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WISS Teacher Starts Shanghai Community Orchestra

September, 2012
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Nicolas Elguea, orchestra leader and music teacher at the Western International School of Shanghai (WISS) has started the Shanghai Community Orchestra, which will be open to students and adults from across Shanghai. The first Community Orchestra of its kind in Shanghai, Elguea sees it as an opportunity to bring a diverse range of children and adults together to enjoy music, while also focusing on their abilities. “Our aim is to build a diverse community, with beginner and experienced players, who will be able to learn from each other.”

Elguea has many years of experience as a musician. Born in Spain, he started playing instruments when he was only 8 years old, and was soon playing in a band and giving lessons. He followed this passion through to college where he studied a Bachelor’s and later a Master’s in Orchestral Studies at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, Roosevelt University, where he excelled on every level. A clarinet player, Elguea played with the Chicago College of Performing Arts Orchestra, and performed in the American Midwest and Japan, as well as playing Opera in Italy. “I stepped into an environment of high achievers. I was motivated, and pushed to reach the top of my game,” Elguea explained. “It was also here that I really saw how music could lead you to so many places, and bring so many people together. No matter what language; people can be united simply through the feeling of music. This is what I want to see happen in the Community Orchestra.”

Elguea’s passion for music education is evident, and he has extensive experience in the school environment, having worked for the past 6 years in music schools in Pamplona, Spain, and at the British School of Navarra. He also kept true to his own talents, being a member of a professional symphonic wind band. He believes that when children are introduced to music from a young age, they will develop a natural feeling for music and will also learn key lessons in discipline and practice.

The Shanghai Community Orchestra starts on September 20th and will provide the ideal context for members to practice and learn, while still having fun. Practices will be on a Thursday each week on the campus of WISS and will be open to those over the age of 11. The Orchestra is also going to have the opportunity to perform for a wider audience. 

“I believe the Orchestra is a great opportunity for students to take their first steps to becoming confident Orchestra performers. This requires a fair amount of discipline but it is also very fun, and this is what we aim to achieve.”

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