About the Pianists
Elben Capule was born on the Philippine islands, and at the age of 2 he moved to California. He began his piano studies at the age of 5 and continued his studies all the way through high school winning numerous local and state competitions along the way. His primary teachers during this time were Mrs. Sally Lee and Mrs. Anita Olsen. Aside from studying piano he also accompanied the local high school and middle school choirs in his town, and began studying organ with Dr. Kimo Smith in his later high school years. When Elben began college he actually took a hiatus from his serious music studies because he didn’t think that’s what he wanted to do with his life.
3 years passed and Elben still found himself actively involved in all things music. “I was playing in a rock band, I was still taking some lessons here and there, and anytime I was given a chance to play music I did. It only made sense to pursue my degree in music.” So that’s what he did. He had already been taking some lessons with Dr. Lynn Wheeler at Pacific Union College, so during his junior year he switched majors and received his B.M. in Piano Performance in 2009. Elben didn’t want to stop there and charged ahead with his studies and went for his M.M. in Piano Performance with Argentinian pianist Eduardo Delgado at California State University Fullerton.
Elben just finished his M.M. degree this past spring and is poised to take on what the world has for him. He has been hailed as a great collaborative artist and multi-instrumentalist from the different national and international festivals he has attended. During his time in undergrad he also studied guitar, voice, organ, and drums. “I never wanted to limit myself as a musician, I feel our current state of mind as artists is too sterile. We’re told to ‘focus’ on our one instrument, to go win competitions, to go make a name for ourselves that way; but that’s not fulfilling to me. It becomes boring and repetitive, and honestly that’s not why we chose to be musicians. We forgot that what we decided to choose is a lifestyle which involves passion and soul. And that’s what I seek to do in my playing, whether it’s piano or some other instrument.” He currently resides in Orange County as a private piano teacher as well as the organist, accompanist, and praise band leader for The Community Presbyterian Church of La Mirada. He has 2 independent album releases under the name Amnesia Beach which you can find on iTunes.
Grace Chung began playing the piano at the age of four, and her love of music has continuously grown since then. Grace began her musical studies with Mrs. Judith Johansen and continued with Mrs. Anita Norskov Olsen. She received her bachelor's degree in piano performance from La Sierra University while studying with Dr. Elvin Rodriguez. Grace went on to study at the Manhattan School of Music, where she received her Master of Music degree in piano performance under the tutelage of Dr. Marc Silverman. She then returned to California where she taught as an adjunct professor of piano at La Sierra University and also served as a staff accompanist at the University of Redlands.
Grace is currently continuing her studies at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music as a student of Professor Kevin Fitz-Gerald in the Keyboard Collaborative Arts program. She is a strong believer in the importance of arts education and is fascinated by the powerful ways in which music can affect the mind. She hopes that the music she shares will always be a positive inspiration to those who hear her.
Dr. Jungwon Jin first came to the United States to study at The Juilliard School with Martin Canin and Gyorgy Sandor. She continued her studies at the Manhattan School of Music with Constance Keene, and earned master and doctoral degrees under Nancy Bricard at the University of Southern California.
Dr. Jin has performed extensively, both in recital and with orchestra, in the United States, Asia, and Europe. Her performances were featured on ABC radio in Australia, KBS Radio-Television in Korea, KCRW radio in Santa Monica, CTS TV in Buena Park, and the Young Artist Showcase on WQXR in New York.
She has been prize winner or finalist in many musical competitions including Juilliard Concerto Competition, Manhattan School Concerto Competition, USC Concerto Competition, Young Artist Guild Competition, Sydney and New Orleans International Competitions and the Louise McMahone International Competition. In 2002 she received the Most distinguished Music Award at the IBLA International Competition in Sicily, Italy. Her recital at New York¹s Carnegie Hall took place in 2005. She has performed four concertos with Maestro Carlo Ponti Jr. with the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra between seasons 2003 to 2008.
Dr Jin's recordings include Selected Solo Highlights from the Sydney International Piano Competition, and In Search of Light: Works of Claude Debussy. The latter was featured recording at the famed Van Gogh Exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1999.
Jonathan Mamora, seventeen years of age, is a senior at Loma Linda Academy. He is currently under the mentorship of Dr. Elvin Rodriguez. His former teachers include Helen LaiPang, Dr. Lily Diehl, and Kevin Fitz-Gerald.
He has competed in many competitions and won many awards, including 2 nd prize at the IIYM International Piano Competition, 1st prize in the Music Teacher’s Association of California (MTAC) Solo Competition, South Section, Platinum Prize in the Glendale Piano Competition, and 1st prize in the Redlands Bowl Young Artists Piano Competition. He has been a prizewinner in the International Russian Music Piano Competition, the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, the Southern California Junior Bach Festival, the Edith Knox Performance Competition, and the Bronislaw Kaper Awards Competition. He has also competed in the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition, the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, the Hilton Head International Piano Competition, the Schimmel USASU International Piano Competition, and the Oberlin International Piano Competition. He has worked with many world-renowned and local teachers and musicians, including Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Stanislav Ioudenitch, Stewart Gordon, Daniel Pollack, James Bonn, Bernadine Blaha, and Santiago Rodriguez.
