The Santa Ana Sentinel

The Santa Cecilia Orchestra Presents Latinos Clásicos

Posted in Arts & Culture, The Journal of Mexican Art Music by Omar Ávalos Gallegos on April 17, 2012

Santa Cecilia Orchestra Presents ‘Latinos Clásicos’

Every year Santa Cecilia Orchestra takes great pride in presenting the music of Latino classical music composers.

Santa Cecilia Orchestra (SCO) will once again celebrate the glory of Latin-infused classical music by hosting Latinos Clásicos, which will take place at Occidental College’s Thorne Hall in Los Angeles on Sunday April 29 at 4:00 p.m.

As the next concert celebration of Santa Cecilia Orchestra’s 19th season, conductor Sonia Marie De León de Vega will lead SCO’s 80-piece symphony orchestra that will feature the world premiere of Yalil Guerra’s Old Havana.

This sizzling concert’s bold color and atmosphere infused music will ignite passions in an orchestral performance that is sure to exhilarate and delight the audience, revealing the soul of Latin music, thrilling Latin rhythms and rich, exciting orchestration.

The concert performance will also feature Conga del Fuego Nuevo from Arturo Márquez and his the Los Angeles premiere of Leyenda de Miliano; Astor Piazzolla’s Tangazo, Alberto Ginastera’s Dances from Estancia, Carlos Chávez’ Chapultepec.

SCO continues to fulfill its mission by sharing the beauty and inspiration of classical music with Southern California audiences, giving special focus to Latino communities.

There will be one performance only of this program. Tickets priced at $26, $20 and $7 (youth, 17 and under) are available by calling the orchestra office at (323) 259-3011 or by visiting http://www.scorchestra.org/201011orderform.html#latinosclasicos.

About Santa Cecilia Orchestra

Under the leadership of Maestra Sonia Marie De Léon de Vega, Santa Cecilia Orchestra pays tribute to its extraordinary history on its 19th anniversary as the only orchestra in the nation with a specific mission to take classical music to the Latino community. Media and speaking inquiries, please contact Lucía Matthews of DIÁLOGO at lucia@dialogo.us or for news, photos and biographies for conductor and soloists, visit http://www.scorchestra.org/PressRoom.htm.

About Sonia Marie De Léon de Vega, founder of the Santa Cecilia Orchestra

Maestra Sonia Marie De Léon de Vega has achieved distinction as a Latina in a male-dominated occupation with extraordinary inspirational musical talent who has not only become world renowned for her skills on the podium as the music director and conductor but she has created her own organization—the Los Angeles-based Santa Cecilia Orchestra, which is the only orchestra in the nation with a specific mission to share classical music with the Latino communities.

Sonia is also celebrated in educational circles for creating “Discovering Music” in 1998, a two-year music education program that takes orchestra members into elementary schools in underserved Latino neighborhoods to introduce children to classical music and the instruments of the orchestra. Discovering Music is currently offered in 18 elementary schools throughout Los Angeles and has touched the lives of more than 40,000 students in 35 schools through the power of music education. Due to its success, Discovering Music has been expanded to include a string program that offers free violin lessons throughout the school year and a mentorship program in middle schools.

Under the leadership of De Leon de Vega, Santa Cecilia Orchestra and the Discovering Music program have attracted the sponsorship of noted foundations and institutions, including the Annenberg Foundation, the Weingart Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. De Leon de Vega’s accomplishments have been recognized in a variety of organizations, including:

La Opinión: Mujeres Destacadas Award in Art & Culture 2011.

National Latina Business Women Association-Los Angeles: Inspirational Leader of the Year Award 2010.

KCET: Local Hero Award 2006.

The Vatican: She was the first woman in history to receive a Vatican invitation and conduct a symphony orchestra at a Papal Mass.

Hispanic Business Magazine: Awarded 100 most influential Hispanics in the U.S. 2005.

Hispanic Business Magazine: named her in their 80 Elite Women list in 2005.

Senator Jack Scott and Assemblywoman Carol Liu: Business Woman Of The Year in Arts And Entertainment 2005.

Latina Power by author Ana Nogales: Ms. De Leon de Vega is profiled in the book, which was was released by Simon and Schuster in 2004.

Univision, Mervyns, and Target: Named her Outstanding Latina of the Year in 2000.

Born in San Antonio, De Leon de Vega is the daughter of actress/producer Sonia De Leon and singer/guitarist Reynaldo Sanchez. At the age of four De Leon de Vega moved to Los Angeles, California, where she was raised and began her musical training becoming an accomplished pianist and organist. While always distinguishing herself academically her graduate studies led her to love and specialize in conducting studies with Dr. David Buck. She also trained at the Herbert Blomstedt International Institute for Instrumental Conductors and at various American Symphony Orchestra League workshops with Otto Werner Mueller, Maurice Abravanel, Pierre Boulez, Andre Previn, Zubin Metha and Ricardo Muti. De Leon de Vega has been a guest conductor for many orchestras and opera companies and has developed concerts and children’s music workshops for the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of Los Angeles.

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