USM Encore! School of Music Magazine recently did a piece on our own, Alex Encinas…….
A day in the life of Alex as MSO Director of Education starts very early in the morning. He is in charge of approximately 1,000 students from 3 different Jackson Public Schools districts, as well as the Strings teachers. Additionally, he must coordinate a series of Chamber music and symphony concerts.
Since his arrival in 2007, USM has given him the opportunity to create the International Viola Competition, and transform existing projects such as the MS Youth Symphony (MYSO) and the Premier Orchestral Institute (POI), which provides great support to the emerging young talents of Jackson and surrounding areas. One of his favorite moments during the year happens in June, when the POI takes place. This is an international festival that every year reaches students and teachers from approximately 9 countries.
“I cannot, and I must not forget the great support I received from my alma mater. Without a doubt, its orchestral program was a great motivation for my artistic growth. Dr. Jay Dean’s artistic vision created the program that has made the greatest impact in my career. I truly enjoyed playing with soloists of international stature, and learned so much along the way.”
Encinas said he will always remember his conversations with Dr. Michael Kimber about music, and the Chamber music lessons with him. Encinas’ advice for potential students, whether they are international or not, is to “respect and value their teachers, and the opportunities that USM offers them.”
“I have no doubt the education I received in my time was excellent, but the most important were the lessons I learned from Dr. Dean on how to motivate young people and organize artistic projects.” He is so grateful to USM that he, to this day, continues to recruit students for its music programs.