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The Master Class by World-renowned Harpist Ángel Padilla

By Adrienne Williams, Kay Ortega, and Ginny Green

Eighty-four Sanmiguelenses traveled by bus to the Conservatory of Music in Celaya on Monday, January 26, 2015. Members of the Conservatory’s Board and Directora Aurora, who were delighted with the support from the San Miguel community, warmly greeted the group as they entered the Conservatory. Part of the group attended a Master Class that was taught by world-renowned harpist Ángel Padilla. Two harp students at different levels of training at the Conservatory received detailed personal teaching from Maestro Padilla.

An 11-year-old violin student, Luis, from the Casa Hogar Mexiquito in San Miguel, was a guest of a member of the group. Julliard-trained violin instructor Maestro Martín Valdeschack provided a free 90-minute lesson to young Luis, who has shown talent as a violinist. Valdeschack offered to give Luis lessons on the weekends at a reduced rate, which will be paid by donations from volunteers.

Part of the group went on walking tour of downtown Celaya. Highlights of that walk were visiting the beautiful Templo del Carmen, Templo de San Francisco, and the monument to the well-known architect Eduardo Tresguerras, who was born in Celaya. The group also visited the Museo de Celaya where the history of the city is beautifully reflected in eight exhibition rooms.

Following lunch in the Lime Tree Courtyard at the Conservatory was a memorable concert in the beautifully restored chapel. The Conservatory’s Camerata Silvestre Revueltas, conducted by Maestro Antonio García, presented a program with selections by Mozart, Faure, Schubert, Vivaldi, Dvorak, Brahms, and others. The ensemble’s rich musicality captured and held the imaginations of all; many remarked later that the concert in the chapel with its fine acoustics left a beautiful and inspiring impression. The final piece was Las Mañanitas in honor of Les Wilbrecht, who was in the audience with his wife Jane and celebrated his 101st birthday two days later. The outing—A Day to Remember—was so well received that the Conservatory’s Board suggested there be an encore in November to continue to introduce and familiarize the San Miguel community with the Conservatory.

The Conservatory has 300 full- time students from throughout Mexico and 300 part time students, many of whom attend on scholarships. Full tuition is approximately US$4,300 per year. Established in 1991 in a former convent, the Conservatory has 60 part-time instructors, who are Mexican, Russian, Spanish, and German. All proceeds from ticket sales, after expenses, were donated to the Conservatory.

We are very grateful to Angel for his contribution to the success of the outing to the Conservatory of Music in Celaya. Selected photos from “A Day to Remember” may be found at:


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