Jonathan has traveled around the nation and performed in many different places, including the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis during the 58 th General Conference Session of the SDA Church. He has performed with the La Sierra University Orchestra, playing the first movement of the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3, and the last movement of the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3. He has also played for the Indonesian Ambassador to the US. At school, Jonathan has been a percussionist and student conductor in the LLA Symphonic Band, and he is the pianist for the school choir. He often performs as an accompanist for vocalists, instrumentalists, ensembles and choirs. His other hobbies are playing badminton, baseball, basketball, and reading.
Victor Moreno, is a Panamanian pianist, born in Chile. He studied Economics and Piano Performance in Panama where he also was professor at the National Institute of Music and the French School of Panama Paul Gauguin. In Hamburg, Germany, he studied with Christiane Behn, one of Yara Bernette's last students. Victor Served as pianist for the U.S. Forces Chapels in the Panama Canal Zone and has performed in concerts and for evangelistic meetings in Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, North, Central, and South America.
In Chicagoland he has collaborated with Gallery 37, Columbia College, Roosevelt University, University of St. Francis, University of Chicago, Northewestern University, the West Suburban Symphony Orchestra, West Grove Players and served in the capacity of Director of Music of several Episcopal churches. He was also the Vice-President of the Hinsdale Music Club.
Victor performs regularly on the international Christian satellite TV station 3ABN (West Franfort, southern IL) and Hope TV.
Memorable moments in his career are performing for the President of Panama, NATO Gen. Wesley Clark in Europe, organizing and performing in the Four Piano Project: 4 Pianos played simultaneously by 8 pianists (16 hands) from 5 countries (IL and MI, April of 2005) and as a soloist in the Georgia Dome for the 59th GC Session of SDA's in Atlanta, summer of 2010.
Victor currently resides in Hinsdale, IL, suburb of Chicago, plays for bass-baritone Jeffrey Ray's voice studio (University of Chicago and University of St. Francis), has his private studio, teaches piano at Hinsdale Adventist Academy, North Aurora and Downers Grove SDA Schools, is the Music Director of the Hinsdale Seventh-day Adventist Church.
ELVIN S. RODRÍGUEZ
Elvin S. Rodríguez is currently Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Music at La Sierra University. Dr. Rodríguez also serves as Director of University Studies, the general education program. Dr. Rodríguez frequently performs in solo and chamber recitals, and has presented at local, state, and national workshops and conferences in the areas of Baroque keyboard performance practice, improvisation for beginners, and the integration of music technology in the piano curriculum. Dr. Rodríguez has worked with state, national and international prize winning pianists of all ages and is a frequent adjudicator for advanced and professional adjudications and competitions.
Dr. Rodríguez received his BM and MM in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, and later received an Ed.M. and Ed.D. in Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. He has studied with Rhona Hodgen, Earle Voorhies, Constance Keene, Dr. Mark Silverman, and Dr. Robert Pace. Dr. Rodríguez has received many awards and won many competitions, including the prestigious Young Artist Guild given by the Music Teachers Association of California, and received the distinction of Promising Young Artist from the national ARTS organization. Dr. Rodríguez resides in Riverside with his wife Linette, and their two daughters, Elynn and Natalyn.
Lorenzo has premiered new concert music for piano, including Robert Guillory's Concertino for Piano and Orchestra. His interest in Polish music led him to appear several times as lecturer and performer at the annual Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles, California.
In June of 2004, Lorenzo accompanied a choral group on a concert tour of Rome, Italy. As part of the tour, he played the organ for a mass at St. Peter’s Basilica.
He has collaborated in concerts featuring music by African-American composers such as William Grant Still and George Walker. In March of 2005, Lorenzo performed for Dr. Walker and Japanese composer Mitsuru Asaka in concerts taking place in Hawaii.
Looking toward his own heritage, Lorenzo has performed in vocal, chamber, and solo concerts featuring music by Mexican composers. He has edited and helped publish piano music by Mexican composer Domingo Lobato. In fact, he has recorded a solo piano CD of Lobato’s four Piano Sonatas available through the internet. In Mexico, he recorded a CD with violinist Konstantin Ziumbilov of Sonatas for violin and piano, which includes Mr. Lobato’s “Sonata Nöel”.
Lorenzo currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Amy, and daughter, Jennifer.
Sergio Anthony Leiva, a Chilean pianist, conductor and arranger, holds performance certificates in piano and conducting from La Sierra University. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in piano performance from the Austral University of Chile.
In Chile Leiva worked as piano instructor at the Adventist University of Chile, as staff accompanist for chamber music at the University of Chile, as the assistant choral conductor for the Adventist Academy of Chile, and as piano instructor at the Austral University of Chile.
Leiva’s competition wins include first place in levels one and two of the Claudio Arrau International Piano Competition. His varied musical background includes serving as music producer for all music groups at the Adventist University of Chile and for the Concepción Academy Chorale and Chamber Singers. His performance credits include playing for such high profile artists Heritage Singers, Signature Sound, Kirk Franklin and Marcos Vidal.
In Chile Leiva has appeared on Channel 13 Catholic University of Chile, TVN, Chilevision, and in America, on Hope TV and Esperanza TV.
As pianist and conductor he has performed in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Texas, Florida, and for the 59th General Conference Session of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Atlanta, summer 2010.