By Santiago Romero, SFYSA Mariachi Director
The Canyon Road Parade was a huge success and we had a great time! Luckily we were able to piece together enough Mariachi trajes (suits) for all members of Mariachi Estrella. The students sounded great and we had the opportunity to perform for people from around the country and the world! We even had the opportunity to perform for a group of parade-goers that followed us to Patrick Smith Park!
A special thank you to the students and instructors for arriving early and showing up ready to play! Also, we’d like to thank our parents for bringing your kids on time, taking great photos and walking the entire parade with us. We’re truly grateful for each and every student in the program and excited to guide them to musical greatness!
Our jazz students headed to Hummingbird Music Camp last weekend for a fabulous retreat overnight, with beautiful weather, lots of learning and fun. For many of our students, this was their first experience with such an intensive rehearsal and workshop schedule. They all got A LOT done in a short period of time and felt very satisfied. Christopher Ishee, SFYSA Jazz Director shares, "We had a moment right before we finished Saturday that was musically amazing and everyone recognized it as something that wouldn't have been accomplished without our full day of work together."
Fabulous musician and recording artist, Rusty Crutcher joined Ishee and together they had time to work with each student one-on-one in a 30-45 minute session of private instruction. Crutcher worked with the winds and Ishee with the rhythm section. The combination of ensemble time and intensive one-on-one support made magic happen that is only really possible in a setting like this.
The group also made the most musically of being out in nature. They spent time listening to "found sounds" (and passing motorcycles, etc.) and turned them into musical ideas resulting in a 4-5 min. piece that Ishee says took them through an imagined 24 hr cycle of the day.
They also got to enjoy the wonder of being at camp, the fun a campfire night, and meeting the 97-year-old camp founder and NM Music icon Wanda Higgins.
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By Andrea Cassutt, Executive Director
It was a joyful event this last Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017 when our Prelude String Orchestra students and a quartet from our Youth Symphony Orchestra (YSO) played music at the Santa Fe Children’s Museum Community Day. Thanks to the Santa Fe Children’s Museum for inviting us to be a part of the day’s sharing and festivities along with Santa Fe Performing Arts, the Holy Faith Break Dancers, EmiArteFlamenco and Pomegranate Dance Studios.
After just three rehearsals, students from our Prelude String Orchestra (3rd through 6th graders) led by conductor, Carla Kountoupes stepped up to play their string instruments for the event. Alisa, one of our newest students, played a solo, and Benjamin and Sonya played a viola duet on the French Folk Song. Maya Holder, who works at the museum, and is one of our YSO players grabbed her violin from the car and played along in support of our young musicians.
After that very young bravery, a quartet from our YSO ensemble, and part of our new Con Vivo Chamber Music program, took the stage to play movement 2 from Borodin's quartet no. 2. William Waag conducts the YSO, and members of this quartet are Phoebe Jackson, Ruby Miller, Emma Viani and Johnny Mamula who have played with SFYSA ensembles for a combined total of more than 15 years! All of these students are now also high school students at New Mexico School for the Arts.
It was a joy and honor to participate in this great community event. Thanks so much to all who joined us and for our amazing Santa Fe community!
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Our Mission is to inspire and engage the youth of Northern New Mexico's multicultural communities through excellent music education, the guidance of music professionals, and performance opportunities from small ensemble to full orchestra in Jazz, Mariachi and Orchestra.