Today we journeyed to the rural town of Palencia, approximately an hours drive southeast of Guatemala City, where the Alturas Duo gave a master class to middle and high school students at the Fundación Paiz Para La Educación y La Cultura, a school dedicated to music, painting and theater.
While the majority of students here are studying guitar, a few also play marimba, the national instrument of Guatemala.
Our dynamic duo won the kids over with their knowledge and sense of humor, and we were impressed by the students’ level of focus and abilities, especially given the limited access to resources in this remote pueblo. We learned, from the mayor, that the Fundación Paiz hopes to expand its music program to include additional instruments. Of course, our visit would not have been complete without traditional marimba music, and some of the students joined Adam on marimba, maestro Paco, our fearless leader Angie and the Alturas Duo for a performance of “Guatemala”.
Later this afternoon, we presented our concert at IGA (Instituto Guatemalteco Americano) in collaboration with the Gaudia Cantorum. Repertoire included a variety of Latin American repertoire, including “Las Mayas”, a piece Paco composed for the Alturas Duo during our visit in Pastores. Following the concert, the Gaudia Cantorum present INTAKE with a tortoise shell as a sign of appreciation for our work together!
We accomplished a great deal during our short time in Guatemala. We feel extremely fortunate to have had this opportunity of a lifetime to immerse ourselves in the music, culture and wonderful spirit of this beautiful country. We have been treated with enormous generosity, warmth and hospitality. Now the real work begins, as we study hours of audio and video recordings, and orchestrate the repertoire we learned here to be performed by a full orchestra, along with native instrumentation, at our March 22nd concert in Norwalk, Connecticut.
We thank all of our INTAKE family, friends, and supporters, and especially the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (NALAC), for your generosity and support. Without you, this project would not have become a reality. Viva Guatemala!