Miami Arts Studio 6 -12
@ Zelda Glazer
La Rumba Soy Yo!
Cindy Ellis, Director
Deborah Mar, Accompanist
Miami is a unique blend of Hispanic, Hatian, and American traditions. Today you will hear a celebration of our city, its rhythm, its people and their passion, creativity, and perseverance. In the process, we will celebrate not only aspects of the general culture, but also the individuals who have shaped us.
Kalinda - Sydney Guillaume
voiced for SSSSAAAA by Vania Junco
Twenty years ago, Sydney Guillaume, then an upperclassman in the composition program at the University of Miami, composed his premiere piece, Kalinda. Since that time, Sydney has gone on to become one of the foremost choral composers and Kalinda remains a popular choice for SATB choirs around the world.
With Sydney’s blessing, I asked an alumnus of this very ensemble to voice the well-known song for SSAA. Vania Junco, currently an upperclassman in the composition program at UM’s Frost School of Music (coincidence?), accepted the challenge and arranged the version we present to you today.
. . .
We are thrilled to feature our mentor Deborah Mar for the next two selections. Her impact on the vocal program at Miami Arts Studio has been immeasurable. Having started her career in January of 1977, Mrs. Mar is currently celebrating her 46th and final workiversary. Furthermore, she is one of this year’s recipient of the FMEA Secondary Educator of the Year Award.
Er Ist Gekommen -
In storm and rain;
My anxious heart
Beat against his.
How could I have known
That his path
Should unite itself with mine?
In storm and rain;
He took my heart.
Did he take mine?
Did I take his?
Both drew near to each other.
In storm and rain.
Now spring’s blessing
My friend journeys on,
I watch with good cheer,
For he shall be mine wherever he goes.
Where My Barefoot Walks -
I want to be where your bare foot walks;
I want to be where your bare foot walks,
Because maybe before you step you'll look at the ground.
I want that blessing.
I open and fill; I fill with love and all other objects evaporate.
All the learning in books stays put on the shelf.
Poetry, the dear words, images of song,
Comes down over me like water.
This is how I would die;
Into the love I have for you; the love I have for you.
As pieces of cloud dissolve in sunlight
This is how I would die
Into the love I have for you.
. . .
While Miami is rich in many things, it is also home to thousands who are impoverished, sick, struggling, and marginalized. Additionally, the choir members are first and second generation immigrants and have grown up listening to their parents and grandparents speak of intense struggle, perseverance, hope and joy as they recount their journey in search of a better life for their descendants.
We sing these next two pieces to give a voice to the voiceless and to honor our heritage and that of anyone seeking a life free from tyranny or bondage.
Hear My Prayer - Tobin Stokes
Hear my prayer, O Lord;
And let my crying come unto thee.
Now Let Me Fly - Traditional Spiritual -
arr. Stacey Gibbs
Some glad morning when this life is over, I'll fly away. Let me fly away to a home on God's celestial shore. Now let me fly to Mt. Zion, yes, Lord,
now let me fly.
Way down yonder in the middle of the field, see the angels workin' on the chariot wheel. I'm not so partic'lar 'bout the workin' of the wheel, but I just wanted to see how the chariot feel.
See that hypocrite on the street, good Lord, first thing he do is show his teeth, my Lord, and the next thing he do is to tell a lie, and the best thing to do is just pass him by.
I got a mother in the Promised Land, and I ain't gonna stop 'til I shake-a her hand. No, I'm not so partic'lar 'bout shaking her hand, Lord, I just want to meet her in the Promised Land.
Now let me fly to Mt. Zion, yes, Lord,
now let me fly.
. . .
La Rumba Soy Yo -
arr. Lazaro Alonso
We close with the world premiere of a traditional Cuban folk song arranged by Lazaro Alonso, featuring seniors Sherlyn Hernandez, Makaylee Diaz, and Jormilit Garcia.
An alumnus of Miami Arts Studio 6-12 at Zelda Glazer, Lazaro Alonso was the winner of the Florida Vocal Association Composition Competition in 2020. The winning piece, Sanctus, will be published later this year as part of the Brandon A. Boyd Choral Series.
. . .
