Raphael Arenas Fernandez is a rising second year masters candidate in the sacred music program at the University of Notre Dame. He attended Rollins College and was their Marshall Scholar nominee and Nelson Scholar majoring in music earning departmental honors in choral music, conducting and string performance.
As a vocalist, he was the bass understudy for the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, recorded with Opera Orlando, performed with the Atlantic Music Festival’s Opera Institute, was casted as Sodbuster in Notre Dame Opera’s production of Proving Up, and as Leporello in the South Bend Lyric Opera’s production of Don Giovanni.
As a conductor, he has led both amateur and professional orchestras and choirs to include the Aiken Symphony, the Gwinnett Symphony and the Eastman-Rochester Voices. He successfully competed internationally as the student conductor of the Rollins College orchestra, choir, string and wind ensembles and will serve as apprentice conductor of the Bach Festival Society of Winter Park in its upcoming concert seasons.
As a cellist, he served as principal and concertized with the Rollins College orchestra and string ensemble, and was featured at the Dr. Phillips Fine Arts Performing Center and the Bob Carr Theater.
As a composer, his “Forty Days and Forty Nights” was publicly performed at Tiedtke Hall and he wrote “Fur Ludwig Ode to Self” for the Florida Orchestra’s Beethoven celebration. He is a past winner of the Music Teachers National Association Composition Contest.
His research interests include a unified theory of gestural expressivity in undergraduate pedagogy and the influence of traditional canon on the artistic expression of marginalized, western subcultures.
His voice teachers are Stephen Lancaster, Kiera Duffy, Curtis Rayam and Richard Owens. His conducting teachers are Carmen Helena Tellez, Miguel Harth Bedoya, and John Vincent Sinclair.
He is an aspiring musical liturgist, interdisciplinary artist, and practical ecumenist.