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Student in SU's PRESTO Program to Play Carnegie Hall
Jonathan Zapuche-Linares, center, a student in SU's PRESTO performing arts outreach program, will play a recital at Carnegie Hall. He has benefited from the generosity of philanthropists Dr. Peter Jackson, left, and Judy Jackson.

Student in SU's PRESTO Program to Play Carnegie Hall

SALISBURY, MD---How do you get to Carnegie Hall? For Jonathan Zapuche-Linares, it’s through years of hard work and a little help from philanthropists Peter and Judy Jackson and Salisbury University’s PRESTO performing arts outreach program.

Now 13 years old, Zapuche-Linares began lessons through PRESTO at age 4. He has continued with the program, along with private lessons, and has become a top performer in the area. Most recently, he won the 13-14-year-old division at the Little Mozart Competition held at Ryder University (NJ), earning him the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in New York on May 27.

“We are happy to be close to Salisbury University, and we really enjoy the cultural events,” said Zapuche-Linares’ mother, Laida. “We try to enjoy every single one of them to be exposed to a variety of culture and to learn.”

Among Jonathan’s first full sentences he spoke were, “I want to play violin,” despite his parents not having a musical background, said Laida.

When he was 3, Jonathan’s father, Pedro Zapuche, met longtime University supporter and now Music Program namesake Peter Jackson. As they spoke about their children and their love of music, Jackson recommended the PRESTO program, and the connection to SU was formed.

Jonathan attended SU cultural events from a young age. As he was routinely coming to the performances straight from lessons and couldn’t leave his violin in the car due to potential damage from fluctuating temperatures, the instrument was always in tow.

Impressed with Jonathan’s talent and passion for the art, the Jacksons have made Jonathan one of their scholarship recipients, lifting some of the financial burden that can come with musical preparation.

“Dr. and Mrs. Jackson have been a big support for Jonathan all these years. We are really grateful for all that they are doing for us,” said Laida. “For us, they are like family. Every time that Jonathan accomplishes something, we try to share with them our happiness. That way, they can see the harvest of what they did and still are doing.”

Jonathan now plays with a number of ensembles in the region. He recently performed at SU as part of this semester’s PRESTO student recitals on Tuesday, May 16, and as a concertmaster of the Salisbury Youth Orchestra on Thursday, May 18.

For more information about PRESTO, visit the program's webpage.

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