Thank you to FMEA and the Florida Vocal Association for inviting us to perform, the MAS administration and MAS Vocal parents for their tireless support, and the incredible musicians that helped shape today’s program: Mrs. Deborah Mar, Mr. Ryan Ellis, Mrs. Jeannine Stemmer, Ms. Leslie Cartaya, Dr. Tim Brent, Dr. Jeffrey Redding, Dr. Jason Max Ferdinand, and Dr. Ed Calle.
. . .
BellArmonia is the premiere SSAA ensemble at Miami Arts Studio 6-12 @ Zelda Glazer, a performing arts magnet school located in western Miami-Dade County, Florida. This ensemble is entirely made up of Hispanic female-identifying students who are all first or second generation immigrants from Cuba, Central and South America. The school and the vocal program are predominantly Hispanic (95%) which parallels the community in which the school is situated. While students are exposed to a wide array of musical styles and time periods in their choral literature, the music of Miami is home for the vocal ensembles. Each time we travel to a new place we try to bring a piece of Miami with us by preparing repertoire in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole. Day by day, the MAS Vocal magnet strengthens both musically and as a family as we do our best to live into the following mission statement:
The MAS Vocal family consists of a united group of students, parents, alumni, teachers and administrators working toward our goal of building musical skills into performances that inspire our community, country and world. We provide a safe environment for expression using music from a variety of cultures, religions and time periods. In addition to being musically skilled, MAS Vocal students and alumni will be able to apply the value of hard work, community service, kindness and respect in their personal and professional lives.
In short, the goal is not to create professional musicians, but rather, kind, confident, passionate citizens who know what it is to be a part of something great, and who will reach for their full potential in any career they choose.
Victoria De La Luz
* 2023 All-State Sight-Reading Chorus
** 2023 All-State Concert Chorus
. . .
Cindy Ellis is a Cuban-American vocalist and music educator. She received her BM in Music Education with jazz voice from Florida International University and her Master's in Music Education from the University of Missouri. She has performed and conducted her choral ensembles in a variety of venues including Adrienne Arsht Center, New World Symphony Hall, Gusman Center, Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall. As a jazz solo artist, she is frequently featured in venues throughout South Florida. Additionally, Mrs. Ellis performs around the world as an alto with The Jason Max Ferdinand Singers.
Mrs. Ellis is one of two full-time choral directors at Miami Arts Studio,
a 6th-12th public performing arts magnet school in Miami, FL. In her 6 years at MAS, the vocal program has sent over 160 students to participate in Florida All-State Choirs and has earned only straight superior ratings at the annual Music Performance Assessment. In 2020, Mrs. Ellis was published as a contributing author on “Teaching with Heart,” and now is the instructional design editor for the second edition, "Teaching Beyond the Music," both available from GIA Publications.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools
The School Board of Miami-Dade County, Florida
Ms. Mari Tere Rojas, Chair
Ms. Lubby Navarro, Vice Chair
Dr. Steve Gallon III
Ms. Lucia Baez-Geller
Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall
Ms. Christi Fraga
Ms. Luisa Santos
Ms. Monica Colucci
Mr. Roberto J. Alonso
Mr. Danny Espino
Ms. Luisa Santos
Superintendent of Schools
Mr. Jose Dotres
South Region Office
Mr. Rafael Villalobos, Region Superintendent
Ms. Robin Atkins, Administrative Director
Mr. Manuel Garcia, Administrative Director
Ms. Lucy C. Iturrey, Administrative Director
Ms. Ana C. Othon, Administrative Director
Mr. Martin T. Reid, Administrative Director
Dr. Carlos Rios, Administrative Director
Miami Arts Studio 6-12
Dr. Miguel Balsera, Principal
Ms. Annie Diaz, Assistant Principal
Ms. Patricia Fleri, Assistant Principal
MAS Advisory Board
Dr. Maria De Armas, Chair
Ms. Cristina Guerra, Vice Chair
Ms. Mabel Morales, Secretary
Honorable Judge William Altfield
Ms. Beatriz Arango
Ms. Melba Brito
Dr. Ed Calle
Ms. Ana Maria Correa
Ms. Marta Concepcion
Dr. Sylvia Diaz
Mr. Alfredo Mesa
Honorable Dr. Marta Perez
Mr. Jorge A. Plasencia
Mr. Alex Rodriguez-Roig
Mr. Brian Schriner
Mr. Javier Alberto Soto
Ms. Marie Vickles