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Irineo Cabreros Brings Classical Music to Science Students in Mobile, AL

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Irineo answered students’ questions after his presentation.

Irineo Cabreros has been described as hard to peg. Featured on From the Top’s Mobile, AL taping last winter, the phenomenal 18-year-old musician says it best when he describes himself as “a dreadlocked, birkenstocked, teenage flutist who loves to play soccer and beat-box.”

Currently enrolled in the Harvard University and New England Conservatory (NEC) dual degree program in Boston, MA, Irineo is also a From the Top Alumni Fellow through NEC’s Performance Outreach Department. Through the Fellowship Irineo, and three other From the Top alums (Audrey Wright, Victoria Aschheim, and Ross Holcombe) visit our three Turn it UP! partner elementary schools to lead instrumental music sectionals, perform for students, and inspire new musicians to keep on practicing. Turn it UP! is From the Top’s Wallace Foundation Excellence Award program.

We caught up with this self-ascribed physics-lover to talk about his presentation with From the Top at the School of Math and Science in Mobile, AL last January.

I felt a real personal connection with these students, some of which I still remain in contact with.”

FTT: What was it like to present music to your peers?

Irineo: This experience was very rewarding for me. Initially, I was quite nervous performing for a class of my own peers—that I would come across as condescending or detached. However, the overall environment in the classroom was extremely collaborative and exciting. The students appeared highly interested and intrigued by my comments.

FTT: Did you have a favorite moment during your presentation?

Irineo: Perhaps my favorite aspect of this visit was the connection I shared with these students as a boarding high-school student. We shared many connections due to our common experiences. By the end of this single one-hour class, I felt a real personal connection with these students, some of which I still remain in contact with.

FTT: What did you hope to share with your audience?

Irineo: I think that this experience really made this audience re-examine the prejudices that they previously held against classical music. I really enjoyed creating for them a real contrast between prior expectations and the experience they had.

FTT: What did you learn from your school visit?

Irineo: Perhaps the most unexpected part of this experience, for me, was how extremely attentive the audience was. Where I hoped to have broken their stereotypes of classical music, they certainly shattered my own stereotypes.