We’re thrilled to announce that two students in our Dream Big Private Lesson Program at Capital High School—Oscar Mares Lopez, an 11th-grade clarinet student, and Brian Avalos, a 9th-grade oboe student—successfully auditioned for the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association’s Youth Philharmonic! Oscar and Brian join four other Dream Big students who won acceptance into Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association ensembles this past fall, which brings the total number of successful auditions for that organization in the 2021–22 school year to a record-breaking six!
We’re so proud of Oscar and Brian—two talented, dedicated, and hard-working musicians—and we’re thankful to Dream Big instructors Elaine Heltman (oboe) and Liz Ramirez (clarinet) and Capital High band director Ricardo Hernandez for expertly guiding and supporting them throughout the challenging and rewarding audition process. Congratulations, all!
Meet Our New Bassoon Instructor: Stefanie Przybylska
In further Dream Big news, we’re thrilled to introduce our new bassoon instructor, Stefanie Przybylska, principal bassoon of the Santa Fe Symphony and New Mexico Philharmonic. Stefanie has performed with the Festival and with Chatter Sunday in Albuquerque (where she lives) and Music in the Mountains in Durango, Colorado. Before she moved to Albuquerque, she was a freelance musician in Chicago, where, for more than a decade, she played with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the United States and abroad. She’s also served as principal bassoon of the Chicago Sinfonietta, Lake Forest Symphony, and Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra. Stefanie completed her undergraduate education at The Juilliard School and earned her master’s degree at Northwestern University and her doctor-of-musical-arts degree at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.
“I’m so excited to be a part of the Dream Big program for the first time this year!” Stefanie said. “As a recipient of this type of support early in my own training, I can say from personal experience that support and mentoring makes a big impact on a young student. Whether or not that student goes on to become a professional musician or a music educator, training in music develops a variety of skills. It opens a world of possibilities to students and their families and enriches their lives, as it did mine. I’m grateful for the chance to work with my wonderful bassoon student, Kimberly Duarte; her band director, Ricardo Hernandez; and the Dream Big staff.”
We’re grateful for the chance to work with you, Stefanie, as part of the Festival’s music education team!
Guitar in Our Schools Takes Off
On a final note, we’d like to share this wonderful photo from a recent Guitar in Our Schools class at Kha’p’o Community School at Santa Clara Pueblo. The class included our brand-new instructor, Edgard Rivera (bottom right), Kha’p’o Community School educator Steve Marsh (top left), and students Jai’Po Harvier, Kaleen Tafoya, Nevaeh Padilla-Martinez, Samantha Taylor, and Gabriella Martinez.
Thank you, as always, to everyone who supports our music education programs and helps us make a difference in the lives of so many students in Santa Fe and northern New Mexico.