ABOUT ME

Lorena Garay is a talented musician of many facets. She is widely regarded for her professional versatility and grace. She is a guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, audio engineer, music producer, children's performer, video editor, and motion graphics artist.

She is currently the Director of Music for Hispanic Ministry at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Hartford, and the Campus Coordinator at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting, Farmington Campus.

EDUCATION

- Master of Music degree Summa Cum Laude, The Hartt School of the University of Hartford (Guitar Dept. Award)

- Bachelor of Music degree Summa Cum Laude, Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico (String Dept. Gold Medal Award)

- Music Diploma, La Escuela De Bellas Artes (School of Fine Arts), Carolina, Puerto Rico (Highest Honors)

- Certificate Program, Connecticut School of Broadcasting, Farmington Campus

TRAINING

- Classical guitar with Richard Provost, Leonardo Egúrbida and Héctor Hance

- Flamenco guitar with José R. Ramos and Carlos Revollar

- Jazz guitar with Paul Shumsky and Rich Goldstein

- Cuban tres with Nelson González

- Andean and South American instruments with Eugenio Huanca

GUITAR MASTER CLASSES

Lorena attended master classes with renowned international guitarists Pepe Romero, Angel Romero, Ricardo Cobo, Andrew York, Julian Gray, Raphaella Smits, Tom Johnson, Michel Sadanowsky, Ernesto Cordero, Ivan Rijos and Philippe Loli. 

GUITAR WORKSHOPS

Lorena attended various prestigious one-week-long guitar workshops, including the Guitar Foundation of America International Convention, Montreal, Canada; The Stetson International Guitar Workshop, DeLand, FL; The National Guitar Summer Workshop, New Milford, CT; and The Berklee School in Puerto Rico, Sponsored by Berklee College of Music; among others.

RECORDINGS AND BROADCASTS

- Latin Big Beat Sounds, 15-track album composed and produced by Lorena Garay; commissioned by the TV Sports Network ESPN, 2011

- Latin Ska Sounds, 15-track album composed and produced by Lorena Garay; commissioned by the TV Sports Network ESPN, 2009

- Surcari, composed and produced by Lorena Garay, 2007; Third Place Music Award for Best South and Central American Album, Just Plain Folks Independent Music Awards, 2009

- La Guitarra de Puerto Rico, composed and produced by Lorena Garay, 2003; featured album of the Greater Hartford Arts Council's 2004 United Arts Gift Giving Campaign

- Fundzilla 2004, a compilation album produced by WPKN Radio 89.5 FM, Bridgeport, CT, 2004

- José González & Banda Criolla's Navidad Boricua, Lorena Garay on vocals, 2004

- José González & Banda Criolla's Bomba Le Lé, Lorena Garay on Cuban tres, 2003

- Daniel Salazar's Mosaico, Lorena Garay on rhythm guitar, 2003

- Daniel Salazar's Daniel Salazar, Lorena Garay on rhythm guitar, 2001

- New England Landscapes, a compilation album produced by the Connecticut Guitar Society, 2001

- The Gift of the Guitar, a compilation album produced by the Connecticut Guitar Society, 1999

COMMISIONED WORKS & LICENSED MUSIC

- Lorena Garay's original music has been licensed through Triple Scoop Music, a music-licensing site for video, film & photo, 2008-Present

- The Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network, WNPR, licensed three songs from Lorena's album, La Guitarra de Puerto Rico, to be used in their podcast episode of The Radius Project: Park Street, 2016

- The international TV Sports Network ESPN commissioned Lorena Garay to compose and produce two 15-track instrumental albums: Latin Big Beat Sounds, 2011, and Latin Ska Sounds, 2009

- Lorena composed and performed the music for The Pueblo, a play about the Américas, written by HartBeat Ensemble and premiered at the Austin Arts Center at Trinity College in Hartford, 2007

HONORS & AWARDS

- Latino de Oro Music Award, Identidad Latina Hispanic Newspaper, Hartford, CT

- Third Place Music Award, Best South & Central American Album for Surcari, Just Plain Folks Music Awards

- Guitar Department Award, The Hartt School, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT

- String Department Gold Medal Award, Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR

- Grant Recipient, New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA)

- Grant Recipient, Hartford Business Development Grants for Artist Program, Hartford, CT

- Grant Recipient, The Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, Springfield, MA

- Grant Recipient, Greater Hartford Arts Council, Hartford, CT

- Plaque Recognition, CT Association of Affirmative Action Scholarship Fund

- Medal for Excellence in Musical Performance, Connecticut National Guard

- Merit Tuition Scholarship Recipient, Connecticut School of Broadcasting, Farmington Campus

- Merit Tuition Scholarship & Teaching Fellowship Recipient, The Hartt School, University of Hartford

- Merit Scholarship Recipient, Robert I. Ferdman, Pro Arte Musical, San Juan, PR

- Merit Scholarship Recipient, Corporación de las Artes Musicales, San Juan, PR

- Pi Kappa Lambda, National Music Honor Society

- Biography Published in Various Annual Editions of the National Dean's List

Lorena Garay is an award-winning guitarist from Puerto Rico who performs a wide range of musical styles. Her guitar arrangements, compositions and passionate playing style beautifully blend the classical influence with her Latin sound. She plays an irresistible blend of classical guitar, Latin rhythms, Spanish melodies, and contemporary harmonies!

