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Fernando Troche

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Classical Guitarist Fernando Troche Performs as Often as He Can.

His preparation is extensive. He's practiced for hours. Hopefully, every nerve has been chased away.

Fernando Troche '11 takes the stage with confidence and sits. He places his guitar gently across a knee and strums the strings, beginning his performance. His audience is silent, intent on hearing every chord. If Troche wasn't concentrating so much, he might flash a smile. Whether you can tell or not, he's having a lot of fun.

"I really like being on the stage - it's completely different from regular life," says Troche, a native of Uruguay. "You are playing for someone else. You want to do your best."

Two years ago, Troche toured the United States, visiting Charleston, Miami, Louisiana, New York and San Francisco, contemplating which corner of the country would best prepare him as a classical guitarist. Soon after meeting some of the faculty from the College's music department, including classical guitarists Marc Regnier and pianist and artist-in-residence Enrique Graf, his mind was made up.

"The teachers are really good," says Troche. "The first couple of lessons I was improving a lot ... it's been a really good experience for me."

Studying so far from home, you'd expect Troche to be homesick from time to time. But he says his move to Charleston was smooth. It helps that there are other international students here studying music, including students from Russia, Japan, China, Peru, Korea and Singapore.

"We have people from everywhere," says Troche. "We have a little family."

This year, Troche will compete in the Rosario Guitar Festival in Columbia, S.C. To prepare, he's beefing up his performing schedule, recently playing at St. Luke's Chapel on the campus of the Medical University of South Carolina. He's also recently performed in a number of other Charleston music events, including the College's Monday Night Concert Series and Young Artist Series, Piccolo Spoleto, and the Early Music Series at First Scots Presbyterian Church. Troche also teaches at the Charleston Academy of Music, Mason Preparatory School, and Memminger Elementary School.

"If you want to play, do recitals and concerts," Troche says, "In Charleston, you have that opportunity."

Now, he's able to play in the practice rooms of the 68,000-square-foot, $18.1-million Marion and Wayland H. Cato Jr. Center for the Arts, which opened in January. Troche can't wait to help break in the new facility: "That's going to be amazing."