Meet the Faculty
J. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences
A native of Colombia, Fernando Valencia is currently a Lecturer at the University of Arkansas in the areas of Applied Percussion and Latin American Music. Mr. Valencia received his B.M. from the Universidad Javeriana (Bogota, Colombia) and his M.M. from The University of Arkansas under the guidance of Chalon Ragsdale. He later went on to Temple University to obtain the Professional Certificate of Studies with Alan Abel of The Philadelphia Orchestra where he was awarded the Avedis Zildjian Percussion Scholarship. Formerly the principal percussionist of the National Wind Symphony of Colombia, he has also performed with the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Colombia, The Bogota Philharmonic and the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey among others. Alongside his academic training, Mr. Valencia has been involved in the research and performance of his Afro-Colombian and Afro-Caribbean musical roots, interests that allowed him to obtain a scholarship to study Afro-Cuban drumming at the prestigious Instituto Superior de Artes in Havana, Cuba in the summer of 2003. While on the East coast, Mr. Valencia was a Percussion Associate Faculty at the Settlement Music School of Philadelphia and performed with several well known latin artists such as Edgar Maldonado (Celia Cruz’s band), Anthony Colon and Orlando Fiol among others. He also played for the Off Broadway show “A Night at the Alhambra Cafe” and made the percussion sub list for “The Lion King”on Broadway. Some of his commercial compositions have been broadcast on television in Norway, Finland, UK and on VH1 channel in the US. He was selected for the cast of the nationally syndicated show “What’s Up Que Pasa”. Mr. Valencia currently performs as a percussionist with the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra, Artosphere Festival Orchestra, Fayetteville Jazz Collective and co-leads the NAMA award winning salsa/latin jazz band Calle Soul.
Professional Certificate of Studies, Temple University
BM Universidad Javeriana (Bogota, Colombia)
MM University of Arkansas
Afro-Cuban percussion studies, Instituto Superior de Artes Havana-Cuba