CMC neighborhood choirs sing city-wide this December

As the year comes to a close, CMC’s Neighborhood Choirs for Older Adults & Adults with Disabilities are celebrating with festive concerts all over San Francisco during the month of December. The concerts take place around the city in the various neighborhood centers where each choir holds weekly rehearsals or as part of special neighrhood holiday events, and are open to the public and free unless otherwise noted. These year-end performances feature songs in many styles and languages: from gospel and jazz, traditional folk songs from Latin America, to showtunes and oldies, these songs are sure to bring holiday cheer.  Be sure to catch a performance in the coming weeks, and be uplifted by the joy of song.

Neighborhood Choirs December Concerts:

Tuesday, December 5 at 10:00am – CMC 30th Street Choir at 30th Street Senior Center, 225 30th Street

Wednesday, December 6 from at 12:15pm – CMC Downtown Senior Center Choir at Downtown Senior Center, 481 O’Farrell Street

Thursday, December 7 at 12:30pm – CMC Visitacion Valley Choir at Visitacion Valley Community Center, 50 Raymond Avenue

Thursday, December 7 at 1:00pm – CMC Aquatic Park Older Adult Choir at Aquatic Park Senior Center, 890 S Beach Boulevard

Thursday, December 7 from 5:00–8:00pm – CMC Bernal Heights at Bernal Heights Holiday Stroll, hosted by Bernal Business & Arts Association, along Cortland Avenue

Saturday, December 9 at 4:900pm – CMC Bayanihan Equity Center Choir perform at the Annual Parol Lantern Festival at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission Street

Sunday, December 10 at 12:30pm – CMC Western Addition Choir Holiday performance at Jones United Methodist Church, 1975 Post Street

Sunday, December 10 at 4:00pm – Navidad en la Misión with CMC Choirs—with Coro CMC del Centro Latino de San Francisco and CMC Solera Singers of Mission Neighborhood Center with Coro de Camara and students of Beth Wilmurt—at Mission Dolores Basilica, 3321 16th Street. $15 general/$10 seniors/$5 youth 18 and under. Tickets available at the door and online here.

Thursday, December 14 at 1:00pm – CMC Castro Choir at Castro Senior Center, 110 Diamond Street

Saturday, December 16 from 4:00–8:00pm – CMC Bayview Choir at Bayview Opera House’s Winter Wonderland, Ruth Williams Memorial Theatre, 4705 3rd Avenue







New faculty light up the Black Music Studies Program

Photo credit: Ian Chinn Photography, courtesy of Museum of the African Diaspora

July 19 2023

“When I teach singing, the first priority is to preserve the integrity of jazz and soul music. I want my singers to understand how Black music has redefined and shaped popular culture. The emotion and feeling comes when we recognize the meaning of songs like ‘What’s Going On’ (Marvin Gaye). I like to create an environment of fun creative expression. But, it’s important for my students to know that R&B, jazz, and blues are part of a broader experience. The harmony, rhythm, and lyrics are rooted in African heritage and born out of our struggles as people of color.” Rita Lackey, faculty for the choirs: R&B Choir and More, IT Bookman, Downtown Senior Center Choir, and Visitacion Valley

Two years ago, CMC launched the Black Music Studies Program as a certificate program founded and developed by Maestro Curtis PhD with the aim of giving students a deep sense of love, respect, and appreciation for the contributions of American Black Culture and its impact on American music. The certificate program included a rich array of classes with engaging discussions, inspiring demonstrations, and musical examples on the history, culture, and appreciation of music derived from the African Diaspora, 

This year, the Black Music Studies Program is expanding, offering a comprehensive approach to the study of Black Music! Along with the certificate program, private lesson and group class faculty will participate. Based on student interest, private lessons can focus on Black music styles, which include blues, jazz, R&B, Afro-Cuban, funk, soul, and others, as well as offering students a full range of technical and creative skills. Many CMC group classes and ensembles cover music with roots in the African Diaspora, as well as coaching in musicianship, music theory, and ensemble playing. Some of the classes in the Black Music Studies Program include, Vocal Harmony Workshop, R&B Choir and More, The Great Songs of Soul and R&B, and the new Black Music Ensemble: Funk, Soul, R&B, & Gospel.

