Lorena Garay is an award-winning guitarist from Puerto Rico who performs classical, Spanish and Latin guitar. She also loves playing rhythm guitar and percussive guitar. Her captivating guitar arrangements and passionate playing style beautifully blend the classical influence with her Latin sound.
Lorena earned her Master of Music degree Summa Cum Laude from The Hartt School of the University of Hartford, where she received the Guitar Department Award. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree Summa Cum Laude from the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, from which she received the String Department Gold Medal Award.
Lorena has received many awards, including the Identidad Latina's Latino de Oro Music Award. She performs regularly as a soloist and bandleader of her award-winning ensemble, Surcari. Surcari received the Arts For Learning Connecticut's 2018 Performing Artist of the Year Award.
She has released two albums: La Guitarra de Puerto Rico, a featured album of a Greater Hartford Arts Council's United Arts Gift Giving Campaign; and Surcari, which won third place for Best South and Central American Album at the 2009 Just Plain Folks Independent Music Awards. In addition, she composed, recorded, and produced two 15-track instrumental albums commissioned by the international TV Sports Network ESPN.
Lorena Garay is a musician of many facets. She is a guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, audio engineer, music producer, and children's performer. She is currently the Director of Music for Hispanic Ministry at Church of the Good Shepherd in Hartford, CT.
• Master of Music degree Summa Cum Laude, The Hartt School of the University of Hartford (Guitar Department Award)
• Bachelor of Music degree Summa Cum Laude, Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico (String Dept. Gold Medal Award)
• Music Diploma, La Escuela De Bellas Artes (School of Fine Arts), Carolina, Puerto Rico (Highest Honors)
• Certificate for Advanced Training in Radio & Television Broadcasting, CT School of Broadcasting, Farmington Campus
• Classical guitar with Richard Provost, Leonardo Egúrbida and Héctor Hance
• Flamenco guitar with José R. Ramos and Carlos Revollar
• Jazz guitar with Paul Shumsky and Rich Goldstein
• Cuban tres with Nelson González
• Andean and South American instruments with Eugenio Huanca
• Latin Big Beat Sounds, commissioned by the international TV Sports Network ESPN
• Latin Ska Sounds, commissioned by the international TV Sports Network ESPN
• Surcari, Third Place Music Award for Best South and Central American Album, Just Plain Folks Independent Music Awards
• La Guitarra de Puerto Rico, a featured album of the Greater Hartford Arts Council's United Arts Gift Giving Campaign
• New England Landscapes, a compilation album produced by the Connecticut Guitar Society
• The Gift of the Guitar, a compilation album produced by the Connecticut Guitar Society
honors & awards
• Performing Artist of The Year Award, Arts For Learning Connecticut
• Latino de Oro Music Award, Identidad Latina Hispanic Newspaper, Hartford, CT
• Third Place Music Award, Best South & Central American Album for Surcari, Just Plain Folks Music Awards
• Guitar Department Award, The Hartt School, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT
• String Department Gold Medal Award, Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR
• Grant Recipient, New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA)
• Grant Recipient, Hartford Business Development Grants for Artist Program, Hartford, CT
• Grant Recipient, The Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, Springfield, MA
• Grant Recipient, Greater Hartford Arts Council, Hartford, CT
• Plaque Recognition, CT Association of Affirmative Action Scholarship Fund
• Medal for Excellence in Musical Performance, Connecticut National Guard
• Merit Tuition Scholarship Recipient, Connecticut School of Broadcasting, Farmington Campus
• Merit Tuition Scholarship & Teaching Fellowship Recipient, The Hartt School, University of Hartford
• Scholarship Award Recipient, Robert I. Ferdman, Pro Arte Musical, San Juan, PR
• Scholarship Award Recipient, Corporación de las Artes Musicales, San Juan, PR
• Pi Kappa Lambda, National Music Honor Society
• Biography Published in Various Annual Editions of the National Dean's List
Lorena has traveled all along the U.S. east coast and Puerto Rico performing with various musical groups, including her band, Surcari, José González's Criollo Clásico, The Daniel Salazar Ensemble, Viva Quetzal, and Sol Sin Fronteras. Lorena has also performed with various Puerto Rican artists, such as folk singer Roy Brown, rock singer Tito Auger, and concert guitarist Federico Cordero. She has made many television appearances, including "El Show de Analeh," Univision; "Salu2 Nueva Inglaterra," Telemundo; "Presencia" & "Making It Here," Public Television for Western New England (a PBS affiliate); and "All Things Connecticut," Connecticut Public Television.
Lorena has performed at numerous prestigious venues, including Princeton University, Princeton, NJ; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; Festival Artscape, Baltimore, MD; The Bushnell Performing Arts Center, Hartford, CT; and Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, San Juan, PR; among many others. At the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts in Pennsylvania, Lorena was the opening act for renowned guitar duo Strunz and Farah.