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LSU School of Music Doctoral Student Travels to Panama to Conduct Youth Orchestra Concert, Teach Master Class

03/16/2012 03:13 PM

BATON ROUGE – Raul Gomez, a doctoral student in the LSU School of Music, recently traveled to Panama, where he will serve as guest conductor for a concert of the National Youth Orchestra of Panama on Saturday, March 17. During his trip, Gomez will also conduct master classes at the University of Panama.


Gomez, who also leads the Kids’ Orchestra in Baton Rouge, said he is honored to conduct the orchestra, as well as educate.


“At my first rehearsal with the ensemble on Wednesday, I was highly impressed with the amount of talent and energy that these young musicians have,” Gomez said of the orchestra


Gomez said that the Fundacion Sinfonia Concertante de Panama, or FUNSINCOPA, learned about his work with the Kids’ Orchestra in Baton Rouge through Isaac Casal, also an LSU School of Music doctoral student and the founder of FUNSINCOPA, who is now an instructor with the Kids’ Orchestra.


“This generated the invitation for me to work with the students in Panama in an intensive few days of rehearsals leading up to our concert on Saturday night,” he said. “Additionally, faculty members at the University of Panama and instructors working with kids from FUNSINCOPA are taking my conducting master classes, in which I’m sharing knowledge that I've acquired as a student at LSU and the Aspen Music Festival.”


Laurence Kaptain, dean of the LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts, said that this honor shows how Gomez is already establishing himself as a professional, even before graduating with a doctoral degree in music.


“His conducting engagement with the National Youth Philharmonic in Panama brings international attention not only to him and to LSU, but it allows us an opportunity to attract and recruit students from this fine ensemble,” Kaptain said. “The LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts has alumni and donors in Panama City and, as dean, it will be a privilege to support Raul, meet prospective parents and students, and interact with LSU alumni and supporters and parents of current LSU students in other disciplines.”


For many years the reach of the LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts has attracted large numbers of talented students from Mexico, Central America and South America, including Gomez, Kaptain said.


“They come here for our faculty and to be challenged by working next to other outstanding students from Europe, Asia and across the United States who populate our programs. Raul came to LSU from Costa Rica and already had established himself as a young professional with great potential. He has surpassed expectations since enrolling at LSU. By working closely with our artist faculty, has seized important opportunities including a highly competitive and coveted fellowship in conducting at the Aspen Music Festival, one of the world’s most prestigious summer music gatherings of international talent.


“The LSU School of Music has strengthened its international position as a training ground for outstanding talent. I want to thank our supporters for investing in our faculty and students in these difficult times. Donors to the LSU School of Music can hear where their money goes, and watch young professionals like Raul Gomez establish visible and important careers.”





Contact Aaron Looney
LSU Media Relations