Música Pa 'Culebra: Summer 2019 . . . 07/13/2019
It's been a wonderful summer for our program. We are celebrating the 25 years of Fundación de Culebra and the 4 years of Música Pa’ Culebra!
This summer we had 66 children registered for Summer Camp, with children aged 5 and 6 who were exposed for the first time to music and art, and others from 10 to 18 years old who have been with the program for 4 years.
For the first time we utilized adults in assisting with organizing the small children's classes.
The small recording studio was frequently visited and the children made recordings of songs, created music, asked Doug how to create musical bands and even brought in a instruments to be re-strung and repaired!
We had a concert by the Puerto Rican Jazz musician William Cepeda, trombonist, who has played with famous musicians like Dizzy Gillespie. This was sponsored by Chamber Music of America, as part of a tour with shows for the Fundación por PR in San Juan and the Museo de Arte in Ponce. Cepeda performed Afro-rican Jazz concerts in all three places free of charge for the community. The children of MPC opened the concert and William was very impressed with the program and the performance of our children. He promised to return to offer a workshop to our children.
The children had 4 music teachers and an art teacher with Jorlena Sayán as assistant. They did several wonderful works of art, played with their table of legos and did all the spectacular scenery for the summer closing concert! In fact, the success of the art program this summer has lead us to decide to offer art classes every Saturday during the semester. The children played music in the square, played music in the streets, played games, had water fights on Fun Friday and even ate, for the first time, fried grapes prepared by one of the mothers of the program.
The final concert was a full night of music where the young children presented themselves for the first time to a large audience and the older children showed off their talent playing and singing. One of the most impressive performances was the comparsa. The full group marched and played, circling the audience and climbing stairs!
The surprise of the night was the group New Docta. A classical music trio composed of a cellist, a violinist and a mezzo-soprano voice, and what a wonderful voice! The group impressed everyone, the audience sang with them and the children played and sang with them on stage. The crowd had a great opportunity to enjoy classical music, contemporary music and even tango. These acclaimed musicians were also very impressed with the work of our program and with the children.
We want to thank Louise Robichaud for lending us her home for the teachers to stay in. We'd like to thank Jerry's Jeep for the vehicles for William Cepeda and his band. And we'd also like to thank all those who support us in various ways to achieve a program that grows more every day. Without you it would not be possible, thank you for being part of the life and development of our children. Blessings and Onward!
May Concert: Children of the Cañaveral . . . 05/19/2019
We were all children of Cañaveral on Sunday, May 19 at the closing concert of the semester.
It was a concert full of surprises where the children's musical prowess shined. The very proud little ones played their buckets like drums with different rhythms for the enjoyment of all.
The big kids surprised us with their musical skills. The interpretation of the guitar group was exquisite. The interpretations of our great musicians again impressed everyone. Rhythms of calypso, jazz and bomba presented with guitars, pianos, congas and steel drums filled everyone with joy.
The highlight of the night was the interpretation of Hijos del Cañaveral. The children sang and played in a special way. It was very moving to see the children perform a song that takes such pride in our roots and in our community.
One of the parents shared some videos that same night with the reporter Gelpí. He immediately circulated it on his network on Sunday. On Monday, our community and our country were surprised to see a piece of the video of our children of Hijos del Cañaveral on the television news of the morning. They introduced our children from Música Pa' Culebra to the world of television. The importance of the work by our community to help and support our children through music was also recognized. In this way, the message of children's music goes from Culebra to the Big Island to the world!
Music in the Plaza and
February Fundraiser is a huge success. . . 02/18/2019
Music In The Plaza was an event where the resident community and visitors gathered to support our children of Música Pa 'Culebra.
All the children played, even the 6-year-olds that only started in February. The older students played, and surprised everyone with their progress in both playing and performing. They're clearly feeling more comfortable in front of an audience. They opened the performance, which left everyone hungry for more music from the kids. Two of the mothers addressed the audience. One mother shared her volunteer experience one summer and explained the complexity of managing and teaching children music. The other mother explained how the program is teaching her son to read music and gave her son the opportunity to develop his dream of playing music. A dream that would have been difficult without Música Pa 'Culebra.
The 5 Cats played a lively set after the kids. Their Calypso music delighted the community and did a great job bringing everyone together.
The fundraising activity at Justin's house was a total success.
