Cindy Burgos began playing the Violin at the age of 12 when she enrolled at Pallotti High School. She studied violin primarily under Miss Linda Calderon and a year later with renowned Belizean violin instructor Colville Young Jr. Under Colville Young Jr, Cindy has been able to play with The Belize Chamber Group and Pallotti School of Music’s Junior and Senior Orchestras.
In 2004 she was given the opportunity to attend a Suzuki Summer Institute in Ontario, Canada, where she participated in a 2 week long violin program that exposed her to a broader knowledge of violin techniques and orchestra playing. She later on completed her Violin Grade 8 ABRSM examination in 2008 under the special tutelage of French violinist, Gilles Rabinovitch.
Cindy began teaching at Pallotti School of Music in late 2011 after seeing the need for more violin instructors. Upon seeing her interest in teaching children to play the violin, Sr. Mary Terese, the director of Pallotti School of Music, sponsored her tuition to attend a 2 week long Suzuki Method certification course held at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut. This was what really rooted her calling to teaching the children of Belize how to play the violin.
In 2012 it was announced that the Youth Orchestra of the Americas would come to Belize to give its first ever world class symphony performance. Cindy acted as the concert master in the joint performance of the newly formed National Youth Orchestra and Choir of Belize and YOA, performing Merle Isaac’s Gypsy overture. In addition, she was invited to play alongside YOA in their performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnole.
Cindy continued working alongside Belize’s National Institute of Culture and History with its goal to grow the National Youth Orchestra and Choir of Belize. It is through this organization that she was able to participate in the 2013 Youth Orchestra of Central America and the Caribbean (OJCA), held in Panama. She became one of the first Belizeans to participate in this orchestra meet. The following year she was again chosen to represent Belize in OJCA held in Nicaragua and Guatemala, where she played alongside the young musicians of the Junge Philharmonie Brandenburg from Germany.
This year (2015) Cindy was selected by OJCA and Belize’s National Institute of Culture and History to represent Belize in a week long workshop held at Yale University School of Music and a benefit concert held in Washington DC. She was able to work with Yale faculty and graduate students in violin technique and string ensemble playing. She also had the opportunity to play alongside 7 exceptional musicians chosen from each Central American country and The Dominican Republic. This was made possible through Kevin Shaffter’s Musaid program. This program seeks to aid music students around the world through teacher workshops and musical instruments. Last year MusAid held a summer music camp in Belize that aimed to train both students and teachers of the National Youth Orchestra of Belize. MusAid has since donated several wind and string instruments to the program in Belize.
Currently, Cindy is one of two main violin teachers for Pallotti School of Music and the National Youth Orchestra of Belize. She teaches kids to play the recorder at St. Joseph Primary School and conducts a string program at Our Lady of Guadelupe Primary School. Furthermore, she donates her free time to mentoring youths enrolled in the Pandemonium Steel Band – an afterschool steel band program sponsored by NICH, Restore Belize and UNICEF.
Cindy is proud to be one of the handful of people in Belize that has chosen music as a career. However, her path is set to continue to learn all that she can in workshops such as the MusAid workshop at Yale and participations in OJCA. This year she auditioned to attend the 2015 Youth Orchestra of the Americas’ Canada Tour and was accepted. Her passion extends beyond just playing the violin but becoming a pivotal role in the growth of the National Youth Orchestra of Belize – Belize’s first and only full orchestra. For more on cindy visit YOA .