A native of northern California, Hermes Camacho recently completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition, studying with Donald Grantham, Yevgeniy Sharlat and Dan Welcher at the The University of Texas at Austin. Previously, Hermes earned degrees at Cal State Long Beach (B.M.) and the University of Colorado at Boulder (M.M.), studying composition with Carolyn Bremer, Robin Cox, Daniel Kellogg, and Richard Toensing, violin with Kimiyo Takeya, and conducting with Akira Endo and Richard Rintoul.. Recent notables include awards from SCI, ASCAP, the ArtsAha! Festival (Omaha, Nebraska), 60×60, the Dallas Wind Symphony, and the Texas String Project, participation in the Music06 and Music08 Festivals, selection for GAMMA-UT 2008, and commissioning support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Vermont Arts Council. In the spring of 2009, his Caprices for 2 flutes were taken on tour throughout the United States and Australia. In the fall of 2011, his work, Quartet for Violin, Viola, and 2 Cellos, was premiered by the Hague String Variations in Holland.
For the 2005-2006 season, he served as Composer-in-Residence with the Boulder Youth Symphony Society and was a 2008 Composer Fellow at the Chamber Music Conference of the East in Bennington, Vermont. Hermes was also a Visiting Composer at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio, Texas in March 2010 and has served as a judge for the Iron Composer Competition at George Fox University (Oregon, 2009) and for the MTNA Southwest Regional composition competition (2010). He has also participated in several masterclasses, most notably with John Adams, William Bolcom, Steve Reich, Susan Botti, Derek Bermel, Donald Crockett, Jennifer Higdon, and Augusta Read Thomas.Recently, Hermes was the Composer-in-Residence at Winthrop University (Rock Hill, SC), where the Symphonic Band premiered Madden. In June 2012, served on the faculty of the Summer Music Festival at Southwestern College, located in Winfield, Kansas.
Every summer, Hermes serves on the faculty of the Sacramento Youth Symphony Chamber Music Workshop, as conductor and chamber music coach, where he inaugurated an annual visiting composer program in 2009. He was also an assistant instructor at UT from 2007-2011 and served on the composition committee for both GAMMA-UT and the CLUTCH New Music Series. Currently, he teaches wind ensemble and music theory with Austin Soundwaves, an El-Sistema based music program in East Austin, Texas. He is also co-director of Sonorous, a conducted chamber ensemble that specializes in performances of chamber masterworks of the past and present and teaches music theory at the Austin Chamber Music Center.
Connections/Expertise w/ El Sistema-inspired programs
Hermes Camacho is entering his third year as a staff member of Austin Soundwaves. At Austin Soundwaves, Hermes coordinates the music theory program, directs the wind ensemble and also teaches orchestra and violin sectionals.
Special skills/professional expertise/resources/connections that the candidate would bring to the board
In addition to working at Austin Soundwaves, Hermes is a Lecturer at the University of the Incarnate Ward (UIW) in San Antonio, TX, where he co-leads the development of the freshman music theory and aural skills curriculum as well as maintaining a studio of composition students. Prior to his position at UIW, Hermes taught undergraduate music theory at The University of Texas at Austin and at University of Colorado Boulder. His experience working within higher education will be an asset to board decision-making.
As an active professional composer and conductor, Hermes could continue and broaden his work towards connecting the El Sistema community with a large network of musicians and composers. Recent examples include facilitating side-by-side performances with professional musicians for wind symphony concerts as well as a collaboration with the Sacramento Youth Symphony to bring three Austin Soundwaves students to their weeklong Summer Chamber Music Workshop, which included fundraising and planning the itinerary for the 10-day trip.
And, as a co-founder and the general lead of Picardy, a company focused on creating cloud-based music education software, Hermes has experience with organizational development as well as complex web programming/design.
Why the candidate wishes to serve on the board
As part of the teaching staff at Austin Soundwaves these past two years, I have seen firsthand the impact and personal growth that an El Sistema-inspired program can bring to youths and their community. It has been incredibly rewarding and inspiring to see these students wholly crave and devote themselves to the artistic environment that we provide, at a level that surpasses any other program that I’ve seen in my 14 years as a music educator. Having the opportunity to contribute to the El Sistema movement on a national scale is very important to me and I would consider it both an honor and privilege to serve on the National Alliance’s Board.
“I have had the privilege of working with Dr. Hermes Camacho for over two years and am confident that he wouldd be a tremendous asset to the Board of Directors for the National Alliance of El Sistema Inspired Program. Hermes will bring to the board a wealth of knowledge, experience, and connections in the fields of music composition, theory, and education. In addition, his experience with web programming and design, as well as business development, will help the National Alliance make a significant contribution to the El Sistema field. I can’t recommendation Hermes highly enough for a seat on the board of the National Alliance.”
– Patrick Slevin
Board Member, National Alliance of El Sistema Inspired Programs
Founder/Director, Austin Soundwaves