rhythmic clarity, on unique and tasteful musical interpretations, and on their ability to memorize the music accurately.

Sanchez now aims for acceptance into a major symphony orchestra, a goal he is on his way to achieving. He has won fellowships to the prestigious Aspen Music Festival and Rocky Ridge Summer Festival, studied with leading classical artists, won awards and competition placements, and served as concertmaster for university and festival orchestras. This year he landed a position as a substitute violinist with the New World Symphony Orchestra co-founded by eminent conductor Michael Tilson Thomas.

Sanchez was raised in Mexico by his father, Pedro Sanchez, and his violinist mother, Ma Elena Sanchez who also teachesand performsmusic at the University of Montemorelos. His two older sisters play piano and cello. Despite the nearly 1,500-mile separation, he continues to draw from the strength of hisparents and siblingsand those who have known him from the beginning.

'My greatest influences have always been both my family and parents with their example and support,' he says, 'also the community where I grew up.'

Sanchez earned a Bachelor of Music degree in 2015from Andrews University in Michigan. While there he studied with Carla Trynchuk and studied one summer in California with Lyndon Taylor, a former La Sierra violin instructor and current Los Angeles Philharmonic principal second violinist. At the behest of Taylor, Sanchez next enrolled in the Performer's Certificate program at La Sierra under the tutelage of Director of String Studies Jason Uyeyama who also performs with the LA Phil, Camerata Pacificaand other major groups.

The performer's certificate program focuses on preparation for employment as a chamber, orchestral or solo musician. The schedule allows Sanchez additional time to better his skills and prepare for auditions which increases his earning potential. 'A lot of people should know about my teacher and the program,' he said. 'This program is very helpful to figuring out what you're doing and what you want to do. And while you're doing it, you're getting very good at the instrument.'

His musical mentors have included Cleveland Institute of Music cellist Si-Yan Darren who led a masters class at Andrews Universityand who encouraged Sanchez to audition and participate in summer festivals leading to a fellowship with his first festival at Estes Park, Colo. Uyeyama also motivatesand prepares Sanchez for auditioning for violinist positions, a process requiring focused skills and strengths. With auditions, 'you have to show a lot within a minute,' says Sanchez, 'You have to imagine the orchestra, and you're never going to play it by yourself.'

His upward trajectory has not been without its setbacks and challenges. A year ago he suffered a hand injury resulting from a bicycle accident a couple of days before last year's concerto competition. Previously, his first national competition in Mexico netted him an injured little finger. And when he landed in Riverside a year ago to join the Performer's Certificate program, he was in dire need of housing. Throughout it all, Sanchez has observed the hand of Providence guiding his steps, opening new doors when others have closed. 'It always ends up working somehow,' he says.

Tickets for the Choral and Concerto Concert are $5 students, $10 seniors, and $15 general admission. For further information call 951-785-2036 or email [email protected]. The La Sierra University Church is located a 4937 Sierra Vista Ave, Riverside.