Orquesta  Sabor Latino de los Hermanos Alvarez and La Orquesta Juvenil will perform on Saturday, October 14  at 7pm at the Charlie Chaplin Auditorium of St. Augustine College (SAC) located at 1345 W. Argyle. The event will launch a new alliance between St. Augustine College and the National Association of Latin American Music (ANMLA by their initials in Spanish), and introduce SAC’s new Cultural Committee and its Cultural Calendar for the Academic Year 2017-2018. 

 Alliance between SAC and ANMLA 

This alliance will offer free music classes to children 10 to 18 years of age from teachers and musicians from Orquesta  Sabor Latino de los Hermanos Alvarez and Orquesta Juvenil. 

“The ANMLA message to Chicago’s youth is to maintain their cultural identity, to preserve and to cultivate our traditional music. Youth has a limited concept of Latin music about what they listen on the radio stations; there are a variety of styles and rhythms that are not known and that is what we spread. Latin America is rich in tradition and culture and therefore our motto is ‘Breaking barriers, uniting flags’ because we want the young people of today to take pride in their country of origin of which they have ancestry, ” said Jaime Alvarez, president of the ANMLA. 

ANMLA, a non-profit organization, believes that the preservation of Latin American music is culturally vital. Its efforts include a wide range of music related projects around Chicago which serve as a way to revitalize and introduce Latin American big band music to a new generation. One such endeavor, The “Las Americas” Academy, provides free music education to the underprivileged youth of the Chicagoland area. Students ages 10-18 are taught to play an instrument used within the Latin American Music Orchestra, how to read music, and perform with other students or experienced musicians from the Orchestra. 

SAC Cultural Committee 

This new initiative seeks to promote and spread Latin American culture in all its forms such as music, poetry, theater, cinema, etc. SAC’s Cultural Committee has developed a Cultural Calendar for the Academic Year 2017-18 that will be formally presented at this event. 

 The Committee members are: Elena Voltchek (Director of the Department of Language, Literature and Humanities), Alejandro Ferrer (Assistant Professor), and Erika Doyle (Adjunct Faculty). 

Elena Voltchek, who was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, graduated from the Herzen State Pedagogical University and came to Chicago in 1990. She has been teaching in Saint Augustine College since 1995. Besides teaching and doing administrative work, Elena has been involved in organizing and promoting cultural events in the Hispanic community of Chicago. Among other projects, she was an active member of el Colectivo El Pozo doing translations, revising texts, designing and painting stages on top of being in charge of supertitles from Spanish into English. She worked on the production of the following plays: El Camino al Ahorita, Los Carralejas, El Coljan, The Inexplicable Pastrana, Los Incas. 

Alejandro Ferrer, Assistant Professor, Spanish Coordinator, at St. Augustine College, Chicago. Award winner fictional short stories, Painter and Cinematographer. Born in Chile (Patagonia), living in the USA since 1977. Master Degree in Arts with a concentration in Latin American Literature. Further graduate studies in Children Literature, Spain; Graduate studies in Mexican Anthropology in Oaxaca, Templo Mayor Mex. DF.  

Erika Doyle, was born and raised in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is a visual artist, cultural promoter and a writer. She emigrated from Argentina to Chicago in 2000.  Doyle is an Adjunct Faculty instructor at St. Augustine College. In addition to painting, Doyle founded a literary workshop in Spanish known as  Café y Literatura entre Nosotros, a creative writing and artistic society from which an online magazine was born: Surco. Doyle’s educational background includes a BA in Political Science and a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University. 

BY EDUARDO ALEGRIA
ENGLISH VERSION EDITED BY ALEJANDRO RIERA