“It’s exciting to see the Black Music Studies Program blossoming with the support and inclusion of highly skilled, talented, music industry professionals, who bring their perspectives of the diasporic influence of black music… (C)lasses like these will work to restore a stolen legacy and honor the contributions of Black Americans in music and culture in America and the world over.”

Maestro Curtis PhD, Department Head Black Music Studies Program


Black Music Studies Program

New strings program for kids provides music (fun)damentals to last a lifetime

July 18, 2023

CMC is launching new programs and classes this fall including the Youth Strings Program developed by Erik Andersen, Strings Department Chair, and Katie Wreede, Young Musicians Program/Chamber Music Coordinator. The Youth Strings Program utilizes a year-long, small group format giving kids the opportunity to play and learn with others in a supportive and social environment. The beginning strings classes are designed for ages 6–7 and focus on the fundamentals of playing and caring for a string instrument. Students in the program get a starter kit with practice materials and instrument accessories and parents receive coaching from faculty on supporting music instruction at home. The beginning classes are progressive, graduating students into ensembles which will be added in 2024. The program also has the potential of being a feeder into the tuition-free Young Musicians Program, Chamber Music Camps, and Chamber Music Ensembles.

Youth Strings fills an important niche for young string players. The classes provide, as Erik Andersen said, “instruction for younger kids in a small group setting where they can develop the technical skills and ensemble skills necessary for easy progress into our more advanced programs.”

Katie Wreede added that, “Many young students learn well in a fun, small group setting. The new program begins there and grows through a progressive levels approach that lets students mark their progress as they move from beginning to early ensemble playing to more advanced groups.”

Andersen and Wreede have taken special care in choosing repertoire that represents a diversity of cultures. As Wreede shared, “(C)ollaborating with Erik Andersen to build a repertoire that reflects the diversity of cultures in San Francisco is very exciting.”

Andersen has ideas for how the program might support the greater musician community in the Bay Area with visions of, “this program fostering a community of string playing in San Francisco by providing more access to much needed early instruction and a love of playing strings that will last a lifetime.”

Learn more about the Youth Strings Program here.

CMC young musicians claim their creative voices

June 13, 2023

By Katrina Wreede, Young Musicians Program Coordinator

There is nothing like creating your own music to claim your creative voice! As part of the CMC Young Musicians Program, we expose students to the skills and attitude necessary to think creatively. This year, YMP students created nearly 40 new pieces of music. Our partners were members of the Left Coast Ensemble, a San Francisco-based new music ensemble.

The YMP 2023 Composing project started on Feb. 11 with a presentation by members of the Left Coast Ensemble showcasing extended techniques on flute, violin and cello as well as offering guidance on instrumentation, notation and creativity. This was followed by weekly sessions with the YMP teachers for students to create and prepare a work for a masterclass and performance with Left Coast. This year was the first time middle school students from YMP participated, along with the YMP high school students. The middle school groups had a masterclass and concert with Left Coast on March 11. Every middle school YMP student composed a piece for one or more of the Left Coast players. The Left Coast performers read through each work (one from every middle school student in YMP), discussed it with the composer and audience, then performed it “concert-style” for the audience and video.

On March 18, Left Coast returned to work and performed with the YMP high school students.The students worked collaboratively in small ensemble groups to create and rehearse works they performed themselves with Left Coast players embedded in the ensemble for the master class and performance. Topics for discussion during the masterclass portion included elements like proper notation, use of dynamics and articulations, musical form, instrumentation and identifying dramatic elements that made each piece a unique expression. One of the most exciting things to come from the 2023 composing project was how different each piece was. There are no cookie cutters in YMP! These kids are not afraid to speak their minds through their music. It was a thrilling and inspiring project that we hope to replicate next year and beyond.


