The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
By Elissa Weller, VocalEssence VocalEssence is pleased to introduce our 2013-2014 ¡Cantaré! composers, José Galván Castañeda and Pamela Mayorga Tellez. The composers will visit Minnesota three times during the 2013-2014 school year to conduct workshops and residencies with students in local schools.
¡Cantaré! is an internationally renowned cross-cultural education program that brings Mexican composers to Minnesota to work with students and adults in local elementary, high school and community choirs. The program emphasizes community pride and awareness of Mexican cultural heritage in the region, and promotes strong relations between Mexico and the United States through a vital partnership with the Mexican Consulate in Saint Paul. The program will culminate in the creation of at least eight new music compositions by the composers, which will be premiered at the ¡Cantaré! Community Concert on May 20, 2014 at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in Saint Paul.
Born in Mexico City, Pamela Mayorga received her degree in Music Composition at The National School of Music of UNAM in 2004, while receiving choral conducting lessons by composer and conductor Jorge Córdoba Valencia. She was a member of the Academic Choir of UNAM and the National School of Music Choir where she was invited to collaborate as assistant director. In 2006, she participated with the Veracruz University Choir and the Xalapa Symphony Orchestra in the XXXIV International Cervantino Festival at the Guanajuato city under the direction of conductor and composer Sergio Cárdenas. She founded, and for four years, conducted the Mexican vocal ensemble, Ensamble Lúdico Vocal “SINDECORO”.
Director, composer and baritone José Galván has always been passionate about music. He began vocal studies at the National University School of Music, studying with teachers including Margarita González, Lupita Pérez Árias, and Manuel Peña. As a choral director, he graduated from the Cardenal Miranda Institute, under the guidance of Padre Xavier González. In 1990, he founded Voz En Punto, an a cappella vocal group that gives testimony to Mexico’s rich musical heritage. The group burst onto the musical scene conquering audiences who they then proceeded to “madden and send into ecstasy and delirium…,” as various press critics attest, from countries around the world. Galván has had the privilege of working with artists such as the great sculptor Sebastián, writer Carlos Fuentes, and musicians Don Zeferino Nandayapa, Daniel García Blanoc, The King’s Singers, and Bobby McFerrin.
Pamela Mayorga and José Galván