Marking the end of FolkCOLOMBIA Escuela’s Fall 2023 season, on Saturday, Dec 9th, school doors were opened to local friends, families and the public, inviting everyone to share in our Holiday Season program while celebrating the accomplishments of our talented students. Meeting every week, each student–and even some parents–was awarded a graduation certificate for their efforts.
The program’s focus this Fall was “El Pasillo Chocoano”, a deeply traditional Colombian dance from the Andean Choco region. Dance master and director Rubén Dario Mejia and his wife Paula Toro Velez demonstrated the humorous air and delicate yet popular courting choreography of the folk dance. Children then showed the percussion rhythms they learned from Rubén’s percussion workshop. Followed by Nes Gomez Jr., the escuela’s master drummer and educator, who introduced and performed with a children’s percussion ensemble, demonstrating pasillo parche parche, yet another of the many rhythms from Colombia. It was amazing!
The really little ones along with their parents were also treated to the virtuoso talents of Blanca Gonzalez and Jesse Elder of Musiquita, with a sing- and dance-along of classic Spanish songs, such as “Los Pollitos”, “Año Viejo” and, of course, “Feliz Navidad!” The energy of Musiquita has been a highlight of the semester and we love them!
The traditional musical instruments and beautiful costumes have now been stored and our teaching artists and staff have wrapped up another year of challenging yet fun-filled community-building. That is the mission of our Colombian arts and education program– FolkCOLOMBIA Escuela is all about community and the important role of arts education to foster cultural knowledge, friendship and understanding.
Happy Holidays everyone!
We look forward to bringing you FolkCOLOMBIA Escuela in 2024!!
Jorge Arévalo Mateus