From Costa Rica to the U.S….

Elizandro is one of our guest artists for our upcoming outreach tour to Costa Rica. Read on to learn more about his journey.

A young Elizandro Garcia-Montoya

A young Elizandro Garcia-Montoya

From San Ramon to Cleveland…

By Elizandro Garcia-Montoya

Learning music in a small community like San Ramon, Costa Rica presented several challenges in my early training. First of all, instruments, sheet music and accessories were very scarce. Specialized education was a luxury and implied traveling a long distance; usually 2 hours by bus to get to a clarinet lesson, choir or theory class at the conservatory in San Jose.

As a young student, I found it very exciting to learn about music and the clarinet. My desire to learn made it bearable to travel 3 times a week to San Jose for my lesson, class and rehearsals. I was constantly entertained by learning facts about composer’s lives, and how their music came about.

My first trip abroad as a young musician came at the age of 13. I traveled to Brazil, Ecuador and Mexico with a Youth Wind Ensemble sponsored by the Costa Rican Government and the OEA (Organization of American States).  This trip was a great inspiration for me and it was then when I decided to dedicate my life to music.

Many events and opportunities for learning have occurred after that memorable trip. Solo and chamber music competitions, summer festivals, tours; but it was during my studies at The Cleveland Institute of Music that I saw one of my dreams come to reality. I was invited to perform with the Cleveland Orchestra! On my first performance with the Cleveland Orchestra we played Also Sprach Zarathustra by Strauss. Not only the piece itself is majestic, but the event marked the realization that dreams do come true!

Performing the famous opening theme of Also Sprach Zarathustra, also used by Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 movie “2001 Space Oddyssey”, was a very special moment in my life. I could feel very strong emotions running through my body as the piece started. I could not help but  remember my humble beginnings in San Ramon, Costa Rica.

I am motivated to help Sound Impact’s mission to bring learning opportunities to these students in Costa Rica. I am certain there are many students that will use the resources we bring and will start dreaming on about a life full of fulfilling experiences in music.

Following a Cleveland Orchestra Concert

Following a Cleveland Orchestra Concert


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