SOM alumnus and former Gator Summer Orchestra Director, Ismael Sandoval (BMUS ‘16 & BMUSE ‘16), attended the College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA) National Conference in Washington D.C. from February 1-4. Sandoval was one of four students selected out over fifty applicants to participate in this prestigious conference and take masterclasses with Maestro Anthony Maiello. Sandoval also had the opportunity to meet Maestros Christoph Eschenbach with the National Symphony Orchestra and Markus Stenz with the Baltimore Symphony at the conference.
Sandoval is currently pursuing his master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. He credits the UF School of Music for preparing him to take on and overcome new obstacles since he left Florida.
“The relationships that the School of Music faculty cultivated with me were absolutely pivotal in allowing me to excel and to push myself beyond what I thought I was capable of,” Sandoval said.
When Sandoval worked with Maestro Anthony Maiello, he felt a surge of inspiration. The sessions with Maiello were very productive because of the calm energy Maiello brought. Since Sandoval and the three other conductors had to conduct an orchestra in front of about 50 college orchestra directors from across the nation, they were all anxious. However, Maestro alleviated that stress by smiling and simply saying to “just have fun,” when performing.
“I learned a lot from observing the first two participants and from working with him about freeing my technique so that what I’m doing reflects the true character of the music,” Sandoval said.
Sandoval’s interaction with Maestros Christoph Eschenbach with the National Symphony Orchestra and Markus Stenz with the Baltimore Symphony was a learning experience.
“From attending open rehearsals, to a Q&A with the CODA Conference, to the performances of two of the country’s finest orchestras, I learned an incredible amount and I absorbed as much as possible from my interactions with them,” Sandoval said.
Sandoval’s experience at the College Orchestra Directors Association National Conference in Washington D.C. was inspirational and insightful. He is grateful for the experience because he was able to get an inside look as to how experts approach their craft.
“It is fascinating to see them work in person and to hear their thoughts on a variety of musical topics,” Sandoval said.