Publish Date: 1/25/2011
January 25, 2011
MANSFIELD, PA— Kenneth Sarch, professor of Violin and Viola and conductor of the String Chamber Orchestra at Mansfield University, is in Panama at invitation the Panama National Concert Association, teaching and conducting the orchestra at the 26th Music Camp Festival in Panama City.
Sarch, a frequent visitor to Panama over the years, will return there in May to perform the world premiere of Panamanian composer Narcisco Garay’s Sonata and Panamanian Suite with American pianist Dan Rieppel as a featured concert in the annual Music Festival held in the National Theater.
The two week music camp Sarch is currently participating in culminates in a series of four concerts. The orchestra will perform in the Panamanian cities of Colon, El Valle, Ciudad del Saber and Panama City.
Sarch is also conducting a series of master classes, coaching chamber music and presenting a conducting seminar. He conducts all rehearsals, seminars and coaching sessions in Spanish.
This marks the eighth time that Sarch has been invited as guest conductor for the Music Camp Festival. He was the invited guest conductor for the 10th anniversary celebration and last year for the 25th anniversary celebration.
The Concert Association president wrote in his letter of invitation, “The young musicians of Panama have a high esteem and respect for Dr. Sarch and hope to have him for our next camp. For 25 years the National Concert Association has organized annual youth music camps for two weeks during which we offer the opportunity for our youth to learn new techniques provided by foreign teachers from the United States, Costa Rica, Venezuela and other countries. Each year, in addition to the guest conductor, we have professional students assisting in the camp from Oberlin Conservatory of Music.”
Sarch’s 15 year old daughter, Serena, accompanied her father to Panama to perform in the youth orchestra as an American guest participant. Serena, who studies with her dad, plays the violin and studies Spanish in her high school curriculum. She also participated in last year’s music camp.
Sarch first went to Panama at the invitation of the U.S. State Department as a musical ambassador. Recently, he discovered that 65% of the Panama National Symphony, the country’s premiere professional concert orchestra, were former members of the youth orchestra that Sarch had conducted.
In May, Sarch will return to Panama to perform the world premieres of two violin works by Panama composer Narcisco Garay. Garay founded the Conservatory of Music in Panama, which bears his name, and studied composition at the Paris Conservatoire in the class of Gabriel Faure. His classmate famed composer Maurice Ravel.
Pianist Rieppel and Sarch performed together in 2005 at the invitation of the U.S. Embassy in Panama as the featured music for a Lewis and Clark Celebration attended by many Panamanian diplomats including the vice-president.
Sarch has presented conducted, performed and taught throughout the U.S. and internationally. He has given recitals in Venezuela, Israel, France, Canada, Brazil, Bolivia and Panama.
Sarch is a two-time Fulbright Scholar: one to perform and teach at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil and the second award to start an orchestra in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. He has received United States Information Agency (USIA) grants to conduct and perform in Panama, Jordan, Israel and Brazil, and worked with violin students at the Casals Conservatory in Puerto Rico.
In Pennsylvania, he has presented clinics for Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) five times at state conventions in addition to conducting district and regional orchestra festivals sponsored by PMEA. Last year he was the invited guest conductor for the PMEA Western Regional Orchestra Festival
Sarch was awarded the PMEA Citation of Excellence in Music Education at the University Level in 2003. He has also served as president of Pennsylvania ASTA (PADESTA) and was editor of the state PADESTA newsletter for six years.
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