Under the spotlight this week as we gear up for “A Summer Symphony With FASO at The Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall” is FASO violist and music educator, Armin Mariano. We’re also fortunate to have him as teacher of our FASO Youth String Ensemble. Watch him and his students perform with FASO on Saturday, August 3, at 7:00 p.m.!
1. Armin was born in Tamuning, Guam and moved to Los Angeles when he was four years old. When Armin was seven, musicians visited his school to introduce different types of instruments. This experience inspired Armin to learn the violin, but he later to switched to viola when he heard the instrument’s warm, rich tone at a classmate’s recital. His passion for the instrument brought him to the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and later, Carnegie Mellon University.
2. Growing up, Armin enjoyed learning many different instruments. He currently plays a whopping 14 different instruments! The most unique, but most troublesome instrument for him is the theremin.
3. Armin’s been playing in orchestras since the age of seven and has participated in numerous orchestra competitions. His most memorable competition took place in New York City’s Carnegie Hall, when he was 10 years old. While studying in Carnegie Mellon University, he had the opportunity to play in another Carnegie Hall (the one in Pittsburgh!)
4. Armin’s an avid gamer. He particularly enjoys the diversity of musical styles presented in video game soundtracks. His hobby and musical aspirations met in 2014, when he performed in video game composer Tommy Tallarico’s Video Games Live concert series at the Nokia Theater during E3. This performance was really special to Armin. He performed and met with composers of video games he grew up playing, including “Halo” and “Civilization IV.”
5. While studying violin and viola, Armin developed an interest in teaching music. With YOLA at LACHSA, the third site of Los Angeles Philharmonic music director Gustavo Dudamel’s signature music education program, Armin coached violin and viola lessons. During his studies at Carnegie Mellon University, Armin became a substitute solfege teacher at the School of Music’s Preparatory School and tutored inner-city students in Pittsburgh public schools. Now back in his native Los Angeles after graduating, Armin continues to teach! He’s honored to have been given the opportunity to work with the FASO Youth String Ensemble. He says, “It is a joy to teach and see the progress of these students learning their first stringed instruments and playing as a group.”
Watch Armin Mariano and his students perform with us at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Saturday, August 3, at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for “A Summer Symphony with FASO” are available here and are priced at $20, $35, $50, and $60.