The University of Northern Colorado’s School of Music celebrated a new Bachelor of Arts program that is coming to the College of Performing and Visual Arts. It is a Latinx Music degree program and this concentration is the first of its kind in the US. The celebration was at the end of the Day of Art that was happening on and off campus earlier in the day.
The festivities opened the evening at 5 p.m. to an arts market, Las Catrina’s food truck, wine tasting from Latinx countries, card stamping, and mariachi music. The music and conversation around the stairs of the Campus Commons lasted till 7:30 p.m. Doors opened to the performance hall at 7 p.m. for patrons to start the seating process.
“I have heard from people who said that they enjoyed the variety of the event,” said Christina Goletti, dean of the College of Performing and Visual Arts. “The wine we got was some of the best of South America and the beet was from one of the great breweries of Mexico.”
The concert which featured UNC students and faculty with the Compass Jazz Orchestra and University Symphony Orchestra started around 7:30 p.m. The seats in the lower portion of the auditorium were about 70% filled. A little less than half of the attendees were students.
Musicians warmed up on stage five minutes before the concert started. The introduction to the concert was given by Goletti. She thanked President of UNC Andy Feinstein and his wife, who were both in attendance. Goletti’s speech was both in Spanish and English.
The concert started with a primarily brass section. There were solos throughout added a nice touch to the concert. The other instruments accompanied and blended into the background for the solos to shine.
“The concert went really well. We were conscious of adding different elements. We were in service to the Latinx community,” Goletti said.
This new Latinx Music concentration allows for students to create a more diverse community of music listeners on campus.
“We look at the programs every year for the academic calendar and what we offer,” Goletti said. “We thought that it would be a really good fit [and] we saw that no other institution had a program like this. With this new degree we got a grant to buy new instruments.”
The faculty of the College of Performing Arts came together to make this event happen. They collaborated and brought multiple ideas to the table. The event’s success was due to partnering up with community aspects as well as the PVA’s staff’s hard work. Teaching assistants reach out to programs around the community to allow the younger generation to be a part of the event. Key people in the department did the ground work to create a space to have adequate representation of Latinx culture, food, and art. The goal is to keep this event going every year.
The performing arts department hopes to support students from diverse cultures. It is important that students find representation they can relate to on campus. The new program only has one full-time faculty currently, but there is hopes to see more faculty in the department. Classes were already part of the program, but the recruitment season for the department began this fall.
“We will be able to have different and more ensembles,” Goletti said. “This allows enriching cultural offerings. We want to allow students to see their cultural backgrounds. It’s something they might not see elsewhere. We want to make sure that all of our students, especially Latinx, find their place in an academic aspect.”