18 players, 5 chaperones, and marimba music was what one week was about for the Holy Cross/IHM Marimba Ensemble. The ensemble took off for a week long trip to Stone Mountain, Georgia and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. They were joined by the San Gabriel Mission Marimba Ensemble, a brand new ensemble with just one year of history, but also with a lot of aspirations to excel in their marimba group in San Gabriel, California. This week long trip brought many surprises for both groups.
The Ensembles were meant to meet the next day for a practice to make sure the music that would be played collaboratively would not present problems on concert days. The practice did not end up happening, and there was nervousness as to how the music would come out. On the first gig, the groups played making very little minor mistakes. The groups then resumed to play three perfect concerts despite not practicing once. It was a showcase of skill and hope that no obstacle will come across a great performance.
Both groups toured Ft, Lauderdale Florida’s oceanic views and went through a meditation day in Stone Mountain, Georgia where they visited the Martin Luther King Jr museum and climbed Stone Mountain. They finished their last concert in front of an energized crowd cheering for the music of both ensembles. Both ensembles were asked to share their dream to the crowd in Corpus Cristi Parish. 18 powerful dreams being said in person not only gives people thoughts of support, but makes them think of the power of youth and young leaders have.
Connections make life more beautiful. Some understand, and some are just discovering what these connections are all about. Sometimes, the reason for connections are unknown and take time to understand why. Although, why must it make sense? As long as there is happiness, maybe they don’t have to make sense. Both groups shared smiles as they went through this week long trip, why question happiness and instead relish the moment? It was a trip that showed the evolution not only of the Holy Cross/ Marimba Ensemble, but of two marimba ensembles and connections in life. These words were said last year as well, and that is that the future looks bright. Throughout everything, there is always more good than bad, no matter what the circumstance may be. Alone, you’re great, but connecting makes everything so much better.
The Marimba Ensemble will be performing at the 2014 Fiesta de Sol festival. The ensemble performs on Sunday, August 3rd. The Ensemble is expected to play at noon for about an hour before the mass begins. The mass will be a mass dedicated to Dreamers, undocumented students. Fiesta del Sol is open to the public and is located in the Pilsen neighborhood. The ensemble is happy to play this gig which is 3 days before their summer road trip to Florida and Georgia.
The Marimba Ensemble will be headed for Florida and Georgia as part of their 2014 Summer trip. The Ensemble will have three gig to keep them busy as they prepare to travel in August.
The group will perform in the Jazz Festival as part of the lineup. This event will also be a first for the Ensemble similar to Make Music Chicago. The Ensemble then performs for a fundraiser at the Shed Aquarium. The Ensemble has never performed at this venue as well. The Ensemble then performs for the Fiesta del Sol festival in Pilsen neighborhood on Sunday, August 3rd. Another first before the group heads for their road trip three days later. These three events are all in events the group has never played for, so the addition of these events certainly show that the future is bright for the ensemble as they continue to get invited to prestigious events.
The Holy Cross/IHM Marimba Ensemble kicked off their summer with a first time event. The annual Make Music Chicago, a one day music filled attraction across the city showcasing musicians, was going to cross paths with the Marimba Ensemble for the first time ever. The Holy Cross parish partnered with Rush Hour Concerts to create new music programs around the parish and help existing ones. The Marimba Ensemble was affected in the form of a spotlight in Make Music Chicago 2014. The Ensemble would be sharing the stage with the Third Coast Percussion and Sones de Mexico Ensemble. The ensemble had separate practices alongside these two ensembles to prepare for the concert on June 21st, the first day of Summer. The practices lasted for five months that included three collaborative pieces in which all three groups would take part in playing.
The event was outside of St. James Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Chicago. The ensemble was filled with excitement as they played two of their signature pieces and the collaborative pieces. One of the collaborative pieces was La Negra Tomasa, a song the ensemble plays that also has a lot of emotion for the ensemble members. Overall the concert proved to be a success and hinted a successful Summer for the Marimba Ensemble. This was the first of many events this summer for these young musicians.