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Choral Reflections on Dia de los Muertos by Mary Gowing, DCG president
2015.10.22 22:30:17

Reflections on how a choral concert (such as the DeKalb Choral Guild's Día de los Muertos Concert Sat. November 7th in Avondale) can change you: by DCG president Mary Gowing

 

Have you ever been a tourist somewhere and could see the culture around you but you didn't feel a part of it? It can seem almost like you are watching a film or a documentary but not really experiencing it. The DCG singers felt a bit like that when we began our preparations for our Día de los Muertos concert (Nov 7th). Most of us are not from a Mexican background. But the stories in the music of weeping women, witches and ancient wisdom, of cemeteries, churches and chocolate, along with the task of building the visual displays of flowers, framed photographs of loved ones passed and other touchstones of memory helped the singers begin to make the leap from outsider looking in at Dia de los Muertos to novice participants of it.

 

Here are three key ingredients we found in getting ready for that leap:

1. To hear a variety of stories from the culture, or points of views as told by different people from that culture

2. To feel safe as you are hearing the stories. If you feel threatened you will not be open to hear and absorb these challenging potential shifts of paradigm

3. A chance to reflect on what you have learned and to share with others what new understandings have arisen in you.

 

We will perform this concert at First Baptist Church of Avondale Estates on November 7th at 7:30pm. The songs will tell many different Mexican stories: like that of the nomad traveler in Pasar La Vida, and that of the Mournful Mother in Stabat Mater, yet all centering on the Mexican festival of the Day of the Dead, Día de los Muertos. We will contemplate how our loved ones remain with us always, of how past, present and future can live together. The concert may challenge stereotypes people have about Mexico, its music, people and traditions. We will end the evening with a joyous reception complete with Mariachi band, where audience and performers alike will come together to enjoy delicious traditional Pan (bread) de Muertos and sugar skull candy, among other treats, and to reflect upon and celebrate the concert together.

The DeKalb Choral Guild's Día de los Muertos concert is open to the public. Tickets are $5 for adults, children 12 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at www.dekalbchoralguild.org.



Tags: Dia de los Muertos | Decatur Chorus | Atlanta choral concert | Mariachi concert | Day of the dead concert | La Bruja | La Llorona

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