Some of our favorite neighborhood spots

May 18, 2023

Looking for the best burrito in the Mission, your next taste adventure in bubble tea, or world famous bread? We asked the CMC community about their favorite places in the neighborhoods near our campuses in the Mission and Richmond Districts. We received 80 superb recommendations for local businesses that serve everything from fancy coffee drinks, to West African Cuisine, to bánh mì, to gelato, to graphic novels, and many others!

When you visit a CMC campus, we encourage you to also support our neighbors.

Mission District Branch Neighborhood

Cafes and Drinks
Abanico Coffee
Atlas Cafe
Café de Olla
Grand Coffee
La Taza
Sidewalk Juice
Sisters Coffee Shop

Bissap Baobab
El Farolito
Gracias Madre
Jay’s Cheesesteak
La Corneta Taqueria
La Taqueria
La Traviata Restaurant
Los Panchos Restaurant
Media Noche
Mission Picnic
Mr. Pickle’s
San Jalisco
Taqueria Cancun
Udupi Palace

Bars and Nightlife
Alamo Draft House
Ivory & Vine
Latin American Club
Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts
Roxie Theater
The Chapel
The Makeout Room
Urban Putt

Bakeries and Sweets
Dragon City Bakery & Cafe
Fox and Lion Bread
La Copa Loca
Mission Minis

Duc Loi
Grocery Outlet
Valencia Whole Foods

The David Ireland House
Mission Cliffs
SF Public Library

Dog Eared Books
Mission Comics

Richmond District Branch Neighborhood

Cafes and Drinks
Cafe Enchante
La Promenade
Pacific Cafe
Purple Kow
Simple Pleasures

Balboa Teriyaki
Bella Trattoria
Burma Superstar
Chino’s Taqueria
Cielito Lindo
Eat Americana
Hamburger Haven
Kim Son Vietnamese Restaurant
Little Henry’s Italian Food
Mr. Bahn Mi
Ocean India Restaurant

Bakeries and Sweets
Butter Love
Devil’s Teeth Bakery
Schubert’s Bakery

Clement St. Farmer’s Market

Green Apple Bookstore

Congratulations 2023–2024 Merit Scholars!

Each May, a jury of CMC faculty and staff auditions students for full scholarships for the next school year’s private lessons. These awards are based on need and merit. This year the jury heard dozens of youths play an extraordinarily diverse repertoire.

The jury wishes to thank everyone who help prepare students for the juries this year and to the many students who participated in the juries.

We are proud to announce the following students who will receive Merit Scholarships for private lessons during the 2023-2024 school year and the selected participants for the CMC All-School Recital.

Be sure to catch our Merit Scholars in action at the All-School Recital on Sunday, June 4th at 4pm at Sha’ar Zahav 290 Dolores St, San Francisco. Admission is free of charge.

Charlotte Ackerley Memorial Scholarship
Manhattan Liu, Student of Erik Pearson

Chevron Scholarship
Steven Liu, Student of Betty Wong

Bella and P.P. Chiu Memorial Scholarship Fund at CMC
Alexis Martinez, Student of Michael Long
Lindsay Perez, Student of Leo Baluk
Zen Wold, Student of Matylda Rotkiewicz
Bailin Li, Student of Sharon Wayne

Ruth and Martin Elsner Memorial Scholarships
Mike Lopez, Student of Omar Ledzama
Ziyan Zhang, Student of Lilia Zheltova

Gertrude Field Memorial Scholarship
Caroline Denmark, Student of Erik Pearson

Marian N. Ford Memorial Scholarship in Strings
Nayeli Barrera Alvarez, Student of Dorisiya Yosifova

