By Alison Graham
Organizers of the Latin American Popular Music Ensemble hope to not only start the holiday season downtown Thursday night, but redefine what people think of as traditional holiday music.
The Ensemble will perform a Christmas concert 8 p.m. Thursday at the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center.
The performance is open to everyone and will be in the Whikehart Auditorium.
The Ensemble is a course through the Jacobs School of Music that allows students to explore different genres of Latin music.
Ensemble Director Daniel Duarte said although the ensemble has been around for a while, this year is especially unusual because many of the students have signed up for the first time.
This semester is Duarte’s first year as director of the ensemble.
He was asked by the director of the Latin American Music Center, who oversees the ensemble, to serve as director for the ensemble. Duarte plans to stay on as director for the spring semester, as well.
This Thursday’s concert is Duarte’s debut as director.
“Audiences can expect a variety of music styles and music from different countries,” he said. “It will be a very diverse concert with many different
Most of the pieces are original arrangements created by Ben Wedeking, a guitar associate instructor at the Jacobs School of Music, and Francisco Cortes, a composer and doctoral student in the Jacobs School of Music.
Wedeking said the biggest challenge for him was working with an ensemble of such a large size.
It’s his first time arranging for a large ensemble, and he had to work out problems that arose from his lack of experience, he said.
“I haven’t really done a huge amount of work in Latin music,” Wedeking said. “But I’ve had great help from Daniel (Duarte) and Francisco (Cortes).”
The Ensemble has been working three days a week for one to two hours. This week there will be more intense practices and dress rehearsals to prepare for the show and overcome
Arranging the pieces and teaching the students to perform them is a challenge itself, Duarte said.
“We have it in our mind how we want it to sound, put it on paper and then teach it to the students,” Duarte said. “They aren’t always familiar with it and have to learn about the history and the style beyond the notes they’re playing.”
In addition to arranging the pieces, Wedeking is also participating in a few aspects of the performance playing mandolin and
The Ensemble will perform traditional Christmas music, as well as new and less well-known music.
“I hope the audience can start to celebrate Christmas there,” Duarte said. “I hope they can have a beginning for the holidays and also learn about music and new styles.”
The performance will include music from different Latin American countries including Brazil, Colombia and Argentina.
They will also perform on a variety of instruments such as the harp, cello, guitar, mandolin and piano.
“In LAPME we try to cover several different genres of Latin music,” Wedeking said.
Wedeking became a part of the Ensemble for the first time this semester when a friend approached him and asked him to join.
He had previously worked with the Latin American Music Center events and with Duarte.
“I decided to come on board because I have a relationship with Daniel (Duarte) and to get experience with the ensemble and different genres of music,” he said.
© Indiana Daily Student 2014