Ana Patricia Carbajal Córdova, professor and choir conductor
The very first International University Choir Festival took place from 1st to 5th February 2017 in various parts of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. On this occasion, more than 500 young choir members came together from private, state and foreign universities. During the first four days, the choral singers worked hard under the baton of invited workshop organisers: María Felicia Pérez from Cuba, who ran the “Caribbean Music” workshop; María Guinand from Venezuela, who offered the young people a workshop called “Venezuela in the voice”; and José Rivera from the USA, who ran the workshop “Singing for freedom”.
During each day, the choirs had the opportunity to listen to talks about the choral music scene in the countries represented by the workshop organisers, to appear in concerts together with other choirs and, at night, to attend gala concerts.
For the closing concert in the majestic Nezahaulcoyotl Hall, a young composer was commissioned to compose a piece for choir and piano based on a poem by Nezahualcóyotl; a Mexican director was then invited to stage this work with the choirs who participated in FICORU 2017.
The University Choral Programme from UNAM’s Music Department was the host of this festival, with 15 volunteers from various choirs in charge of several tasks to help ensure that the festival ran smoothly. Mexico City is so large that many precautions had to be taken to be able to get things done in a timely manner, and to ensure this was not an obstacle to participants trying to reach the various activities offered throughout the Festival.
We are sure that an event the scale of FICORU 2017 enriches the education of the choirs on our University Choir Programme and also each and every participant, which is why it is worth making efforts to ensure this Festival grows and continues to take place in the future.
The closing concert of the FICORU filled the Nezahualcóyotl Room with an audience interested in listening to the various repertoires that were rehearsed in the workshops and the guest choirs also performed a piece before the grand choral finale. It is important to emphasize the importance of creating a cappella choral music and to demonstrate the beauty of this difficult and enriching art.
My sincere thanks to all those people and institutions who responded to this call, who joined in and gave their best to make the First University Choir Festival, FICORU 2017, happen.
For more information on the University Choir Programme, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ana Patricia Carbajal Córdova studied Piano and Musical Education and is specialised in choral conducting. In 1989, she founded the Voce in Tempore Choral Ensemble, a group made up of amateurs, with which she won various awards. In 1997, she founded Voce in Tempore A.C., a group dedicated to promoting, spreading and giving choral music in Mexico a professional status. She currently holds a Master’s degree in Cultural Promotion and Development, is the coordinator of the Niños Cantando de la Universidad La Salle Choral Conference, coordinates UNAM’s University Choral Programme and the Choral Conducting Programme at the University of the Americas, and is a professor of Choral Conducting at the Celaya Conservatory of Music and in UNAM’s Music Department. Email: email@example.com
Translated by Lottie Valks, UK
Edited by Mirella Biagi, Italy/UK