Justin was a tremendous host for the children of Música Pa 'Culebra, their parents and all the guests. The food prepared by the parents and friends of the program was exquisite. We had a Silent Auction prepared by Cindy Golbert, to whom we are very grateful, with the help of all those who donated for it, which was very good. The children played a different and wider repertoire, which left everyone very pleased. Then the 5 Cats played their Calypso music, which got the dancing started and even included a little limbo. Graciela, one of the girls who plays the steel drum, joined the 5 Cats in the last song and it was excellent. Joa another of the girls who plays the steel drum said she wants to continue practicing to play professionally with a band like the 5 Cats! The 5 Cats pledged to help us develop our school steel drum band and teach the kids every time they are hired to play in Culebra.
The joy and energy that was created that night was magical. Thanks again to Justin Sullivan for opening the doors of his home and supporting our children. Many thanks to all those who attended and those who support us so that this dream of music in Culebra becomes a reality. Blessings!
5 Cats Steel Band
Call Fabian: 787-595-4255
Concierto de Música Mexicano 11/24/2018
Last Saturday, November 24, 2018, a concert was held for the community at the Town School. The concert was sponsored by the Música Pa’ Culebra program. Two bands from the big island were invited whose members form part of the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico and of the University of Puerto Rico. The idea of this concert was created with the purpose of promoting the development of musical and artistic exchanges on the island of Culebra. Through this type of activity we also want to welcome the Culebrense community to experience the music program and the vitality of the Town School. This was our first concert for this purpose.
The first band, RIGOLET, is a project for the presentation of original music with influences from indie / jazz. The members of the band are Rigoberto Alvarado (voice and guitar), Karina Vélez (voice), Aniela Batres (vibraphone), Natanael Ramirez (percussion), and Brandon Cores (bass). The audience was captivated with the stories and feelings that were reflected through the lyrics of the songs. From the first song we are all submerged in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility by the musicality of their performances. A perfect way to start the night.
The next group, XIDO, is a contemporary Mexican music band. The musical arrangements are original. The members are Adriana Nicoles Torres (voice), Ángel Cuyar (saxophone / flute), Aniela Batres (vibraphone), Orlando Castillo (charango / percussion), Nick Cosaboom (percussion), Leo Arauz (guitar), and Juanjo Mejía (double bass) . When listening to the repertoire and traditional Mexican sounds, the audience was very impressed with the talent of these musicians. Through their music they managed to create a cultural exchange space from which we all could participate.
It was a magical and very successful night. The community was delighted with the musical offerings. Students of Música Pa’ Culebra also attended and were completely delighted by seeing and hearing new instruments such as the xylophone and the classical bass and the experience of new rhythms and melodies.
Successful Benefit at Club Naútico in San Juan 11/14/2018
It rained, rained and rained but that did not stop our children or our support group from arriving. The Club Naútico benefit for Música Pa 'Culebra was filled with great joy, love and solidarity. It was a night of union and celebration for the many who love Culebra that wanted to show their support. The children surprised everyone with their talent, their teachers delighted us with their music and the group 5 Cats de Calypso closed the night. A few of the original MPC teachers came from distant villages to show their support. We want to thank all those who, in one way or another, were part of making this activity a success. The first concert of the children of Música Pa 'Culebra on the big island was a huge success. All who attended were filled with pride and enjoyed themselves and their families.
On behalf of all of us who are part of the project, thank you! Thank you for helping us make dreams come true. Thanks to the friends that have always helped us get things done and thanks to the new friends who shared the excitement. Blessings and onward and upward!
Our Summer Concert was full of magic and musical talent 7/8/2018
On Sunday, July 8, with Tropical Storm Beryl bearing down, we had our Música Pa’ Culebra summer concert. Fortunately the storm held off until after the last note was played. We had a full house despite the threat of bad weather. Our musicians demonstrated their talent and commitment. There were 13 songs from a diverse repertoire, including a few songs that the children requested to learn and perform.
We had songs performed by the two groups that they formed; The Mavericks and The Culebra Beat Makers. The students are very proud of their groups and their achievements, many of them have been in the program for 3 years. We had several songs presented by the youngest camp attendees that are 6, 7 and 8 years old. This concert was their first musical experience and they were received with a lot of affection by the audience.
