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Erin Jennings
IU Auditorium

Last modified: Thursday, October 20, 2011

Schola Cantorum de Venezuela to debut in Bloomington

WHAT: Schola Cantorum de Venezuela
WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 1, 8 p.m.
WHERE: IU Auditorium
TICKETS: $13-$19 for IU Bloomington students with a valid ID and $23-$28 for general public, on sale now. Individual tickets may be purchased online at, in person at the IU Auditorium Box Office, as well as through, all Ticketmaster outlets, or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. The IU Auditorium Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Oct. 20, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Grammy-nominated Latin American chorus Schola Cantorum de Venzuela will make its debut in Bloomington at IU Auditorium on Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 8 p.m.

The ensemble's diverse repertoire comprises hymns, motets and popular Latin American tunes. For the Bloomington performance, titled "Aqua and Fiesta," the chorus will utilize both a capella and instrumental accompaniments, including piano, handbells, guitars, and percussion, to diversify and enhance its performance.

"As Bloomington is such a strong supporter of world music, we are pleased to bring the finest Venezuelan chorus to the Auditorium," director Doug Booher said. "The audience will not only be entertained and inspired by their music, but they will be uplifted in knowing that they are helping contribute to the public good through the group's artistic vision of using music to lift families, including many of their performers, out of poverty."

With the intention of cultivating choral performance in Venezuela, a group of music professors and students formed Schola Cantorum de Caracas in 1967, directed by Alberto Grau. Today the chorus is known as Schola Cantorum de Venezuela, and it performs renditions of pieces from the English, French, Italian and Spanish Renaissances, as well as contemporary Venezuelan and international music.

In 2000, the chorus commemorated Bach with the piece "The Passion of Saint Mark" in the European Music Festival, which led to a Grammy nomination and a Latin Grammy nomination in 2002, both for Best Vocal Performance. A new recording was released in 2010, and Schola Cantorum de Venezuela was awarded Best Recording of the Year for a Musical Group in the Echo Klassic Awards, Germany's classical music awards.

In 1974, after winning first prize at the 22nd Guido d'Arezzo International Polyphonic Competition, the Fundación Schola Cantorum de Caracas was founded. This nonprofit organization nurtures the mixed voices of kids, adolescents and adults to form some of the best choral music in the world today. As a passion project, the current artistic director, Maria Guinand, and her husband, Grau, teach choral music to children living in the poorest districts of South America, helping the kids to find their voices through song -- then taking them on concert tours as performers. To showcase this talent, Schola Cantorum has performed at prestigious music festivals and in some of the most renowned music halls from Vienna's Musikverein to New York's Lincoln Center. The ensemble features compositions that include pieces by Beethoven and Bernstein, Vivaldi and Verdi, Grau and (Alejandro) Guarello.

Before the performance, there will be a special pre-show talk given by Carmen Helena Téllez, director of Graduate Choral Studies and director of the Latin American Music Center at the Jacobs School of Music, on the musical repertoire and influence of Schola Cantorum de Venezuela on music, especially in their home country. The talk will take place in the Neal-Marshall Grand Hall at 6:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

For more information on Schola Cantorum de Venezuela and the rest of the 2011-2012 season, visit The website features video clips and a selection of songs from this season's performances, in addition to a direct link to the IU Auditorium Facebook Fan Page and Twitter page, whose members receive exclusive benefits throughout the year.

Schola Cantorum de Venezuela is sponsored by Bloomington Cleaners. The IU Auditorium 2011-2012 season is present by Curry Auto Center, B97, The Herald-Times, Indiana University Document Service Center and Indiana University Residential Programs and Services.