Congratulations 2018 Shenson Series Grant Recipients!

Each year, The Shenson Foundation sponsors four free community concerts for CMC faculty music projects. The faculty members and their ensembles are selected by a committee of musicians from CMC’s Board of Directors. It’s truly a difficult decision for the Board Committee–there are indeed many wonderful proposals.

The following faculty were selected for the 2018 Shenson Faculty Concert Series. Stay tuned for concert announcements for these projects!


Cecilia Pena-Govea: trumpet, guira, vocals

Cecilia Peña-Govea and group

Cecilia Pena-Govea and her musical collaborators have chosen repertoire that encompasses five different continents and countless countries. With an interest in the diasporic nature of music, they will perform songs that have traveled thousands of miles, music of people who have traversed the world through enslavement, or who have sought political and economic refuge. Their musical performance will present music from the traditions of the Romani people of Hindustan, songs Santeria religious practices, and Mexican rancheras valseadas. Their musical themes are transborder existing and thriving across borders and in borderlands. The group’s material is concerned with remembering ancient tribulations of migration, labor, nation building, love, and promoting cultural healing through musical traditions. As a group comprised of young musicians native to District 9 in San Francisco, it is important for them to use traditional music as well as original pieces to maintain their cultural ground in a rapidly changing San Francisco.

Miguel Leon-Cajon, bata, tapan, vocals
Aya Davidson-Violin, oud, charango, vocals
Mireya Leon-Bass, percussion, vocals

Paul Dab, piano and Abigail Shiman, violin

Paul Dab

Their concert celebrates the 136th birthday of Igor Stravinsky. The program includes compositions from throughout his life, representing three stylistic periods: early Russian period, Neoclassical period, and Serial period. This concert is part of a series that celebrates composers through performance and discussion. The musicians will present program notes about their pieces during the concert and afterward, engage with the audience while enjoying a reception of wine, cheese, and dessert. Stravinsky’s music was highly controversial in its time and its influence shaped the trajectory of music in the 20th Century. This birthday party concert will share his legacy with our community.

Anne Hepburn Smith, coloratura soprano
James Pytko, clarinet
Joseph Colombo, composer

Omar Ledezma, voice and percussion

Omar Ledezma and Javier Cabanillas

Drawing on a Pan-American array of rhythms, the high-energy ensemble will share the astounding versatility of the humble cajon: a simple wooden box usually played by a percussionist seated atop it. Repertoire will a feature a traditional Afro-Venezuelan chant, original songs that highlight Brazilian, Caribbean, and Colombian rhythms, in addition to other musical selections.

Javier Cabanillas: voice, percussion
Pedro Rosales: voice, percussion
Jose Roberto Hernandez: guitar, voice, percussion
Braulio Barrera: voice, percussion

Jennifer Peringer, piano and Martha Rodriguez-Salazar, flute and voice

Jennifer Peringer and Martha Rodriguez Salazar

The theme of the concert will be “A Listening Quilt: Contemporary Chamber Music by Women Composers from North and South America.” The music will feature diversity on multiple levels: cultural, geographical and stylistic. The program focuses on the work of women composers, historically underrepresented on the global stage.

Rachel Condry, clarinet (CMC faculty member)
Jill Brindel, cello (SFSO member)