Friday, November 14th 2008 [ versión español ]
The newly renovated Yagüez Theatre was the stage selected for the Concert of Champion Choirs of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), which took place this past October 26th as part of the musical offering of Travesía, a series of concerts sponsored by the Chancellor’s Office of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (UPRM).
The public selected their favorite songs. It was evident from their applauses and their cheers. The crowd’s favorite from the UPR Ponce Concert Choir, who was first to take the stage, was Sóngoro Cosongo by Nicolás Guillén. From the UPR Río Piedras Choir, the crowd was fascinated by their interpretation of Negra Majestad by Cuco Peña. And finally, the interpretation of Canto Arena by Silvio Rodríguez, vocally executed by the UPRM Corium Canticus Choir, received a response which aside from the insistent applauses, included an energetic force which could be heard from the outside the theatre.
All of the participating choirs had won important choir competitions in the countries of Spain, Argentina and Venezuela, among others. They united to share their repertoires, which consist of mostly Latin American music.
The musical journey began with the UPR Ponce Choir, directed by Marilucy Rodríguez and accompanied on the piano by Ariel Ramírez López. Members were dressed in black and red. They began their selection with The Song of Peace by Olaf Christiansen, and concluded with El Vito, an Andalusian folkloric piece which was interpreted on the piano by four hands, those belonging to Ramírez and professor Edgar Vélez Montes, director of the UPRM Band and Orchestra Department.
The concert continued with the presentation of the UPR Río Piedras Choir, directed by Carmen Acevedo Lucio. They began their selection with a French piece entitled Rotare Coeli by Jacob Arcalet. Dressed in the traditional Puerto Rican Jibarito clothing, the group ended with Negra Majestad. Their interpretation, which included choreography of the bomba and plena styles, awoke the audience’s spirit.
The musical selection concluded with the participation of the UPRM Corium Canticus, directed by Vélez Montes. The choir, composed of students and alumni, began with the piece entitled If Music be the Food of Love by Henry Purcell. This was followed by the interpretation of three songs by Silvio Rodríguez: Locuras, Canto arena and Maza. The trilogy received an exceptional applause from the audience. After the conclusion by Corium Canticus, the audience insisted upon an encore. Participants sang and performed the smooth melody El Guapo. The pícara piece, which tells the story of a dispute for the love of a woman, closed the Concert of Champion Choirs, with a gold seal.
The UPR Río Piedras Choir interpreted Negra Majestad with choreography done in the bomba and plena styles. (Bomba and Plena are two different types of traditional folk music usually grouped together)
The Corium Canticus Choir of UPRM received an outstanding applause from the audience for their interpretation of three different songs by Silvio Rodríguez.
From the left side, doctor Uroyoán Walker, Chancellor’s assistant, awards certificates of recognition to directors: Edgar Vélez Montes, UPRM’s Corium Canticus Choir; Marilucy Rodríguez Montes, UPR Ponce Choir; and Carmen Acevedo Lucio, UPR Río Piedras Choir.
Members of the Corium Canticus Choir sang and performed the smooth melody El Guapo, which closed the concert.
Photographs by Carlos Díaz / UPRM Press