For the first time in its more than 20 year history, Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association (SFYSA) students came together and performed in a collaborative spring musical showcase on Tuesday, April 25th at The Lensic Performing Arts Center! This 90-minute concert featured students from the Jazz, Mariachi, and Orchestra programs, highlighted the excellence of students and staff, and was a wonderful opportunity to introduce ourselves to the Santa Fe Community.
The “Music for Everyone” showcase served to inaugurate the inclusive phrase as SFYSA’s new tagline. For almost 23 years, SFYSA has made a place for all young musicians ages 7 to 18 by expanding performance and instruction opportunities beyond orchestra to include jazz and mariachi.
The jazz ensemble kicked off the momentous night which featured various cross-ensemble and professional collaborations.
Part of the magic of the night was witnessing SFYSA students share their personal stories about their inspiration to start playing an instrument and how SFYSA has created a community for them as young musicians.
Youth Philharmonia and Youth Symphony Orchestras performed "Pavane" by Gabriel Faure with jazz quartet Andy Kingston, piano; Dave Anderson, soprano saxophone; Jon Gagan, bass and John Trentacosta, drums.
The Santa Fe Youth Symphony said goodbye to two wonderful conductors, Richard Snider and Karles McQuade, who dedicated many years to the success of the SFYSA.
The Mariachi Estrella ensemble collaborated with the Youth Symphony Orchestra in an homage to the late Juan Gabriel, world class pop and Spanish music master who donated to the SFYSA Mariachi program just before his untimely death in August 2016.
Intermezzo String Orchestra students celebrated their final performance with conductor Karles McQuade with a world premier of "Zozobra" a commissioned piece by local composer Monica Demarco.
For El Sueno de la Munequita, the Intermezzo String Orchestra collaborated with young dancers Grace Alexander, Flynn-Bella Ericson, Gigi Kalangis and the Ortiz Middle School Guitar Orchestra, directed by SFYSA Mariachi Director, Jesus Gachupin.
Over the weekend of March 27 to 28, students from the SFYSA Mariachi programs attended the sixth annual Las Vegas Mariachi Conference.
Approximately 170 students participated from around Northern New Mexico, including attendees from Las Vegas, Santa Fe, Mora, and Taos. The conference offered students two full days of music workshops followed by a student showcase concert on Saturday night, where 6 student groups were invited to perform a short set.
SFYSA Mariachi Director, Jose Santiago, also performed a set with professional Mariachi group, Mariachi Tradicional. Finally, ALL 170 workshop attendees performed ten new songs they learned during the workshop alongside Mariachi Tradicional.
The Las Vegas Youth Mariachi Conference is organized by Martin Sena. Martin runs the mariachi Programs at Robertson High School and Memorial Middle School in Las Vegas.
Photos: Courtesy of Jose Santiago and Saul Bencomo-Rascon (Click to view large)
Mariachi Estrella Performance Video
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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.