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.

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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.