Percussionist, educator & student Charles Z. Kalajian (b. 1988) uses his wide-ranging talents to adapt comfortably to a variety of environments. As a performing artist, he has performed and given master classes and clinics throughout the Southern New England area. Highlights of his career thus far have included the chance to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City; being selected to perform in the R.I All-State Festival for six years placing first chair timpani and snare 2005 and 2006; selected as Most Valuable Player of the Berklee Music Festival in the East Greenwich High School Jazz Band; and participated in the Boston University Tanglewood Institute in Lenox, Massachusetts, 2005 and 2006. While at Tanglewood, he had the opportunity to perform and study under the direction of Prof. David Martins, Boston University, Prof. H. Robert Reynolds, University of Michigan, Tim Gennis, Principal Timpanist, Boston Symphony Orchestra and Mr. Sam Solomon, percussion instructor, Boston University.
Charles is currently performing as principle percussionist with the Warwick Symphony Orchestra and Opera Providence and can also be found playing all styles of music at local theater companies, jazz clubs, music festivals and private functions.
As an educator Charles is currently serving as Department Chair of the Woodwinds, Brass and Percussion at the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School and music faculty of Rhode Island College, Community College of Rhode Island, and Bishop Hendricken High School. At these institutions private lessons and development of various Percussion Ensembles based on the interest of the students are part of his job description. However, bringing the joy of music to students goes beyond a job description. Charles teaches with passion and compassion and carries that into his teaching. Charles’ students see how enthusiastic he is about what he does, and it fuels their eagerness to learn. “The power to help my students make the world a better place through music is my calling and inspiration.” With that knowledge comes the urge to use his skills as a music teacher, to improve the lives of his students; it is not just an ability that he has, but a responsibility that he feels he must live up to.