Tyler Guge Memorial Scholarship
Angie Feng, Student of Grace Yu

Harold Haber Memorial Scholarship
Elaine Chen, Student of Christian Bonvin

Hilda Haber Memorial Scholarship in piano
Susanna Zhang, Student of Matylda Rotkiewicz

Koret Scholarship
Matthew Lu, Student of Sin-Tung Chiu

Ross McKee Memorial Scholarships in Piano
Maite Argote, Student of Grace Huenemann
Thompson Nguyen, Student of Paul McMath
Luciano Costa, Student of Erik Walker
Laura Chen, Student of Elyse Weakley
Emma Sophia Yambao, Student of Evelyn Davis

Alice Morini Memorial Scholarship
Matthew Lim, Student of Michael Long

Maurice, Helen, and Carl Shapiro Memorial Scholarship
Lucas Lan, Student of Joshua Saulle

The Shenson Foundation Scholarship
Haibo Gao, Student of Tregar Otton

Shorr Memorial Scholarship in Chamber Music
Jayden Li, Student of Tatyana Mikhaylenko

Gioia Taber Piano Scholarship
Kimberly Chen, Student of Grace Yu

Mrs. Paul L. Wattis Memorial Scholarship
Sophie Kuang, Student of Lilia Zheltova

Joan Wild Memorial Scholarships
Kelsey Wong, Student of Christian Bonvin

Joan Wild Memorial Scholarships
Jaden Liu, Student of Paul Dab

James Hunt Scholarship
Angelina Costa, Student of Jonathan Kornfeld

Ruth Lasky Memorial Scholarship Fund
Ashley Esmeralda Alvarado Zepeda, Student of Irene Chagall

Sid and Iris Frank Memorial Scholarship
Santolo Esposito, Student of David Steinberg

Linda Blacketer Memorial Scholarship
Vanely Abrego, Student of Martha Rodríguez-Salazar
Dylan Castillo, Student of Irene Chagall

Juliet McComas Memorial Scholarship
Emily Granina, Student of Tatyana Mikhaylenko

The Mae and Libby Scholarship Fund for Voice
Gina Gonzalez, Student of Martha Rodríguez-Salazar

The Mae and Libby Scholarship Fund for Piano
Christopher Yao, Student of Paul McMath

The ISOM Scholarship Fund
Alejandra Camila Murphy Talavera, Student of Evelyn Davis

Peter F. Ostwald M.D. Memorial Scholarship
Milan Pimentel, Student of Omar Ledzama

Reah Sadowsky Memorial Scholarship
Audrey Xu, Student of Deszon Claiborne
Alexander Ou, Student of Lilia Zheltova

Sarah S. Koss Memorial Scholarship
Gianna Li, Student of Sharon Wayne


Vanely Abrego, Student of Martha Rodríguez-Salazar
Maite Argote, Student of Grace Huenemann
Tiger Chen, Student of Dorisiya Yosifova
Laura Chen, Student of Elyse Weakley
Elaine Chen, Student of Christian Bonvin
Angelina Costa, Student of Jonathan Kornfeld
Santolo Esposito, Student of David Steinberg
Angie Feng, Student of Grace Yu
Haibo Gao, Student of Tregar Otton
Gina Gonzalez Cambambia, Student of Martha Rodriguez-Salazar
Jeremy Huang, Student of Sin-Tung Chiu
Jayden Li, Student of Tatyana Mikhaylenko
Karman Liang, Student of Sin-Tung Chiu
Steven Liu, Student of Betty Wong
Lindsay Perez, Student of Leo Baluk
Clementine Weidenbaum, Student of Paul Dab
Zen Wold, Student of Matylda Rotkiewicz

Learning to play jazz at CMC

April 21, 2023

The jazz program is a core component at CMC serving all levels from beginners to advanced. Students from a range of musical backgrounds and levels seek out the program to receive top-notch coaching from talented faculty members Erick Peralta, Charlie Gurke, and Max Miller-Loran. Students learn skills in improvisation, playing by ear, jazz theory, group playing, arrangement, composition, interpretation, performance, and technique. The jazz classes, whether beginning, intermediate, or advanced, provide not only the essential ingredients for learning  jazz, but also provide opportunities to apply skills in an ensemble setting catering to a variety of musical levels. The program focuses on diving deeply into repertoire, including bebop, Latin jazz, standards (Great American Songbook  and jazz composers), plus student and faculty written compositions. 

