We are excited to announce our new Music Director in the Performing Arts Department, Simon Buret de Longagne (pronounced: boo-ray day long-gang). He joined us this January and is already working with students preparing them for the upcoming spring musical, Shrek. Read on to learn more about our new hire.
What’s your background? What led you to teaching music?
We had an upright piano at home that my dad bought because he was an ELP fan. I started piano lessons early. As a kid, I played the organ at church. When I was 12, I took part in an international chamber music festival. There, I met other young musicians from all over the world and music teachers from Belarus. When I turned 18, I went to study piano in Belarus—first at a school for talented musicians and then at the Conservatory of Music. That’s where I fell in love with vocal music and learned to teach. Later on, I continued studying piano at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. I have been teaching music and performing in the Bay Area for over 6 years now.
What’s your main instrument? Do you play other instruments as well?
Piano is my main instrument. I played the organ when I was younger, and I just started to learn to play ukulele with my wife.
Favorite musical? Favorite composer? What music do you like to listen to in your free time?
I like The Lion King. The music was written by Elton John. What is great with music is that there are so many styles and forms that you always keep exploring. I like operas and art songs. Bach, Schubert, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev are among my favorite composers. I also love listening to jazz and music from the 70s and 80s as well as folk music.
Favorite teaching moment in the past?
When a student is able to capture the character of a piece of music it really means a lot to me. Music is a great life companion, and I'm honored to give that to my students.
What are you most excited about with your new role at MTS?
Meeting new people, becoming part of a community. I’m really excited to see how our musical will come together and how the children will grow into their characters.
What is something students and parents might not know about you?
I like surfing, baking, and eating pastries.