Alexander Peña serves as Director of ROCmusic, a life-changing music education program that offers group and private instruction within economically disadvantaged communities to help enable urban youth in Rochester, NY. His non-profit organization, inspired by the El-Sistema movement, is a partnership collaborative between the Eastman School of Music (University of Rochester), Hochstein School of Music & Dance, Eastman Community Music School, City of Rochester, Rochester City School District, and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.
In addition to leading RocMusic, Peña teaches violin and viola, and directs string ensembles at the Eastman Community Music School. Peña is also a founding member, performing artist, and Children and Community Education Coordinator at the Lakes Area Music Festival in Brainerd, Minnesota. As performer, Peña can be heard on stage with groups like ¡Voila! and SoundExChange or in solo recital at the Eastman Community Music School.
Peña’s musical studies began in the Texas public school system before later focusing on private lessons in high school with Eastman alumna and principal violist of the San Antonio Symphony, Allyson Dawkins. He attended the Eastman School of Music, where he earned a Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance and Music Education in 2010. Peña received his Master of Music degree in Viola Performance and Literature and an Arts Leadership Diploma from the Eastman School this past fall of 2013. Upon graduation, Peña was honored with the Robert L. Oppelt Viola Prize which is annually presented to an outstanding viola student at Eastman.
Alexander comes with a variety of leadership experience, including successfully hosting the 40th International Viola Congress. Most recently, Peña has continued his broad musical studies by training for certification in Dalcroze Eurythmics through the Dalcroze Society of Canada. He enjoys dancing, practicing yoga, and spending time with his partner and their cat, Scout.