ROCmusic Residency

Musicians designed a residency at ROCmusic for the 2014-2015 school year. Topics explored included musical communication, public speaking, interviewing skills, stage presence, improvisation, genre, and program-wide preparation of collaborative repertoire. 

Residency performances included a collaborative concert with the ROCmusic students and a special free production for families at ARTISANworks, a multi-disciplinary arts space in Rochester, NY.

About ROCmusic

ROCmusic is an El Sistema-inspired after-school and summer music education program in Rochester, NY, that provides tuition-free classical music and instrument instruction to urban youth in the neighborhoods in which they live. Partners include Hochstein School of Music & Dance, Eastman School of Music (University of Rochester)Eastman Community Music School, City of Rochester, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Rochester City School District.

Alexander Peña, Director of ROCmusic

Mexican-American violist Alexander Peña most notably serves as Director of ROCmusic, a life-transforming music education program that offers both group and private instruction within economically disadvantaged communities to help enable urban youth in Rochester, NY. 

As member of the Viola and Conducting teaching faculty at the Eastman Community Music School, Peña also directs the Eastman Beginning String Ensembles and New Horizons Full and String Orchestras. Alexander was recently honored as one of Rochester's “Extraordinary People” by WROC-TV and has been featured in the Rochester Business Journal, CITY Newspaper, Rochester 12 TV CityWise, and the Democrat & Chronicle. Peña is also a founding member, performing artist, and Director of Youth Education at the Lakes Area Music Festival in Brainerd, Minnesota.

Alexander enjoys performing chamber music and has received accolades as a finalist in the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition and the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Competition, winning 2nd Place in the National String Chamber Music Division. 

Raised by Mexican immigrant parents and fluent in Spanish, Peña’s musical studies began in the California and Texas public school systems. He attended the Eastman School of Music, where he earned a Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance and Music Education and a Master of Music degree in Viola Performance and Literature with the Arts Leadership Certificate. Upon graduation, Peña was honored with the Robert L. Oppelt Viola Prize, which is annually presented to one outstanding viola student at the Eastman School.


(ROCmusic interview begins at 11:55)