LatinaLista — Think of Latin music and merengue, mariachi, salsa and even reggaeton may pop first into people’s minds, but choral music?
Most people don’t even realize that within the Latino culture there is a rich legacy of choral music and it’s the mission of Washington, DC-based, Coral Cantigas, to enlighten everyone.
The choir is named after cantigas (songs), Spanish homophonic songs of the 13th Century that developed from both folkloric music and sacred chant. Coral Cantigas’ repertoire ranges from folk music and popular songs performed with folkloric instruments to classical works with orchestra. The chorus performs sacred and secular music of many traditions.
Over 40 members from various South American, North American and Caribbean countries comprise Coral Cantigas, and Spanish proficiency is not a requirement for joining — just a good voice.
“The chorus performs in Spanish, Portuguese, and a variety of American languages and dialects such as Nahuatl, Quechua and Creole, with bilingual concert program notes and texts.”
In addition to performing, the Coral Cantigas conducts several outreach programs to encourage appreciation and participation in the choral arts. From providing free tickets to children and their families who want to attend Cantigas’ concerts but can’t afford them to holding special concerts to benefit the victims of the Haiti and Chilean earthquakes to partnering with the Embassy of Chile to create a children’s youth orchestra for low-income Chilean children, Cantigas choral members are intent to spread the love of music to everyone — everywhere.