In harmony: youth orchestras in El Paso and Juarez make music across the border

Posted on: May 23, 2017

“Just a few days after Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20, hundreds of young musicians from the United States and Mexico performed Verdi’s ‘Triumphal March’ from Aida to audiences on both sides of the border,” writes Martha Cargo in the spring 2017 issue of Americas Quarterly. “ It wasn’t meant as political commentary , but rather as a showcase for the newly formed U.S./Mexico Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, a collaboration between the El Paso Youth Symphony and Esperanza Azteca Youth Orchestra/Ciudad Juárez. The combined orchestra was established in 2016 to promote cross-border musical partnership — as well as the rich musical heritage of both countries. To underscore that point, the group also performed George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Mexican composer Samuel Zyman’s Canto a la Música.… The collaboration between EA Juárez and the El Paso Symphony Orchestra has gone far beyond the enhancement of music education for low-income students.” Esperanza Azteca Youth Orchestra founder Ricardo Salinas said, “This is a good investment because these young men and women will become much better citizens. This is what we need, not only in America, but in the whole world … citizens that know how to work together.”

Posted May 23, 2017