Orchestra of New Spain Presents Epiphany Pastorela Concerts

The Orchestra of New Spain (ONS) will present its annual Epiphany community concerts at Saint Monica Catholic Church at 7 p.m. Jan. 11 and at St. Philip Apostle Catholic Church at 6 p.m. Jan. 8. 

Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. For more information, contact the ONS office at​​ 214-750-1492 or online.

The Epiphany program is a repeat of the Christmas Pastorela program as part of ONS outreach to Hispanic community churches. The concert brings to life a costumed and narrated version of the Mexican Pastorela, or Shepherds Play, featuring villancicos (carols) from 18th century Spain and Mexico. Among many composers represented, the best known are Spain’s Padre Antonio Soler and Mexico’s Juan Gutierrez de Padilla and Juan Garcia de Zéspedes.

The action on stage is a costumed musical retelling of the Shephards’ journey following the star to Bethlehem and the Nativity, accompanied with lively music (xacaras) and colorful stories all told through villancicos.

Artistic director Grover Wilkins brings his Spanish baroque period singers and instrumentalists to the altars of these two churches. Stage director Jendi Tarde is responsible for the re-imagining of the stories, authentic period costumes, staging and narration, as well as performing as soloist.“This concert season is named La Pastorela for the two programs that define it,” said Wilkins. “The first is this combined Christmas/Epiphany event introducing the concept of a Mexican Pastorela, to be followed in February with a flamenco influenced telling of the same story about the faith, featuring rhythmic Renaissance and Baroque music.”

Visit Orchestra of New Spain’s website here.

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