Fernando Valencia is a Percussion Instructor and the Director of the Latin American Music Ensemble at the University of Arkansas. Mr. Valencia received his B.M. from the Universidad Javeriana (Bogota, Colombia) and his M.M. from The University of Arkansas under the guidance of Chalon Ragsdale. He later went on to Temple University to obtain the Professional Certificate of Studies with Alan Abel of The Philadelphia Orchestra. While on the East coast, Professor Valencia was a Percussion Associate Faculty at the Settlement Music School of Philadelphia and performed with several well known latin artists such as Edgar Maldonado (Celia Cruz’s band), Anthony Colon and Orlando Fiol among others. He also studied Afro-Cuban drumming at the prestigious Instituto Superior de Artes in Havana, Cuba. Some of his commercial compositions have been broadcast on television in Norway, Finland, UK and on VH1 channel in the US. Formerly the principal percussionist of the National Wind Symphony of Colombia, he has also performed with The Youth Symphony Orchestra of Colombia, Bogota Philharmonic, Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey, Arkansas Symphony, Tulsa Symphony, and currently with The Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, Artosphere Festival Orchestra, Arkansas Philharmonic, Opera Fayetteville and Fayetteville Jazz Collective. He has recorded extensively in Colombia and the U.S. and has participated in Latin Grammy nominated and nationally broadcast recordings in the popular and classical arenas.