VocalEssence ¡Cantaré! is a unique program designed to bring the talents of composers from Mexico directly into Minnesota classrooms.

Through ¡Cantaré!, selected composers from Mexico participate as artists-in-residence with elementary schools, high schools, colleges and community organizations. The composers work directly with student choirs and community choruses throughout the year, becoming familiar with the ensembles and writing new music specifically for each. At the end of the school year, community and school partners present world premieres of new music in concert.

  • In the 2015-2016 school year, Mexican composers Francisco Zúñiga Olmos and Alephsus Valdés will spend four weeks over the course of three visits with elementary, high school, and community choral singers, exploring Mexican cultural and choral music traditions.
  • The program will culminate in the creation of new music compositions by our composers-in-residence, premiered at the ¡Cantaré! Community Concerts at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts on May 23, 2016 at 6 pm and 8 pm. Selected works will be published through VocalEssence Music Press.
  • Longfellow Alternative High School (formerly known as Broadway High School) will participate as a pilot school in Carnegie Hall’s Lullaby Project, which offers pregnant teens and new mothers in challenging situations an opportunity to create and share a personal lullaby, with the help of artists working in communities across the country. Francisco Zúñiga Olmos will work at Longfellow, leading Spanish lullaby creation sessions that will result in six lullabies, two of which will be performed by an octet from the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers at the ¡Cantaré! Community Concerts.
  • VocalEssence will provide partner schools with a teacher resource guide and companion CD to address social, historical and cultural contexts of Mexican choral music for teachers to use as a springboard for integration into the school curriculum before, between and after residencies.
  • Evaluation is an important component of the program, as VocalEssence builds upon the evaluation tools developed by UpFront Consulting to ensure greatest student impact.

For more information contact: Kimberly Meisten, Director of Community Engagement, VocalEssence, 612-547-1456, kimberly@vocalessence.org.