Mexican-American violist, Alexander Peña, serves as Director of ROCmusic, a life-transforming music education program that offers group and private instruction to at-risk youth within economically disadvantaged communities in Rochester, NY. His non-profit collaborative, an El-Sistema-inspired program, is a partnership between the Eastman School of Music (University of Rochester), Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Hochstein School of Music & Dance, Eastman Community Music School, City of Rochester, the Rochester City School District, and the Gateways Music Festival.
Peña is a founding violist and Youth Education Director at the Lakes Area Music Festival in Brainerd, Minnesota since 2009. An advocate for new music and contemporary art, he joined forces with New York-based Sound ExChange Project’s ‘HEX’, a platform for performing artists dedicated to exploring alternative ways of presenting classical music, and has been featured on live radio broadcasts including Rochester’s 91.5 WXXI “Backstage Pass”. Peña is a Senior Instructor of Viola/Violin and Conducting at the Eastman Community Music School where he conducts five ECMS ensembles, including the New Horizons Orchestras. Alexander enjoys performing chamber music and has received accolades in the Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition and the Music Teachers National Association Competition, winning National 2nd Place String Chamber Music Division in 2013.
A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Peña earned a Bachelor and Master of Music in Viola Performance and Music Education, the Arts Leadership Certificate, and the Robert L. Oppelt Viola Prize. Peña was recently honored to participate in the Community Arts Education Leadership Institute through the National Guild of Community Arts Education in 2016.