viernes, 10 de diciembre de 2010

The Schola Cantorum Coralina

Choral music is highly appreciated in Cuba and the prestigious International Choir Festival in Santiago de Cuba is attended by many groups from all over the world.

Among the most outstanding groups on the island we must mention the Schola Cantorum Coralina, which has won great recognition within the sphere of choral music due to its high profile.

Under the direction of the excellent professor, Alina de los Milagros Orraca Llama, this choral group was formed in September 1993 at her home in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana. Three months later, on December 4, the Schola Cantorum Coralina became a fact in the artistic life of the country at its debut in the Sala Covarrubias of Cuba’s National Theater. Today, this well known choir belongs to the National Center of Concert Music of the Institute of the Cuban Music, being one of the most outstanding groups of its kind.

Its membership is basically made up of lecturers and students of choral music and amateurs. Its repertoire is very rich because they perform a wide variety of works of all kinds of styles which go from Renaissance to the most recent music, either national or international.

The Schola Cantorum Coralina’s performances, recordings and programs in general enable the group to provide a wide presentation of Cuban and Latin American choral music, both popular and folkloric, of original works by composers of the region and of sacred music.

The Choir and its director, someone who has been in the music world since she was seven years old, have given countless concerts and recitals. They have participated in numerous festivals, congresses, fairs and expositions within Cuba. The Schola’s quality is also recognized internationally, shown by its performances on important stages in Venezuela, Brazil, Spain amongst others. In the D’ Canto 2005 International Festival , the group was awarded first place in the category of Venezuelan popular music.

Great landmarks of its national performances are its participation in the Sung Mass led by His Holiness John Paul II at the “Jose Marti” Revolution Square in Havana 1988 and in the Songs during the Celebration of the Liturgy of the Word, led by His Holiness in Havana Cathedral.

They have also performed twice in the Vatican, where the group participated as the main choir during the Pope’s public address in Saint Peter’s Square and were later received by him. They were also guests at the Corpus Christi Mass led by the Supreme Pontiff in the Saint John of Leteran Basilica

Other important performances have been given in several celebrations of the Cubadisco festival, where they performed with many important popular musicians and in May 2000, they sang the Carmina Burana Cantata by Carl Orff with the National Symphonic Orchestra directed by Professor Leo Broker.

The group also won an award for the “Venga la Esperanza” clip video, which achieved great popularity for its freshness and the exquisite artistic production of the film.

One of the most important tasks of this famous group is its choral work with children, also started in 1993, with the project of Cantorias Coralinas, also directed by Professor Alina Orraca, which has created a National Movement of Junior Cantorias.

In November 2003, the Children and Teenagers Choir was organized. Its members were chosen from among the participants in the Cantorias, for their musical abilities, with ages ranging from 6 to 14 years old.

Albums recorded by Schola Cantorum Coralina are remarkable, it is worth mentioning the CD’s “De que Cantada Manera” and “Cánteme” with themes by Silvio Rodriguez. The group has also participated in the recording of the sound tracks of several Cuban films, such as; Derecho de Asilo made by Octavio Cortazar with music by Joseph Haydn, the sound track of the Cuban Argentine film: “Hasta la Victoria Siempre”, directed by Juan Carlos Desanzo with Frank Fernandez music and on the sound track of the film Kleines Tropicana by Rolando Diaz with Edesio Alejandro’s music.

Coralina, as most people call it nowadays, gives true moments of aesthetic joy to anyone who is privileged to listen to its performances, whether recordings or at live concerts.

Beyond its artistic work, Coralna’s members also do important work widening cultural awareness in Havana’s communities, as they pay special attention to the children’s Cantorias made up of youngsters not acquainted with music, under a UNESCO project.

The Schola Cantorum Coralina, is already a part of the heritage of Cuban Choral Music as an important influence and example of good art and careful dedication.

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