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School Shows


One of the objectives of the Cayambis Institute for Latin American Studies in Music (CILASiM) is to strengthen the awareness and appreciation of Latin American classical music. In support of this mission, the Institute operates a professional ensemble, the Cayambis Sinfonietta, which is made up of winds, strings, percussion and piano; in essence, the ensemble is like a miniature orchestra that can effectively perform a wide range of music of different styles and time periods.

Although the Sinfonietta will be performing formal concerts throughout the mid-Atlantic region (as soon as it is safe to do so), its members are very excited about bringing a special interactive program to middle and high schools in southwest Virginia, southern West Virginia and north-central North Carolina.

This school show is built around an iconic orchestral work, Huapango, that was composed in 1941 by Mexican composer José Moncayo. The Sinfonietta’s director, John Walker, adapted this piece and, together with the members of the Sinfonietta, will demonstrate and explain the typical elements of Latin American classical music (e.g., call-and-response, folkloric melodies and rhythmic patterns, the use of colorful percussive effects, etc).

José Moncayo, Huapango (arr. by Walker), final section.

The presentation lasts from about 30 to 45 minutes, and can be tailored for students of every grade level.

Technical Requirements.

The Sinfonietta wants to be able to perform at virtually any location, i.e., it wants to be nearly full self-sufficient—with its own music stands, percussion equipment and a digital piano—as long as there are ten appropriate chairs and a nearby 110-volt outlet.

However, the Institute does not currently own this equipment.

Furthermore, although the Sinfonietta is comprised of seasoned players who make their living as professional performers, it wants to be able take this unique and very special presentation to every school, irrespective of the school’s ability to cover the group’s professional fee.

A Plea.

In short, at a time when support for music and the arts is diminishing across the country, it’s all the more important for students to be provided with the opportunity to enjoy and learn about an interesting and unique repertoire performed at a high level. In addition, by performing and talking about Latin American music, we are able to broaden students’ appreciation of cultures other than their own. With both of these goals in mind, can you help make this happen?

Your support can take many different forms. Donate enough money to purchase all of the equipment that we need, or, help us to knock off at least one item from our list. Can you go big? If so, think about hosting a performance in one of your community’s schools.

Here’s the list of what we need.
  • 88-note portable digital piano, $500.00
  • Gig Bag (for the piano), $170.00
  • Keyboard table, $140.00
  • Keyboard bench, $90.00
  • Seven really neat folding music stands, $540.00
  • One conductor’s stand, $100.00
  • Fender Passport Event Series 2 PA system, $850.00
  • Shure SM-58 microphone, $100.00
  • Microphone stand, $70.00
  • Cables, $44.00
  • Hosting a performance (professional fee), $1,750.00
There are several platforms by which you can make a secure online donation:

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Thank you!