Miami Dade College Homepage > MDC in the News

MDC Kendall Campus Music Teacher Spurs Young Students’ Success

Juan Vera and Kids

Miami, May 5, 2011 - Led by the talent and dedication of Professor Juan Carlos Vera, veteran guitar instructor at Miami Dade College’s School of Community Education at Kendall Campus, two of the college’s youngest student musicians have been invited twice to perform guitar solos with the South Florida Youth Symphony (SFYS). This year, he celebrates 21 years at MDC.

“Juan Carlos Vera is a very fine teacher who is passionate about everything he does and his students are by products of that,” said Rodester Brandon, chair of the Music, Theater and Dance Department at the Kendall Campus.

Most recently, 13-year-old Kevin Huang and 15-year-old Christian Monteverde, who have been taking classes with Prof. Vera for the past two years, were selected to play the Concierto de Aranjuez the SFYS, led by Marjorie Hahn. 

Huang is scheduled to perform the second movement of the piece during the symphony’s upcoming concert on Saturday, May 7. He’ll be accompanied by MDC Faculty pianist Virginia Covarrubias. Monteverde is will perform the entire work later this year, accompanied by the symphony.  

The work, composed by Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo, is notoriously difficult, requiring virtuosic displays of technique and musicianship. 

“This upcoming performance illustrates the point that a career in music has to be built by a long list of impressive accomplishments in the real world not just by playing very well. Both Chris and Kevin are already veterans in this sense. In spite of their young age, these two kids rank among the top classic guitar students we've ever had at MDC. When students sign up for guitar lessons at Community Education, the sky is the limit,” Vera said.    

Built on the premise that pre-high school students could be trained to achieve professional standards, Prof. Vera gradually developed a pedagogical method based on mastery of fundamental techniques, variations of standard repertoire, and early confidence building measures. This pioneering work has positioned MDC’s Community Education classical guitar program as a national leader in guitar training.

An MDC alumnus, Prof. Vera was recruited by his former teacher and mentor, MDC Professor Jose Adan.  He later studied with Bruce Holzman, regarded by many as America’s leading guitar pedagogue. 

These two students aptly embody Prof. Vera’s unique teaching approach. Monteverde began playing classic guitar at age nine. At 12, he made his television debut, appearing on Cable Tap’s MD Connected. His performance included Francisco Tarrega’s legendary composition Recuerdos de la Alhambra (Memories of the Alhambra), a work of considerable difficulty. He also performed additional televised recordings on Art Attacks, a locally produced cable series showcasing emerging artists.

Inspired by his father’s love of guitar, Huang picked up his first at age ten. Just a year later, he was playing Agustin Barrios’ “La Ultima Canción” (“The Last Song”) at the MDC TV studios. Huang will play as guest artist at the end-of-term student recital at MDC’s Kendall Campus in collaboration with the talented Maria Borges at the piano. 

 

To learn more about the Kendall Campus’ music programs, please call 305-237-2282, or visit www.mdc.edu/kendall/mtd.

 

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611, jmendiet@mdc.edu, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949, testorin@mdc.edu, MDC media relations director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710, sue.arrowsmith@mdc.edu, media specialist
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359, tcarroll@mdc.edu, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482, arios1@mdc.edu




Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, or genetic information. Contact the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs/ADA Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for information.