by: Freddy Panes | Born in the Philippines Kim Rojo Celestino Barroso began his piano study at the age of 4 under his grandmother’s tutelage, Anita Celestino. Soon he was performing as a student at the Yamaha School of Music and at the Centro Escolar University under the guidance of Marina Diokno, who encouraged him to audition for the Philippine High School for the Arts.
There he continued his studies with Araneta Lim and Regalado S.L. Jose, who conducted his Graduation Recital performing with the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Through Regalado Jose’s advice he took lessons from Bien Panganiban, founder of the Ryukyu Academy, in Okinawa, Japan while studying as International Exchange Student under the Youth for Understanding Program. He suggested Kim apply for Winthrop University in South Carolina where he became Kim’s benefactor.
Under Dr. Eugene Barban he graduated with honors with a BM in Piano Performance, receiving First Honorable Mention two consecutive years from the South Carolina Music Teachers National Association Piano Competition. It was also during this time when Kim took the opportunity to collaborate with collegiate and high school choirs, musical theater, church and ballet studio accompanying among others.
Receiving his Masters in Music degree from Temple University in Piano Performance and Piano Chamber Music Accompanying where he studied with Harvey Wedeen and Lambert Orkis, he is currently an Artist-in-Residence pledged to performing and accompanying for various concerts, choirs and auditions among others. He also works at Rutgers-Camden University as a lecturer as well as a piano studio instructor.
A member of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society and Assistant Alumni Advisor for the Omicron-Upsilon Chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, which he helped chartered at Temple University. Kim’s community involvement also landed him the opportunity to be president of the Filipino American National Historical Society – Pennsylvania Chapter (FANHS-PA) from 2007-2010.
He currently serves as music liturgy coordinator/ choir director at St. Augustine Church in Old City Philadelphia, and has performed recently as soloist with the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, Ambler Symphony Orchestra, Olney Symphony Orchestra and as collaborative pianist at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall and with Philadelphia Orchestra violinist Jason De Pue.