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Inaugural Oaxacan Philharmonic Banda Audition

Saturday, January 27, 2018
  Noon–3 p.m.

Location: Arts Building Performance Lab, ARTS 166 - Outdoor area
  Parking Information

Category: Audition



Inaugural Oaxacan Philharmonic Banda Audition 
Dr. Xóchitl C. Chávez, coordinator

UCR will host four bands, all formed in Los Angeles by Mexican immigrants from the southern state of Oaxaca, Mexico. More than 140 multi-generational philharmonic musicians will gather for an afternoon of traditional Mexican music at the University of California, Riverside.

Participating Bandas:

Banda Nueva Dinastía de Zoochila
Directed by Jessica Hernández and Moisés Hernández

Banda Yatzachi el Bajo - Los Angeles
Directed by Ali Guzmán

Banda Filarmónica Maqueos Music
Directed by Estanislao Maqueos

Banda Filarmónica Santa María Xochixtepec
Directed by Ernesto Cruz Vallente

The afternoon will conclude with a grand finale as the four bands play in unison “Dios Nunca Muere,” the de facto anthem of Oaxaca composed by Macedonio Alcalá in 1868.

January 27, 2018
Saturday, 12:00-3:00 P.M.  
Performance Lab, ARTS 166 – Outdoor Area
Parking: Complimentary permits available in Lot 1.

UCR’s Department of Music has invited four Mexican indigenous philharmonic bands to convene outside of the Arts Building, Performance Lab, ARTS 166 for an inaugural gathering of Zapotec Philharmonic Bands. This is the first time these four ensembles will play together on any university campus in California. The event will be a friendly musical competition among musicians whose roots originate from the southwestern state of Oaxaca, Mexico. This musical showcase focuses on the interpretative quality of each band’s respective repertoire. At the end, all the bands will unite as one monumental band playing music composed by Oaxacan composers.

The Inland Empire audience will be serenaded with a unique repertoire of songs, which will be disclosed until the day of the performance. The concert is free and open to the public. Seating will be provided, but attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs.

“This is about demystifying the norms and breaking stereotypes about indigenous communities. It’s about taking a traditional European style of music that has become ‘Mexicanized’ and elevating it,” said Dr. Xóchitl Chávez, assistant professor of music and lead organizer of the event.

Chávez also intends to showcase the UCR Department of Music so that community members may learn about undergraduate, master’s and doctorate degrees available at UCR.

Connecting the community to these grassroots ensembles also creates an opportunity for Latino youth to see successful musicians and to feel pride of the ripple effect these brass bands are having in neighborhoods where children no longer have music classes available at school.  

For many youth, being identified as indigenous can be a source of embarrassment. But Chávez sees nothing but astonishing accomplishments in the Zapotec immigrants who formed the bands in the early 1980s and early 1990s. These musicians – identified as Zapotec because it’s the name of their native language – form part of one of the most organized and resilient communities that have settled in the United States in recent time, said Chávez, who has devoted more than a decade researching these philharmonic bands and completed a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology at UC Santa Cruz. Chávez also produced a documentary on the Zapotec bands with youth and female musicians. The short is titled “Booming Bandas of Los Angeles: Oaxacan Women and Youth as New Cultural Bearers of Philharmonic Brass Bands.”
Link to video.

Music in Oaxaca was predominantly a male’s occupation, but immigration to the United States changed the dynamics. Band leaders recruited their wives and eventually their own children joined as well; older band members who learned to play music by ear, are now playing alongside teens who are learning the craft by reading musical notes.  

Among these rising stars is Director Jessica Hernández, a 2010 UCR alumna. Jessica graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music and now works side-by-side with her father, Moisés Hernández, director of Banda Nueva Dinastía de Zoochila.  This integration of generations has resulted in the preservation of culture, tradition and language of these Oaxacan communities in Southern California, Chávez said.

Sponsored by the UC Riverside Department of Music; Native American Education Programs; Office of Diversity & Inclusion; College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Dean’s Office; Latin American Studies Program; Center for Iberian and Latin American Music; and Departments of Ethnic Studies and Media & Cultural Studies.

Open to: General Public
Admission: Free
Sponsor: Music Department

Contact Information:
Kathy DeAtley
(951) 827-3245