Multicultural Music Encounters XII-2014: La Lucha Sigue

A three day multicultural music and arts series, featuring Master Historian and Percussionist Alex La Salle, Colombian Folklorist Pablo Mayor and Grammy award-winning composer Robert Navarro

This year’s series explores three distinct themes, divided into three evenings. For the first evening Dancer, Singer, Percusionist & Master Historian Mr. Alex La Salle will present his historical research of Puerto Rican music: Cultura, Raices y Evolucion. The second night will introduce Colombian folklorist Mr. Pablo Mayor and the premier of his new orchestral composition “El Bogotazo” which depicts the social and political events of the late 1940’s in Colombia. The last night presents a tribute to hall of fame player and humanist Roberto Clemente with emphasis on the efforts to retire his number from the major league’s roster, Grammy award winner Mr. Robert Navarro will be the composer for this endeavour. The evening events consist of three parts: 1) scholars, experts and historic events panel discussions moderated by Dr. Luis Mojica; 2) musical compositions featuring The Multicultural Music Orchestra and a reflection on the history/music relationship. A brief description of the performances is as follows:

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The Multicultural Music Group is proud to promote the use of Experiential Learning and Emotional Intelligence in the arts as an effort to support teaching artists, administrators and arts education students in a series of Workshops at Teachers College, Columbia University. In addition, the workshops will focus in the implementation of evaluation, marketing, fundraising and community collaboration in order to create sustainability and constant support for arts education in public schools.

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Welcome to the Multicultural Music Group. We are proud to be entering our eighteenth year of service for the New York City youth and general community in 2013-14.

There are new and exciting projects in our programs for this year. In the Symphonic Youth Program (SYP), we would like to welcome IS 345 “The Castle School” to our roster of instrumental music programs in NYC. IS 345 is located in the Lower East Side and is home to a fifty piece orchestra.

This year, the SYP will serve over nine hundred and fifty students directly and over 9,000, indirectly through classes, workshops, field trips and presentations. Our mission still aims high for cultural understanding, social skill development and academic achievement.  Through the use of our most effective curricular tool: a combination of global history, music performance and aesthetic reflection, we have helped our students to improve their academic achievement, music proficiency, affective skills, and social justice awareness.

Our professional performances component: The Multicultural Music Encounters (MME) will be held in May of 2014 at the Lovinger Theater in Lehman College and will feature the music reflecting the life and struggle of a great Latin American figure: Mr. Roberto Clemente with music by Robert Navarro. We also will present the origins and development of Puerto Rican music with master arranger and composer Wlliam Cepeda introducing his new piece “Raices y Evolucion.” And lastly, we will focus on one of the most important events of Colombian history: “El Bogotazo.” The events will feature panel discussions, performances of the commissioned works by a thirty-piece orchestra and reflections on the history/music combination. The MME audiences not only will learn historical information about each focused topic but also will enjoy great musical presentations by artistic legends depicting a  history/music concept into a unique aesthetic experience.

The MMG remains committed to creating a legacy of multicultural music and social awareness, therefore as a result of this mission, we have been involved in a research project with the Center for Arts Education at Teachers College, Columbia University and the William T. Grant Foundation. The investigation is entitled: “Playing History” and studies the impact of our Symphonic Youth Program on the student’s academic, music and affective/social skills. So far, the outcomes of the last two years’ research demonstrated outstanding improvement in the music, academics and social skill development. Other findings such as the correlation among social studies- music –diversity and interpersonal skills validated our claims for cultural understanding by affecting aspects of human behavior, which consequently have an effect on the individual, their families and communities.

Our staff, faculty and board members welcomes everyone to an exciting year of activities. We look forward for a continuation of success and growth.