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Pro Musica Youth Chamber Orchestra at St. Paul’s Church

By Tim Hazell

The Pro Musica Youth Chamber Orchestra is preparing for a 5pm concert premiere at St. Paul’s church, Calle Cardo 6, on Sunday, July 23. It will concentrate on works for small orchestra and sections, such as the Mozart Symphony No. 25 and Reverie for winds and brass by Claude Debussy, that give our players a chance to shine, as well as the well-known St. Paul’s Suite by Gustav Holst, which will showcase our string section. The performance will include innovative works for bassoon trio by Nielsen and Castil-Blaze. This public appearance and future planned concerts, which we hope you will support, give the orchestra a strong sense of purpose and commitment.

Special Inaugural Performance
Youth Chamber Orchestra
Sun, Jul 23, 5pm
Tickets for the concert at St. Paul’s are 150 pesos donation
General seating and on sale at La Tienda (Biblioteca), La Conexión (Aldama 3),
at concert half an hour before performance time or

Pro Musica’s Education Outreach Programs have evolved dramatically over the last year. During this time, there has been a steady improvement and progress in all facets of our musical offerings to the Mexican and expat communities. In the case of our Youth Chamber Orchestra, the innovative concept of bringing in talented, university-level music students and teachers from other cities has created a solid reputation throughout Guanajuato State. San Miguel also supplies a large portion of the membership.

Consisting of approximately twenty-five musicians, the chamber orchestra rehearses every Sunday from 11am to 1:30pm. Bellas Artes (Centro Cultural El Nigromante) has generously provided the musicians with a large, permanent rehearsal space. Their music can be heard wafting out into the central patio and is an attraction for visitors. In addition to full-orchestra rehearsals, we focus on sections within the overall group to increase experience and musical knowledge.

We’ve inaugurated a Young Conductor’s Program this year, which already has four students. One of them will conduct the fourth “Allegro” movement of the Mozart Symphony No. 25 at the concert, bringing it to a spirited finale. The experience of working with a live orchestra is hard to come by, and this added responsibility gives members the sense that they have a “piece” of the program all to themselves!

Our brass section recently benefited from the munificent gift of three world-class trumpets and accessories by Terry Warburton, owner of Warburton Music, the largest manufacturer of brass instruments in North America, a gift worth over US $6,000. Support for the program continues to flow in from other cities to cover basic expenses such as musicians’ travel costs to rehearsals. We have also received many other valuable instruments, music manuscripts, and classical CD recordings.

During Pro Musica’s Garden Concert weekend, the Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet generously gave a Master Class to the orchestra brass section. One of our horn players was keen to point out afterwards that he had gained much from it, having brought a piece he needed to perform at entrance exams to qualify for further university music studies. The Master Class gave him new techniques to polish the music, and he mentioned being more confident about his upcoming performance as a result. We are committed to providing free Master Classes by some of our international artists for strings, winds, and brass as a bonus and incentive to our orchestra members whenever possible. The benefits help our musicians individually, as well as enhancing the orchestra’s sound.

Our violin and strings teacher, Jesús Chavez, has achieved rapid progress with children attending the Pro Musica School of Music at the Cinco de Mayo primary school in Colonia San Rafael. They have made enormous strides in recent months and given four recitals to date for the municipality, as well as the Sindicato and at their school, attended by visitors and residents, proud parents, and teachers. The children, aged eight to twelve, study solfeggio, basic violin techniques, and our recently added cellos.

The school will expand our classes to include winds and brass in September. We hope to invite its most talented aspiring classical musicians to move up to our Youth Chamber Orchestra after a couple of years of studies at the intermediate level. Some of the outstanding members of the Youth Chamber Orchestra are already assisting with teaching the intermediate pupils, thus further widening their experience and creating an exchange of talent between our different outreach programs.

All of these multifarious activities are funded solely by you. By becoming a member, you will be supporting these Education Outreach programs through your membership subscriptions, as well as having the option of contributing directly to the programs, either by way of cash or gifts in kind.

Don’t miss our Youth Chamber Orchestra in their special inaugural performance July 23! Tickets for the concert at St. Paul’s are 150 pesos donation each, general seating and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública, La Conexión, only at Aldama 3, and at the concert half an hour before performance time. Details of all Pro Musica’s concerts and Patron Membership are on our web site,, or contact us at



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