Welcome to the Cayambis Institute for Latin American Studies in Music!

The Cayambis Institute for Latin American Studies in Music (CILASiM) seeks to strengthen the awareness and appreciation of Latin American classical music by developing a full spectrum approach to its creation, performance and scholarship, and in so doing, cultivate bonds of goodwill and unity among the peoples of the Americas. Or, as we like to say, our organization is using the richness and diversity of Latin American classical music as a bridge to unite all Americans, north, central and south. In pursuit of our mission, CILASiM is providing impactful opportunities to composers, performers and scholars, as well as enhancing the understanding of Latin American classical music among the general public.

CILASiM is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which is being enthusiastically led by a board of directors that consists of very qualified and highly capable individuals from around the country.

Currently, the board is working on advancing a number of important initiatives, while at the same time seeking potential funding sources. One such initiative consisted of a recently-completed composition competition, through which we accepted and evaluated musical scores from throughout Latin America. And when it’s safe to do so, we hope to be able present the award-winning compositions performed live by a distinguished woodwind quintet. Watch this space for more developments!

Go ahead and hover your mouse over the ”Programs” tab in the menu above to reveal the four principle areas — performance, education, publishing and composition — in which we are working so as to achieve our goals. And feel free to take a look at the different categories within each program area: there’s a lot of interesting things going on.

But why all this effort?

It’s amazing to think that during the late 1930s there were many Pan American councils that sponsored or participated in numerous concert performances of Latin American music. Or, that during the 1950s the Inter-American Music Council organized the first of many Inter-American music festivals that were held in Washington, DC. Nevertheless, abundant anecdotal evidence, but particularly, our own internal polling, reveals that we are almost exactly where were nearly 80 years ago, when Nicolas Slonimsky observed that Latin American classical music “remains largely a terra incognita.”

To put it another way, we must find a way to re-imagine the musical Pan-Americanism of the past. As citizens of the western hemisphere, we will be better because of it.

Consequently, as a growing nonprofit organization, we depend on the generous support of like-minded individuals just like you. Although we’re seeking funding from state and national arts agencies, large corporations, foundations and other similar entities, we need to particularly rely on our music-loving friends and neighbors here in southwest Virginia. With this in mind, we created
a donations link by which you can help us achieve our goals. If you’re able, we’d ask you to please consider investing in our bridge. There’s so much more connecting to do.