Mexican-American conductor and violist, Alexander Peña, serves as Director of Orchestras at the historic ‘Iolani School in Honolulu, Hawai’i where he enjoys an active career including performing, teaching, non-profit leadership and harnessing the power of music as a tool for social change. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Peña earned a Bachelor & Master of Music in Viola Performance and Music Education, the Arts Leadership Certificate, and the Robert L. Oppelt Viola Prize.
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. Since the summer of 2009, he can be heard playing viola in the orchestra at the Lakes Area Music Festival in Brainerd, Minnesota, where he also serves as the Director of Explore Music – a week-long interactive day-camp for rural youth to experience orchestral repertoire. Peña 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 and has been featured on several occasions live on Rochester’s 91.5 WXXI “Backstage Pass”.
Peña was recently selected to participate in the Global Leaders Program 2019 Cohort – a nine-month Executive Graduate Certificate program in Social Entrepreneurship, Cultural Agency, Teaching Artistry, Civic Leadership, and Organizational Management led by professors from Harvard, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown and organizations such as El Sistema USA and League of American Orchestras. Additional leadership experiences include participating in the Community Arts Education Leadership Institute through the National Guild of Community Arts Education in 2016, serving previously on the faculty of the Eastman Community Music School, and serving as the former director of ROCmusic Collaborative in Rochester, NY.