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Cayambis Sinfonietta.


The Cayambis Institute for Latin American Studies in Music (CILASiM) exists to strengthen the awareness and appreciation of Latin American classical music. In support of this mission, in 2022 CILASiM founded its own professional ensemble, the Cayambis Sinfonietta, which is a thirteen-member ensemble made up of winds, brass, strings, percussion and piano; in essence, the Sinfonietta is like a miniature chamber orchestra that can effectively perform a wide range of music of different styles and time periods.

Under the baton of music director Dr. John L. Walker, the Sinfonietta gave a remarkable inaugural performance on May 19, 2022, and is now on track to fulfill its objective of presenting two major concert events per year, as well as organizing tours and school shows within the mid-Atlantic region and beyond.

At the same time, after having initially fielded a nine-member ensemble, the Sinfonietta—now with thirteen players—is expected to grow to its maximum size of 17 musicians by the end of 2023, thereby expanding the size and scope of its repertoire to include many of the most significant orchestral works of the Americas from the late 19th to the mid 20th century.

Nonetheless, as a particular priority the group has premiered and will continue to feature the new works of the Cayambis composers who are affiliated with our organization.


The members of the Cayambis Sinfonietta are some of the mid-Atlantic region’s finest musicians.
  • Elizabeth Lantz, flute
  • Yevgeny Dokshansky, clarinet
  • Zachary Millwood, bassoon
  • Katie Johnson-Webb, horn
  • Juan Berrios, horn
  • Matt Cataldi, piano
  • Al Wojtera, percussion
  • Myles Thomas, percussion
  • Charley Shafer, violin 1
  • Greg Childress, violin 2
  • Stanley Beckwith, viola
  • Lisa Liske-Doorandish, cello
  • Katelyn Adams, string bass


The Sinfonietta’s repertoire, unlike that of any other US-based performance ensemble, is an exciting journey through some of the best instrumental music that the American hemisphere has to offer. Across the more than nine pieces that make up its program, the Sinfonietta demonstrates its remarkable versatility by performing a representative cross section of the western hemisphere’s most important styles over the past one hundred thirty-five years, including Italianate opera overtures, Chilean impressionism, Guatemalan indigenism, Mexican folklorism, etc., as well as with contemporary works, such as this delightfully modern take on the tango by Argentine composer Federico Núñez, recently premiered by the Sinfonietta:

At the same time, however, we are proud to highlight some of this country’s overlooked gems from the turn of the century, such as Victor Herbert’s Panamericana and Henry Gilbert’s symphonic prologue, Riders to the Sea.

Your audience will not only enjoy a truly unique concert experience, but also, will gain a greater appreciation of the richness and diversity of our hemisphere’s classical music.

Technical Requirements.

Adequate lighting; 20’ x 20’ stage; tuned piano, music stands and straight-back chairs without arms. For more specific information, please review our technical rider.


Because of the ensemble’s unique repertoire, fees may vary slightly, depending on the number of musicians involved.

Concert $3000.00
Concert and Master Class $3500.00
(Travel costs may be additional).

Upcoming Events.

The Sinfonietta will be setting out on a three-city tour of western Virginia during April, 2023. If you’re anywhere near the I-81 corridor, please come hear us play at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Blacksburg on April 12th, at Bridgewater College on the 13th, and on the 14th (Pan-American Day, by the way), at Radford University. And because of the generous support of the A. & M. Blank Foundation and the Community Foundation of the New River Valley, all of our concerts are free and open to the public!

In the meantime, check out our beautiful program booklet from our inaugural performance on May 19, 2022.

We’d like to thank The Puffin Foundation for their support of the May 19, 2022 concert.

School Shows.

The Sinfonietta has also developed an interactive school program, supported in part by a generous grant from Virginia Humanities, to help students answer a fundamental question, which is, how do Latin Americans express national identity? In order to answer this question, we’ll not only be performing three compositions, but also, we’ll be talking about other aspects of Latin American culture, such as its literature, plastic arts and mythology. (Please note: for the time being, we can only make this program available to middle and high schools in southwest Virginia, southern West Virginia and north-central North Carolina).
Click here for more information!


John L. Walker
PO Box 10164
Blacksburg, VA 24062
email: sinfonietta@cilasim.org