Pedro Laurencio Sánchez Meza

1961 -

Pedro Sánchez, a pianist and double bass player, is conductor of the intermediate children's orchestra, Sonare, at the University of Montemorelos in Mexico. At UM since 1989, he has taught all of the music history classes, given piano lessons, served as director of the music department in 1994, and is now registrar for the department, overseeing all music-related academic records.

Pedro was born in Poza Rica, Veracruz, Mexico, the son of Laurencio and Ana Meza Sanchez. Because his father was a pastor, the family lived in five different cities during Pedro's childhood, the last being a return to the city where he was born.

His mother wanted him to study piano, an idea that he was not enthused about, but he did, wanting to please her. He was the first in the family to have any type of musical training, although his paternal grandfather, who knew how to play the banjo, had taken classes of solfege when younger.

Pedro started piano lessons at the age of seven, but after only a few months, a move to another city made it impossible to have another piano teacher until he went to the University of Montemorelos for his final years in the academy. His first teacher there was Carlos López, a music major. After two years with López, he studied with Héctor Flores, a recent graduate from Andrews University who taught him during his last academy year and his first year as a theology major.

He continued study in music, viewing it as a possible help in future pastoral ministry. At some point, however, Sanchez began seeing himself as a music professor. He changed his major to music education, with piano as his performance area, and graduated in 1986.

He married Maria Elena Pazos, who also had just graduated from the school of music, in the summer of 1986. They began teaching music that fall at Colegio Linda Vista in Chiapas, where he directed the music program and the college choir, taught advanced piano students, and served as the church pianist.

Maria taught the younger students in piano classes, directed the children's choir, and also accompanied the college choir. Working together, they started a string program at the school, with Maria teaching violin and viola and Pedro teaching cello and double bass.

In 1989 the Sanchezes moved back to Montemorelos, where he immediately began to teach and she stopped for awhile since she was expecting a second daughter, Adriana. Three years later a son, Pablo Ivan, was born. After his birth and infancy, she began teaching in the conservatory.

Pedro completed a master's degree in educational administration at UM in 1999. Both Pedro and Maria enrolled in the Andrews University graduate music degree program offered at UM, beginning in that same year, and completed M.Mus. degrees in 2004.

The Sanchez children have all taken lessons in piano and strings. The older daughter, Tania, is pursuing a major in music education with piano as her performance area. The family enjoys playing together as a string quintet.


Source: Information sheet with transcribed and translated interview provided by Ruth Ann Wade, 2008.