Green Bay, Wis. — Funding remains a constant challenge in the world of classical music. But thanks to the Robert and Joanne Bauer Endowed Professorship in Strings, music performance and education are rising to a crescendo with the addition of Luis Fernandez as assistant professor for Strings and Music Education.
While Fernandez has performed with symphonies from Venezuela to the Fox Valley, teaching remains at the heart of his mission as a musician having earned a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Miami.
“I will be teaching individual applied strings (violin and viola), string techniques for Music Education majors, directing the string orchestra and supervising student teachers.”
The Bauer Endowed Professorship is made possible by a million-dollar gift announced in January 2019, from UW-Green Bay’s founding Band Director Robert J. Bauer and his wife Joanne, a UW-Green Bay alumna.
Fernandez is known for his work outside the college campus environment, often leading youth, who otherwise wouldn’t have an opportunity, to a love for music. His passion for teaching springs from his own childhood in Caracas, Venezuela, where he began violin studies through the El Sistema, a free music-education program for youth from impoverished backgrounds.
“Its mission was not just to create professional musicians,” Fernandez recalls, “but also to help children and young people to reach their full potential and learn values and skills through music, that in turn improve their growth and life.”
As for an encore, his performing talents will take center stage as Director of Orchestras and principal violin with the recently established Weidner Center Philharmonic Orchestra. Fernandez concurs that the prospect for artists and audiences looks bright.
“I’m relatively new to the region and I’ve been very impressed by the high level of enthusiasm and support for the arts,” he said. “I think in this kind of environment, it’s possible to build a really thriving and successful program.”
About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs to nearly 8,000 students with campus locations in Green Bay, Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan. Established in 1965 on the border of Green Bay, the University and its campuses are centers of cultural enrichment, innovation and learning. The Green Bay campus is home to one of the Midwest’s most prolific performing arts centers, a nationally recognized 4,000-seat student recreation center, D-I athletics, an award-winning nine-hole golf course and a five-mile recreational trail and arboretum, which is free and open to the public. This four-campus University transforms lives and communities through student-focused teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities, powerful connections and a problem-solving approach to education. UW-Green Bay’s main campus is centrally located, close to both the Door County resort area and the dynamic economies of Northeast Wisconsin, the Fox Valley region and the I-43 corridor. UW-Green Bay offers in-demand programs in science, engineering and technology; business; health, education and social welfare; and arts, humanities and social sciences. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.