The students performed songs such as Bellos Amanecer by the composer Tito Henríquez, Imagine by John Lennon, Jump In The Line and St. Thomas among others. The finale, Bomba y Plena, was performed by all the children. We had 3 of our girls, Olivia, Adielys and Marina sing a special version of Just The Way You Are. Also Graciela, one of our advanced students performed a piece on the steel drum accompanied by our teachers, bringing on a standing ovation! The piece Te Invito was interpreted excellently by the teachers, accompanied by three of our advanced students; Luis Alexander, Joa and Graciela. Perseverance, discipline and hours of practice were evident in its execution.
We had a special guest singer, Zania Sala, daughter of Joey Sala, who grew up coming to Culebra. She did a wonderful job singing God Bless The Child!
This year we included arts and crafts in our camp, which added another element to the musical arts. This was a very special experience for the children. They made all the concert decorations, which were beautiful!
Our dedicated teachers; Lucyann Ceballos, Santos Benítez and Jesús Pagán moved to Culebra for a month to dedicate their talent to our children. Thank you very much!
We had many collaborators this summer, from volunteers like the Anímate de Ammscca group coordinated by Raquel McCarthy, Jorlena Sayán, Maridel Peña and Damaris Roure. Also in the logistics support group; for lodging the teachers, we thank our friend Louise Robichaud, for transportation we thank Joey Sala and Jerry's Jeep, and for snacks we thank B. Fernández (Ángel Vázquez), Colma Milka and Jorlena Sayán. In addition, we thank all of our friends of Música Pa 'Culebra who support us financially.
We all share the belief that, while this is a music program, it is also a project for developing skills, discipline, teamwork and community. As we enter our third year, we are planning and looking ahead to the future. Música Pa’ Culebra is a way to bring people together and nurture a better community. Thanks a lot to everyone.
MPC Spring Concert: Ola De La Mar 5/20/18
Our "Ola De La Mar" concert proved to be an event to remember! With multiple standing ovations and tears of pride.
The concert began with all the students singing and playing "Amanecer Borincano" by the famous Puerto Rican composer, and friend of Culebra, Alberto Carrión, who was on hand to witness the event. Alberto was delighted with the interpretation of his song and the concert as a whole.
For the first time the children played in groups, where each one played their primary instrument. The ages ranged from the youngest, Mauro age 6, through seniors in high school, many who have been with the program from the beginning, 2 years ago.
Songs performed in the concert included "You Are My Sunshine" and "Havana".
We had several soloists; Olivia Sizer sang a beautiful interpretation of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow", and Aymar Feliciano sang her interpretation of "Don't Stop Believing" that brought the crowd to their feet.
Branching into jazz, the guitar group did a beautiful rendition of "Autumn Leaves".
For the first time there were two musical groups that debuted: The Mavericks and Culebra Beat Makers. Both played excellently. "Oye Como Va" by Tito Puente had the audience singing along!
Then two Plenas Puertorriqueñas followed: "Ola De La Mar" with the soloist María Geigel, who sang with a beautiful rhythm and message, and "Mi Música Pa' Culebra", our anthem. We ended with "Lamento Borincano" by Puerto Rican composer Rafael Hernández, where everything came full circle, bringing all the students together for a spectacular finale.
The teachers Santos Benítez (percussion), Jesús Pagán (guitar) and the program coordinator and piano teacher, Lucyann Ceballos, did an extraordinary job full of love, where they demonstrated their commitment to nurturing the talent of our children.
Música Pa' Culebra has been made possible by the donation of many instruments, including the recent donation of congas, by Eduardo and Catherine Puig. Thank you very much for supporting our program. This event was also a celebration of our strong community. We'd like to thank all those who, from the beginning, have supported us in many ways. Your support is a crucial part of Música Pa' Culebra. We couldn't exist without your help. A thousand blessings to all!
Now we are beginning to prepare for our summer camp, a month of music and art starting on June 11th. This will take place at the Town School where the kids will be able to learn and have fun 5 days a week! This Concert showed that the children of Culebra are very talented and that their voices will be heard. The story continues. . .
Concierto de Navidad 2017 12/17/17
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
The Música Pa' Culebra Christmas Concert took place on Sunday December 17th, a gift from our children and the Foundation to our community. We'd like to thank all those who support us and those who contribute financially. This allows us to provide teachers and instruments to the children of Culebra, so they can learn music and all the related skills that go along with it.
