martes, 15 de febrero de 2011

Concert featuring Waco composer's work honors life of slain archbishop


By Carl Hoover Tribune-Herald entertainment editor
Thursday March 25, 2010

“Requiem, Las Lamentaciones de Rufina Amaya” and other works


By Carlos Colon-Quintana and Brothers and Sisters In Christ
Performance: 7 p.m. Sunday at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 1011 Boston St.
Admission: Free.
The Sunday night performance at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church honors the memory of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero on the 30th anniversary of his assassination, but the evening’s musicians have more immediate memories behind their performance.
For them, the concert will recall emotional performances earlier this month in El Salvador, including one at Romero’s tomb and another at a church with a membership touched by the bloodshed of El Salvador’s brutal civil war in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Waco composer and native El Salvadoran Carlos Colon-Quintana and members of the ensemble Brothers and Sisters In Christ (BASIC) will sing and play a musical program that recalls that war during which Romero, an outspoken opponent of the government, was shot to death while celebrating mass.
Colon fled his homeland to neighboring Guatemala when he was 14, eventually making his way to the United States where he attended college and where he and his wife Susan have raised their children.
He wrote “Requiem, Las Lamentaciones de Rufina Amaya” as a memorial to the sole surviving villager of the 1981 massacre of El Mozote, Rufina Amaya. Amaya dedicated her life to making public the killings that took place at the hands of government troops, despite official denials, and her testimony led to a United Nations investigation that largely confirmed her report.
The Waco composer, who has a YouTube channel with videos of his works, debuted the first draft of his work in 2008 at Baylor University’s Armstrong Browning Library. Since then, it’s been performed by the Dallas-based The Texas Voices and the National Opera of El Salvador.

Waco composer Carlos Colon-Quintana, whose “Requiem, Las Lamentaciones de Rufina Amaya” will be sung at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on Sunday night, was in El Salvador earlier this week to perform “Obertura Para Un Martir,” commissioned by the country’s president and first lady.
Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald
BASIC, a 17-voiceensemble consisting of singers from Central United Methodist Church supplemented by singers from Central Presbyterian Church and Austin Avenue Methodist Church, had sung Colon’s works in the past, a relationship that started with CUMC worship and music minister Karen Hogue and Colon, who both have children attending Live OakClassical School.
Colon had asked the group to accompany him during a return trip earlier this month to his homeland and to his delighted surprise, members agreed and raised the money needed for their trip.
They performed at the National Cathedral, singing at the side of Romero’s sarcophagus in the cathedral, as well as a Baptist church in the city Santa Ana.
Colon found himself surprised by emotion at Romero’s tomb when he discovered a family member killed in the civil war had been entombed nearby. The most moving performance, however, occurred at the Baptist church where the group’s performance of “Las Lamentaciones” triggered widespread weeping throughout the congregation.
Colon, a member of Waco’s Dayspring Baptist Church, recalled the church’s pastor informed the Americans that his church had lost 27 members to the killing during the war. The pastor himself had lost a brother, but added he believed God had used the performance to heal old wounds.
“That was a powerful moment of forgiveness and healing,” Colon recalled. “I think it showed us people can be close even when governments are not . . . That moment transcended all politics.”
BASIC members were anxious how they would be received, given that reporting at that time indicated the troops at the El Mozote massacre had been American-trained and used American-made weapons, but were overwhelmed by the church members’ acceptance, Hogue said.
“We felt we went to help people heal, but we came back the ones completely changed,” she said.
Sunday’s program includes “Las Lamentaciones,” a piece Colon composed in memory of Romero and the priests killed during the war, and Lenten music for Palm Sunday and Holy Week.
choover@wacotrib.com