Las Vegas, New Mexico – The Highlands University Madrigal Choir presents a concert, Nuestra Musica, Nov. 17 at 3 p.m.in the First United Methodist Church in Las Vegas at the corner of 8th Street and National Avenue.
The musical selections encompass the history of Hispanic choral music from the early Renaissance through the folk tradition and into the 21st century.
“The program begins with Spanish Renaissance villanicicos, which are primarily secular and sacred Christmas carols sung in the Spanish courts,” said Andre García-Nuthmann, director of Highlands’ choral and vocal program. “These are all a capella, without accompaniment. They were considered the popular music of their time.”
García-Nuthmann directs the Madrigal Choir and Em Krall is the piano accompanist for the concert.
García-Nuthmann said next the Madrigal Choir will explore the music of Sephardic Jews.
“Sephardic Jews left an important mark on all Hispanic music, even though the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492. Many of these Jews fled to Greece and Northern Africa. With them, they took the traditions and language of Spain. This music left a great influence on flamenco music, with its Middle Eastern harmonies and complex rhythms,” García-Nuthmann.
García-Nuthmann said the second half of the concert will explore the music of the Western Hemisphere, starting with famous Mexican folksongs including “La Martiniana,” “La Bruja” and “La Llorona.”
“We will also include “De Colores” and a modern villanicico Christmas carol,” García-Nuthmann said.
García Nuthmann said the concert concludes with three beautiful a capella Spanish folk songs originating from Mexico and Costa Rica. The musical selections for the concert include 23 pieces.
The soloists for the concert include Cierra Gomez, a Highlands vocal performance alto, singing with Joe Cooney, a community member at bass, in “Te Quiero.” Oksana Herrera, a Highlands vocal performance soprano, is the soloist for “Nani, Nani.”
There is no charge for admission to the Madrigal Choir concert. However, a suggested donation of $5 would be appreciated.