Happy Holidays and thank you for every smile, for every musical note that our children play.
End of 2017 Summer Camp Concert &
First Anniversary Musica Pa’ Culebra Celebration 7/02/17
Successful concert with a full house!
Approximately 200 people from our community joined us the evening of the concert. Forty kids and adolescents interpreted a variety of rhythms, from a batucada to rock, blues, bomba, and more. We saw our kids’ talent and how the ones that have been in the program for a year have developed that talent. Younger kids enjoyed themselves and performed very well in their first musical experience! For the first time, they played the flute and the electric guitar and danced bomba. We are extremely proud of them and the discipline they have developed in class. Thanks to all who have supported us during this first year in the Música Pa’ Culebra program. This is also your accomplishment; it wouldn’t have been possible without you.
We need your financial support to be able to continue in August!
Our most important expense in our budget is the teacher’s salaries, essential to our program. All our work is done on a volunteer basis, so 100% of your donations go straight to the program. We have 501-C-3 federal tax status making your contributions tax deductible. You can make a donation by clicking here or send a check to Fundación de Culebra/ Música, P.O. Box 331, Culebra, PR 00775.
Spring Concert 2017
On Sunday May 21st, the kids of Musica Pa' Culebra presented their end of semester Spring Concert. There was a buoyant crowd of around 125 family members and friends who came to enjoy the performance and show their support. We'd like to thank everyone who helped make this a special event.
CONVERSATION and MUSIC with SIE7E
On Friday, March 24, 2017, the artist SIE7E visited the Música Pa’ Culebra facilities and performed his music in a one hour solo concert in front of the program’s students, parents and members of the community. The students surprised him by performing one of his hit songs, on which he picked up his guitar and joined them. But perhaps his biggest contribution happened just before that.
Earlier in the afternoon he spent some time chatting with the Escuela Ecologica primary level schoolkids…and then presented his “If it fits in your mind, it fits in your world” talk to middle and high school kids at the schools’ basketball court. In the talk he explained how many times he was told not to bother with a music career, how difficult it would be, how many times he was rejected by industry players and eventually lost his house. But less than 6 months after losing his house, he scored his first hit on radio and held a Latin Grammy trophy in his arms.
Kids asked all sorts of questions while he stressed the importance of being positive, focused, working hard and studying. He then invited all interested in music, whether for entertainment or as a profession, to participate in Musica Pa’ Culebra to learn about music.
The day after the visit a parent wrote to us that her daughter had locked herself up in her room and had been practicing piano all day. The message got through! Looks like this summer’s program is going to exceed last year’s start.
We appreciate all the help/donations you can send our way.
We want to thank Vieques Air Links for giving us the charter to bring the group, Dimarie Ramos, teachers and staff of the Escuela Ecological for opening its doors. To Yadira Paulette Rivera González for the arepas that were presented. To Zaco's Tacos for the lunch for Sie7e, his wife and sound engineer. To our Mayor William Solis and his wife for their support. To the parents, family and general public that shared with us. Especially our children and young people for opening the doors of their heart to the message of Sie7e and his music! Long live music!
Silverio, Alex, Hermes Croatto y Amigos de Culebra
With the intent of raising funds for Musica Pa Culebra, the event organizers contacted musicians Silverio Perez, brothers Alejandro and Hermes Croatto (all 3 frequent Culebra visitors) and bassist Ramon Vazquez who volunteered to perform for free at the event. The musicians first visited the school, spent some time with the kids and then invited them to close the event by performing a “Plena Rhythm” song they had put together.
Some 80 spectators were amazed at how these talented musicians, who had never performed together, presented a one hour show of high quality music featuring a variety of Puerto Rico folk music, rhythms and even a bilingual version of “Up with People”. There was also a very sweet and intenseclassical piano piece performed by Valeria Vazquez, daughter of bassist Ramon who made her first trip to Culebra. But nobody could have predicted the burst of energy and happiness that took over the place when the kids performed. It was just magical!
Between the money raised at the event and the extra contributions made afterwards by some very generous donors who no doubt saw the effect of the program, we secured the funding needed for this semester and will now work on raising a similar amount to fund the summer camp.
Que Viva La Musica!
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