U.S. Heritage of America Band performs Feb. 19 in Wilkes
U.S. Air Force Lt. Rafael Toro-Quinones, a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, will be directing the United States Heritage of America Band from Langley AFB, Va., in a concert at the John A. Walker Center on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro Feb. 19 beginning at 7 p.m.
Sponsoring the event is the Wilkes Journal-Patriot, and there is no admission charge.
Toro-Quinones began his Air Force career as a bassist with the Band of Mid-America, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., in 1997. He was also assigned to the United States Air Forces Band in Europe, Sembach AB, Germany ,and the Air Force Band of Liberty, Hanscom AFB, Mass.
After winning a competitive conducting audition and completing Officer Training School, Toro-Quinones joined the Heritage of America Band as deputy commander in June 2009
Toro-Quinones attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy. He graduated cum laude from DePauw University with a bachelor of music in performance and philosophy in 1996. He received an associate's degree in applied science with a concentration in music from the Community College of the Air Force in 2004.
Toro-Quinones received a master of music degree in wind ensemble conducting with academic honors from the New England
Conservatory of Music in 2009. His conducting teachers include Charles Peltz and William Drury.
Toro-Quinones has worked as a freelance musician in Puerto Rico, the United States and Europe. He has performed with the San Juan Pops and recorded with the famous Puerto Rican music
group Haciendo Punto en Otro Son.
Toro-Quinones's military decorations include the Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters.
In his spare time he enjoys reading, flying and spending time with his son, Alexander, and wife, Kristina.