Other CMC programs not specifically dedicated to jazz cover jazz topics from time to time, such as The So-Called Revolution (Black Music Studies Program) with Maestro Curtis and Intro to Jazz Theory (Music Theory) with Jono Kornfeld. The new vocal class R&B Choir and More with Rita Lackey explores jazz repertoire for vocalists and Teen Jazz Orchestra with Marcus Shelby focuses on teenage musicians playing in a big band setting. 

Learn more about CMC’s jazz program at


Student voices from CMC jazz

Wen-Hao Lue

Wen-Hao has been taking classes at CMC since 2019 and has been studying jazz piano with Erick Peralta since 2020. He’s a member of the Advanced Jazz Ensemble, lead by Charlie Gurke, as a drummer. 

CMC has helped me meet other jazz musicians and has given me many opportunities to play music outside of class with fellow classmates. Many of the members of the Advanced Jazz Ensemble play a regular weekly jazz gig in the Mission at Ivory & Vine on Sunday afternoons!”




Stacy Mathies

Stacy has studied at CMC since 2015. She’s taken music theory, Beatles Ensemble, private guitar and voice lessons, and Embodiment & Expression class (now called Musical Expression & Injury Prevention). 

Charlie’s class [Jazz and Blues in the Aural Tradition] is the first jazz class I’ve taken at CMC. Learning to play songs by just listening (no charts allowed) is a fun challenge. The other students have been very supportive with me being a beginner at this process.”




The Peterson Family (Andy, Purple, and Annika)

Andy Peterson studied at CMC 20 years ago for a few years and returned to CMC in 2022. His daughter Purple (age 18) started at CMC a year ago and his other daughter Annika (age 18) just started with her first jazz class at CMC.

“It’s fun for us to be together in Charlie Gurke’s ensemble class Standards Ensemble II: The Jazz Composers. We get to do homework together learning songs, and if one of us needs to miss class, it’s easier to catch up. With three of us in class, we have to be careful to behave like we’re in a class, and not goofing around at home.”

Calling string, winds, and piano players to join CMC Chamber Music Ensembles

March 17, 2023

Whether you are an advanced beginner or an accomplished amateur musician, CMC’s chamber music program offers an opportunity to develop your musicianship and technique as well as the chance to play with others. Groups are composed of two to five students of compatible levels. Director Katrina Wreede works with students to match them with CMC faculty coaches and other students of similar level and musical interests to create well-matched groups to take ensemble playing to the next level. For Spring Quarter, which starts the first week of April, there are several preformed groups seeking additional players.

To inquire about a group, fill out the Chamber Music Inquiry Form and email Katie Wreede at

Spring Quarter Openings in CMC Chamber Music Ensembles

All ensembles are working with classical repertoire

Mission District Branch

Tuesdays, 7:00–8:00pm, Leo Baluk (coach): Seeking intermediate adult violin and/or viola
Wednesdays, 6:00–7:00pm, Jennifer Peringer (coach): Seeking advanced adult violin, viola, and/or cello
Wednesdays, 6:30–7:30pm, Michaela Overall (coach): Seeking intermediate adult piano, violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, and/or oboe
Wednesdays, 7:30–8:30pm, Michaela Overall (coach): Seeking advanced adult violin and/or cello.
Wednesdays, 7:00–8:00pm, Gloria Justen (coach): Seeking adult intermediate strings and/and piano
Wednesdays, 8:00–9:00pm, Gloria Justen (coach): Seeking adult advanced, strings and/and piano
Fridays, 5:15–6:15pm, Karlson Can (coach): Seeking youth, ages 10-13, intermediate violin, viola, cello, and/or piano
Fridays, 2:00–3:00pm, Shirley Wong Frentzel (coach): Seeking adult advanced violin and/or viola
Saturdays, 4:00–5:00pm, David Steinberg (coach): Seeking adult moderately advanced and advanced wind players for wind ensemble

