The prominent Dominican violinist, rebecca masalleswon first place in the All-US Finals of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Chamber Music Competition with his quartet, the Red Hills Quartet, which took place on Saturday, March 25 at the Nugget Casino Resort in the city of Reno, Nevada, according to a statement sent to this medium.
The Red Hills Quartet represented the Florida State University (FSU) School of Music, and was made up, in addition to Rebeca as first violin, by Alyssa Orantes on second violin, Joshua Singletary on viola and Curtis Shugart on cello, being the coach of the quartet, Professor Dr. Shannon Thomas, who recently appeared as a soloist in the visit made to our country by the symphony orchestra of said university at the beginning of March, of which Rebeca, as a member of the orchestra, was the organizer of said visit.
For the finals, seven quartets from different schools from all over the United States had been called to present their selections throughout Saturday in front of a jury that ended up selecting the Red Hills Quartet as the winner.
The winning quartet performed the suite “Five Pieces for String Quartet” by Erwin Schulhoff (1894-1942), a Czechoslovakian composer of Jewish origin, and the fourth movement of the Quartet in E flat major, Op. 33 no. 2 by Joseph Haydn.
In November of last year, Rebeca also won first prize in the XXXV version of the John Leatherwood Concerto Competition, which took place in the city of Niceville, Florida, with which she won the right to play as a soloist with Northwest Florida. Symphony Orchestra, in two magnificent presentations that took place on January 21 and 22 of this year.
Already in 2021 he had won first prize in the qualifiers of the Performance Competition as a soloist of the MTNA, in the city of Tampa, which gave him the right to represent the entire state of Florida in his category in the following stages of the competition. The following year she obtained an honorable mention in the same contest.
She was born in Santo Domingo (2001), Dominican Republic, and began playing violin at the age of 4 at the Musical Pedagogy Center of Professor Jacqueline Houguet, where Professor Camille Berroa introduced her to the violin under the Suzuki system.
Since she was little, she began to stand out, winning several of the contests for piano, strings and voices that were carried out by the extension in Santiago de Los Caballeros of the Diná Musical Education Studio at the Gran Teatro del Cibao.
Then he goes to the Diná Studio in Santo Domingo under the teachings of Da. Mercedes Ariza, without a doubt one of the most important violin teachers our country has ever had.
At the age of 11, she auditioned to enter the National Youth Symphony Orchestra (OSNJ), directed at that time by Darwin Aquino, becoming the youngest member of the orchestra and becoming the main second violin in the orchestra. In 2018 she performed as a soloist in the main hall of the Eduardo Brito National Theater, already under the direction of Alberto Rincón.
At the age of 14, he auditioned to be part of the selective violin program Gabriel del Orbe, of the Fundación por la Música, chaired by Mrs. Margarita Auffant. This program brings together the best young string instrument performers in the country. The Foundation has the support of the prestigious professors Paul and Tim Kantor, in violin and viola, and professor Felix Umansky in cello.
Florida State University
After graduating from Babeque College in 2019, and determined to study music professionally, she travels to the city of Tallahassee to audition at Florida State University on the recommendation of Professor Paul Kantor. Rebeca receives the highest scholarship granted by said university and that is where his university career begins.
He has also been participating in prestigious music festivals during the summers, among which are those of the Kinhaven Music School and the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, in the state of Vermont, in the United States, under the direction of professors Carolyn Huebl , Timothy Kantor and Shannon Thomas.
In 2021, she auditioned to play with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra (TSO) and was accepted. The orchestra gave her a work contract and she has been part of the orchestra ever since.
Rebeca is finishing her bachelor’s degree in Music Performance this year, from which she will graduate with high honors, and intends to do a master’s for which she has already auditioned at various schools in the United States and Spain. She is waiting for their response to decide where her next stage will be.