Soloist Spotlight: Jessica Santiago

Hornist Jessica Santiago is a NYC-based performer and pedagogue, currently serving her second year as a teaching artist for the Metropolitan Opera Guild. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and University of Delaware, she has performing credits across the USA, Europe, and Asia. Most notably she has performed with the MostArts Festival (Alfred, NY), Artosphere Festival Orchestra (Fayetteville, AR), Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela (LA), and Hollywood Concert Orchestra (FL).  A long-time TCS member, Santiago has performed with the orchestra for nearly 8 years.

On Friday and Saturday, March 6 & 7 at 8pm, Jessica Santiago will join Emily Wong to present the world premiere of Michael Boyman’s Double Concerto for Two Horns and Wind Ensemble.


TCS: Tell us a little something fun about yourself that isn’t in your bio?

JS: When I was living in Bosnia, I took in a stray dog on a whim and ended up flying her back to the states with me!

TCS: How did you come to choose your instrument?

JS: My band director actually chose it for me, according to him I was too good at trumpet for the fifth grade and needed a “challenge!” Twenty years later I’m still working on that challenge….

TCS: Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music?

JS: Everyone I have met along the way.

TCS: What has been your proudest moment or moments in music so far?

JS: Heading to Music Academy of the West in 2012 was sort of a dream come true for me. I remember seeing the audition repertoire back in high school and deciding it was way out of my league, so to be accepted really felt like an honor.

TCS: When was your first TCS concert? What brought you to the group?

JS: My first concert was a holiday concert with Mo Rocca! I was subbing in for someone, I think I might have been a student at MSM still or in my first year out.

TCS: Do you have any favorite TCS memories?

JS: Every holiday concert!

TCS: What keeps you coming back to play with TCS?

JS: It’s all I’ve ever wanted in an orchestra. The people, level of musicianship, repertoire and leadership is what makes Chelsea so unique in my eyes!

TCS: What sets TCS apart from other orchestras?

JS: See above :)

TCS: Who are your favorite musicians, past and/or present?

JS: Composer: Beethoven, Principal Horn: Jennifer Montone, Orchestra: Philadelphia and Met Opera Orchestra, Teacher: Michelle Baker

TCS: What is your ideal day of practice?

JS: Warm up in the morning, rep after lunch, etudes in the evening 

TCS: What do you do to set yourself up for success on the day of an important performance?

JS: When I was a student I had very specific routines and even dietary restrictions for the day of a concert, but freelancing changed all that. Now I just make sure I’m hydrated and keep a couple of performing anxiety tricks in my back pocket in case of emergency!

TCS: Why did you choose to perform this piece with TCS?

JS: When Michael approached Emily and I about writing a piece for solo horns I said yes right away! I have been eager to solo with Chelsea and love performing new music. I have always enjoyed performing Michael’s compositions with TCS and this double horn concerto is no different!


Join us on Friday and Saturday, March 6 & 7, at 8pm, as TCS welcomes hornists Jessica Santiago and Emiy Wong at St. Paul’s German Evangelical Lutheran Church at 315 W. 22nd Street, for the world premiere of Michael Boyman’s Double Concerto for 2 Horns and Wind Ensemble!