Richmond District Branch

Fridays, 2:00–3:00pm, Ben Snellings (coach): Seeking advanced adult violin, viola, cello, and/or piano

Students enrolled in private lessons at CMC receive 50% discount.

A landmark moment: CMC students perform alongside the SF Symphony

February 17, 2023

A landmark moment

The performances of Gabriel Kahane’s emergency shelter intake form on February 2nd and 3rd were a milestone in the more than 100-year relationship between the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and CMC. It was the first time that CMC students have performed alongside the San Francisco Symphony in a regular season concert. The experience was profound and memorable for the CMC students, faculty, and staff.

As Annie Hochenauer from New Voices Area TIGQ Chorus said: “Singing with the San Francisco Symphony in unity and harmony with CMC colleagues and other local musicians was a wonderful, magical experience for me. During one rehearsal break leading up to the performances, Gabriel told us emergency shelter intake form was based on an ‘ethics of love,’ and I think you could hear that resonating in our collective voices.”

The SFS staff who partnered with CMC on this project have shared glowing reviews about the experience.

Laura Bergmann, Associate Director Advocacy & Community Engagement, had this to say: “The San Francisco Symphony was thrilled to expand on our longstanding partnership with Community Music Center on our recent performances. From the faculty and staff to the students, CMC is overflowing with kind, talented people committed to collaboration, curiosity and building community through music, and all of those values were on full display during the rehearsals and performances for this work. Bringing together a chorus of voices representative of our city, which included the Tenderloin-based Skywatchers Ensemble, had a profound impact. We are so grateful to everyone at CMC for their participation and more broadly for their overarching work here in San Francisco.”

A lasting partnership

SFS and CMC have been community partners for more than a century with the founding of SFS in 1911 and CMC in 1921. During this time, both organizations have developed in tandem, dedicated to lifelong enjoyment and access to great music coupled with a commitment to music education.

The bonds between SFS and CMC are supported through the service of Ron Gallman, SFS Director of Education and Youth Orchestra, on CMC’s Board of Directors since 1997. As Gallman shared: “Having a Symphony staff member on CMC’s board reaffirms our mutual bond and sense of purpose, and allows for synergies and opportunities in service to local schools and communities.” Gallman attended emergency shelter intake form and found the concerts ‘deeply moving’ and was “…so proud of CMC for participating in this important musical partnership.”

CMC faculty member Martha Rodríguez-Salazar has also been instrumental in connecting CMC to SFS through the years. For 16 years, Rodríguez-Salazar has been the art curator and musical advisor of the annual Symphony celebration of Día de los Muertos. She has included CMC programs in these celebrations on multiple occasions, including a recent appearance of MDYMP and the SFUSD Mariachi Program in the SFS Fiesta Día de los Muertos fundraising event. In emergency shelter intake form, she recruited CMC singers for a community chorus from the Older Adult Choirs, New Voices Bay Area TIGQ Chorus, Anything Goes Chorus, Coro de Cámara, voice students, faculty, and staff. Rodríguez-Salazar also directed the community chorus, which included the Skywatchers ensemble, in preparation for the performances of emergency shelter intake form.

Rodríguez-Salazar shared: “Throughout the whole process, I felt deeply humbled by everyone’s willingness to become one voice and work together. It was very impactful for me to see all of the singers on stage performing with the San Francisco Symphony and see their names printed in their concert season program alongside international performers!

CMC thanks the San Francisco Symphony for their generosity in providing a welcoming and supportive environment for our students, faculty, and staff before and during the unforgettable experience of performing emergency shelter intake form.

