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Baroque in Latin America

I really enjoyed last weekend’s rehearsal of the choir. They continue have a beautiful, balanced sound under Tiphaine’s baton. I worked with this choir several times over the last 10 years under their last director Robert Filion. Robert is now teaching at a fine high school with an excellent music program. I hope to see him again as part of this project.

The choir sings at a very high level for a community choir. It is clear that many of them are trained singers and all of them care deeply about the quality and depth of their performance. I also enjoyed the children that were playing just outside the rehearsal room. These little ones grow up in a world in which hearing their mothers sing beautiful music goes right along with daily play. High-level music making is as natural to their families as playing with their toys. At one point, one of the children brought his comic book and sat beside his mother. It was a beautiful picture of mom holding her music and the son reading his book, both facing Tiphaine the conductor. I predict that these children will always have music in their lives.

The choir is preparing their April concert. The program includes Ariel Ramirez’s Missa Criolla. The programming committee did a wonderful job thematically linking their April concert to the December premier of my new piece Missa Kreyol. The program also includes a very special set of pieces. One of the choir members is supporting this concert that features the scholarly work of her late husband. He researched the development of baroque music in colonial Bolivia. They transcribed the handwritten manuscripts and arranged the pieces for choir and percussion. They represent a wonderful fusion of European music and indigenous music in Bolivia. This, again, is a very thoughtful way to build audience support for the December premier, since my piece is based on a similar concept of mixing the European concert mass form with indigenous Haitian dance music styles. The local TV news station did a story on this part of the concert. Check it out here…