About the VocalEssence ¡Cantaré! program

Celebrating rich Mexican musical traditions, ¡Cantaré! is a cross-cultural exchange program connecting composers from Mexico with students of all ages across the metropolitan area.

Beginning in 2008, VocalEssence began offering the ¡Cantaré! program to Minnesota school, church and community choruses. More than 60 new works have been commissioned and premiered through ¡Cantaré! — and from these works, several newly-published scores are now available to you through VocalEssence Music Press.

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.

Program History

In 2008-2009, composers Jorge Córdoba, Sabina Covarrubias, and Jorge Cózatl worked with singers and students to create a deeper understanding and appreciation of Mexican classical and folk music, while writing new music for premiere in concert at Orchestra Hall on May 12, 2009.

In 2009-2010 Jesús López and Diana Syrse continued the program, participating in residencies with Twin Cities area school and community choirs and writing new music for them, which was premiered in a Minneapolis concert on May 25, 2010. Jorge Córdoba served as a mentor to the new composers that year and wrote new music for VocalEssence.

In 2010-2011 the VocalEssence¡Cantaré! program engaged communities in Worthington and in the Twin Cities. Jesús  Echevarría, Diana Syrse, Horacio Uribe and Lilia Vázquez participated in fall, winter and spring residencies with their student groups, writing new music for each ensemble to premiere in concerts taking place in April and May 2011.

2011-2012 saw the return of Jorge Cózatl to Minnesota along with Rodrigo Cadet. The composers worked with Twin Cities area elementary and high schools as well as the University of St. Thomas Chamber Singers.

In the 2012-2013 school year, Mexican composers Gerardo Cárdenas and Novelli Jurado are spending four weeks over the course of three visits to work with Minneapolis-St. Paul elementary, high school, and community choral singers, exploring Mexican cultural and choral music traditions.

Learn more about the VocalEssence¡Cantaré! program at www.vocalessence.org/cantare.