KWU to Host Honors Orchestra

Some of the best strings musicians from over a dozen high schools will be in Salina later this week for an event. Kansas Wesleyan’s Department of Music will welcome nearly 200 high school strings players from across north-central Kansas when the department hosts its annual high school honor orchestra event on Saturday.

According to KWU, the honor orchestra event begins Saturday with check-in at 8 a.m. and concludes with a concert performance at 5 p.m. in Mabee Arena. The concert is free and open to the public.

“Our department is elated to host this event once again, and proud to see its growth,” said Dr. Leonardo Rosario, director of the KWU String Orchestra and event organizer. “This year’s event will nearly double the students present for 2022’s version! More and more students are seeing that it’s a great time to be part of KWU Music. We are also excited to have Dr. Sandra Dackow and Dr. Victor Lopez work with students as part of this event.”

Rosario will work alongside Lopez and Dackow to mentor the students involved. Dackow is a former recipient of the Bruno Walter Best Conductor Prize from the Master Academy International Competition in Switzerland. She has published more than 120 works for student orchestras, and she won the silver medal at the Vakhtang Jordania/New Millenium Conducting Competition in Kharkiv, Ukraine. She currently serves as music director of the Hershey Symphony Orchestra, the Hershey Symphony Strings Festival and the William Paterson University Symphony Orchestra.

Lopez is an accomplished composer, arranger and clinician with more than 450 publications to his credit. He was a founding member of the Florida Schools Music Association, which oversees all music activities in the state of Florida. He served as senior director/program professor and assistant professor at Nova Southeastern University, and is a former trumpet player and arranger for the Miami Sound Machine.

Fourteen high schools from across the region will be represented at Saturday’s event.