Lorena earned her Master of Music degree Summa Cum Laude from The Hartt School of the University of Hartford, where she received the Guitar Department Award. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree Summa Cum Laude from the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, from which she received the String Department Gold Medal Award.

She has self-released two albums: La Guitarra de Puerto Rico, a featured album of the Greater Hartford Arts Council's 2004 United Arts Gift Giving Campaign; and Surcari, which won third place for Best South and Central American Album at the 2009 Just Plain Folks Independent Music Awards. In addition, she composed, recorded, and produced two 15-track instrumental albums commissioned by the international TV Sports Network ESPN.

Lorena has received many awards, including the Identidad Latina's Latino de Oro Music Award. She performs regularly as a soloist, sidewoman, and bandleader of her Latin American ensemble, Surcari. Lorena and her band, Surcari, are Young Audiences Arts for Learning Connecticut Artists who give multicultural performances throughout the region.

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PERFORMING ARTIST ROSTERS

- Young Audiences Arts For Learning Connecticut Performing Artist Roster

- Arts Department of Economic and Community Development's Directory of Performing and Teaching Artists

- New England Foundation for the Arts/New England States Touring (NEST) Program

EXPERIENCE AS A MUSIC DIRECTOR

- Director of Music for Hispanic Ministry, Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Hartford, CT

- Spanish Music Coordinator, Christ Church Cathedral, Hartford, CT

- Director of Music for Hispanic Ministry, St. James Episcopal Church, Hartford, CT

- Guitar Ensemble Director, Connecticut Guitar Society, Hartford, CT

EXPERIENCE AS AN ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE

- Two consecutive six-week residencies at Danzante, A Latino Cultural Center; Harrisburg, PA

- Five-day residency program at two schools: Rebecca M. Johnson Visual & Performing Arts School and Germán Gerena Community School; Springfield, MA

- Five-day residency program at four schools: Alice B. Beal School, Chestnut Accelerated Middle School, Lincoln Elementary School, and Forest Park Middle School; Springfield, MA

- Three-day residency program at Springfield High School of Science & Technology; Springfield, MA

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

- Adjunct Faculty, The American International College, Springfield, MA

- Guitar Instructor, The Hartt School Community Division, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT

- Teaching Assistant, The Hartt School, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT

- Guitar Instructor, The Community Music School of Springfield, Springfield, MA

- Puerto Rican Cuatro Instructor, Guakia, A Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Hartford, CT

NOTE: Lorena does not teach anymore. However, she is available for workshops and artist residencies.

PROFESSIONAL LEADERSHIP
- Professional Development Workshops for Teachers: La Música Caribeña y Latinoamericana, CT COLT Fall Conferences for World Language Teachers, Cromwell, Hartford & Waterbury, CT

- Professional Development Workshop for Teachers: Inspiring Students' Success Through the Arts, Hartford Performs of the Greater Hartford Arts Council, Hartford, CT

- Professional Development Workshops for Teachers: Latin Musical Traditions, Van Sickle Middle School, Springfield, MA

PERFORMANCE EXPERIENCE

Lorena has traveled all along the U.S. east coast and Puerto Rico performing with various musical groups, including her band, Surcari, José González's Criollo Clásico, The Daniel Salazar Ensemble, Viva Quetzal, and Sol Sin Fronteras. Lorena has also performed with various Puerto Rican artists, such as folk singer Roy Brown, rock singer Tito Auger, and concert guitarist Federico Cordero. At the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts in Pennsylvania, Lorena was the opening act for renowned guitar duo Strunz and Farah.

PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHTS

Lorena has performed at numerous prestigious venues, such as Princeton University, Princeton, NJ; Colgate University, Hamilton, NY; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; WV Cultural Center Theater, Charleston, WV; Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC; Festival Artscape, Baltimore, MD; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; The Bushnell, Hartford, CT; and Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, San Juan, PR; among others.

TV APPEARANCES

Lorena Garay has been a guest on numerous TV shows, including "El Show de Analeh," Univision (WUVN); "Salu2 Nueva Inglaterra," Telemundo (WRDM); "Presencia" & "Making It Here, Public Television for Western New England (WGBY, a PBS affiliate); "All Things Connecticut," Connecticut Public Television (CPTV); and "Did You Know?," Hartford Public Access Television (Channel 5), among others.

RADIO APPEARANCES

In addition, Lorena has been a guest on many radio stations, including "Afro Roots" & "Música Sin Fronteras," WMUA 91.1 FM, Amherst, MA; "La Hora Del Artista," WACM 1490 AM, Springfield, MA; "Tertulia," WFCR 88.5 FM, New England Public Radio; "Añoranzas Peruanas," WRYM 840 AM, Newington, CT; "Radio Marathon," WPKN Radio 89.5 FM, Bridgeport, CT; and "Radio Marathon," WRTC 89.3 FM, Trinity College, among others.

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