To read more about emergency shelter intake form, Anh Lê (a member of the CMC Older Adult Choir Program and participant in emergency shelter intake form) wrote an article. Read it by following this link.


Edwin Outwater conducts the SF Symphony, Conrad Tao, Gabriel Kahane, Alicia Hall Moran, Kristen Toedtman, Holcombe Waller, Community Music Center Choir, and Skywatchers Ensemble in a performance of emergency shelter intake form at Davies Symphony Hall on Thursday, February 2, 2023. Photo credit: Kristen Loken.

MDYMP goes on tour

November 15, 2022
By Sylvia Sherman, Program Director

CMC’s Mission District Young Musicians Program was busy this fall with performances that commemorated Mission District culture and history, contributed to neighborhood school festivals, and celebrated Día de los Muertos.

MDYMP was joined at Paseo Artístico by MDYMP alumnus Rafael Cloerec (right).

On October 15, CMC participated in Acción Latina’s community art walk Paseo Artístico: “The 80’s Matter in the Mission”, honoring Latinx artists and activists of the 80s. The MDYMP musicians helped to kick off the day performing with original members from Los Peludos, Enrique Ramirez and Miguel Govea (MDYMP faculty member). Los Peludos was a group from the 1980s. Known for being outspoken about the social realities of the times, they addressed issues such as the U.S. interference with El Salvador with the song “Aqui no Sera” (“It Won’t Happen Here”). MDYMP students performed cumbias, Cuban music, and the original song “Paletero” created bythe students during CMC’s Centennial (Re)Imagine composition project. The performance of “Paletero,” a song about the Mission District and its diversity as reflected in the flavors of popsicles sold by the paleteros, was highlighted by the addition of MDYMP alumnus Rafael Cloarec, doing a spirited spoken word segment in Spanish, English, and French.

Later in October, MDYMP performed at the Buena Vista Horace Mann Fall Festival and the Alvarado Día de los Muertos Festival. Since MDYMP students have attended both Buena Vista Horace Mann and Alvarado, the invitation for MDYMP to perform was extended by parents who are active in the school PTAs. Both festivals were vibrant community celebrations with family participation and student involvement.

MDYMP at Alvarado Día de los Muertos Festival
Photo: Nieves Lopez Barrera

“We were delighted to have MDYMP perform. They were a great fit for the event and brought a lot of enjoyment to the community.” -Margo Hasselman Greenough, PTA President Alvarado Elementary

“I believe music connects cultures. Since Día de los Muertos is celebrated mostly in Mexico and some parts of Central and South America and Alvarado has an immersion program in Spanish, I thought MDYMP would be the perfect performer to inspire the younger audiences and potential future musicians.” -Nieves López Barrera, MDYMP and Alvarado parent

Finally, in early November, CMC Mariachi, a group comprised of MDYMP students, SFUSD Mariachi students, CMC faculty members Miguel Govea, Tregar Otton, Susan Peña, and guest artist René Peña Govea, performed for the SF Symphony’s ¡FIESTA! Día de los Muertos. The event was a donor party to support the SF Symphony’s education program and followed the Symphony’s Día de los Muertos concert. CMC Mariachi demonstrated the positive impacts of arts education with their performance, moving the audiences through the student and faculty collaborative performance.

CMC thanks MDYMP Program Coordinator Chantel Hernandez and all of its MDYMP faculty: Miguel Govea, Tregar Otton, Nena Aldaz, Charlie Gurke, and Juan Ceballos for the dedication to training young musicians, passing on Latinx culture, and preparing for these important community performances. CMC thanks MDYMP parents Julissa Winton and Nieves López Barrera, as well as Buena Vista Horace Mann and Alvarado school communities for their commitment to celebrating Latinx music and culture through their school events. Thanks also to Laura Knerler of the SF League for their work on the Symphony Fiesta.