Featured Colleague: Jose Antonio Aenlle Inspires Students Side-by-side With Those Who Inspired Him

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

By Wendy Jo Moyer

Jose Antonio Aenlle was born in the Dominican Republic in the city of Santo Domingo. He began to learn the piano at the age of 7 and quickly advanced in ear training and improvisation. By the age of 19, his journey to mastering the piano began right here as a student in the Valencia College Music Department.

In 2005, he was the first pianist at Valencia to win the College Winter Symposium Award and was granted a scholarship to study with Michael Rickman at Stetson University. In 2007, he was invited to perform, alongside Rickman, in the Schlern Music Festival in Italy and toured in the area performing classical music in historic castles and other great landmarks.

Jose began his studies in orchestral conducting and arranging at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The knowledge of leading an orchestra and his composition/arranging skills have equipped him to arrange top-of-the-line orchestral scores for classical artists such as Troy Gifford, professor, music, and top jazz artists like Bria Skonberg.

“Jose is a gifted musician who is not only a high-level performer on multiple instruments, but also a skilled conductor and arranger,” expressed Troy. “I am always impressed by his versatility and talents.”

In 2016, Jose returned to his Valencia roots as professor of music production technology, where, he said, his goal is inspiring students.

“Whether it’s through instruction, conversation or just working on projects together, I want to inspire students to create awesome things through the recording arts,” he explained, adding that he absolutely loves teaching, a passion he discovered when he was hired at 16-years-old as a Tae Kwon Do assistant instructor, later to become in charge of one of the karate school’s locations at only 18 years old.

Although getting to teach in Valencia’s East Campus School of Arts and Entertainment (SAE), which he says is an amazing facility, for him, it’s really about the students.

“It’s such a great satisfaction getting to teach my students and seeing when the lightbulbs light up once the students understand the material,” he shared. “The students are what really makes my job amazing.”

As a leader of young musicians, this maestro has many proud accomplishments, but, Valencia’s quick transition to online learning and the people who helped are his most memorable.

“When Valencia entered the lockdown phase last year, we had to take all of our classes online as fast as possible,” Jose explained. “I’m very proud of the way professors came together to collaborate in our department and create amazing content so the students won’t miss out on learning. In our department we teach specialized equipment, so this meant making tutorial videos in basically no time in order to finish our courses. This is hours and hours of editing along with weeks of shooting footage in a time when access was restricted on campus. It took amazing effort and organization from our dean Rob McCaffrey [interim dean, SAE] and our program director Raul Valery [professor, music production technology], as well as coordination with instructors like Paige Coley [part-time faculty, music technology] and our studio manager Laci Penton [part-time faculty, music technology]. I couldn’t be more proud of the support we received during that time to create amazing content for our students, but also content that I’m very proud of.”

And his team appreciates his work as well.

“Jose is passionate about his work in SAE,” said Rob. “He’s constantly reaching out to coordinate and help his fellow professors, and he’s begun an impressive video production project to give students detailed views of the specialized equipment used in the Sound and Music Recording Technology program. It’s helping keep a window open on that lab space, even for the students who are in online classes.”

Jose hopes to continue to inspire his students just like his Valencia professors did for him.

As a Valencia alumni, what inspires me the most is to be able to work side by side with teachers who basically changed my life and led me to a greater understanding of the art that I was pursuing during my undergraduate years,” he said. “Even when I went on to Stetson and UCF, the influence and knowledge my Valencia professors had on me is what enabled me to succeed in other schools. The fact that I get to call them colleagues and work with them, record them, collaborate in projects with them, is amazing. Instructors like Troy Gifford, Alan Gerber [professor, music] are changing the lives of students whether they know it or not. They definitely changed my life, and I’m grateful for them.”

Outside of Valencia, Jose is an active producer and conductor in the community leading bands, choirs, string ensembles and pop/rock bands, as well as recording local artists. He is also the founder of an audio and video recording company called ASM Studios.

Although he’s obviously passionate about music and teaching, he says there’s no greater satisfaction in his life than spending time with his two beautiful daughters, including taking them fishing, building Lego Star Wars sets, making movies and recording songs together.

“Every moment I can spend with them is incredible,” he exclaimed. “They are a blast to be with.”

Know of someone who embodies one of Valencia’s values (learning, people, diversity, access or integrity), who has been an employee for at least one year? Send the colleague’s name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu. He or she might be one of our featured colleagues, subject to supervisor’s approval.

1 Comment

  • Jessica Chisholm said:

    Awesome! Well deserved.

    PMTue, 06 Jul 2021 16:55:33 +0000Tue, 06 Jul 2021 16:55:33 +0000pm21,4:55 pm

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