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Camerata Del Sol performs April 16 at NMSU with free admission


Camerata Del Sol (CDS), the chamber orchestra serving El Paso and Las Cruces, will perform a free concert titled “The Unravelling Universe,” featuring works ranging from the 19th-century Romantic repertoire to works recently created by living American composers.

The concert is at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 16, at Atkinson Recital Hall in the New Mexico State University Music Building, 1075 N. Horseshoe St. on campus, the orchestra said in a news release.

In its fifth year of programming, CDS will bring back its largest configuration, a 16-piece string orchestra, for the first time since February 2022 when the ensemble received an award from the National Endowment for the Arts to perform music by Baroque women composers, CDS said.

CDS will open the concert with “Italian Serenade for Strings” by Hugo Wolf.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to perform this little gem of a late Romantic work by Hugo Wolf, CDS Artistic Director Daniel Vega-Albela said. “The piece is so full of joie de vivre, so bright and infectiously hopeful that it has become one of the most popular staples of the string quartet and string orchestra repertoire.”

The program also includes the local premiere of “Tenebrae,” by Osvaldo Golijov. With a title that is Latin for “darkness,” the Argentinian born Jewish composer conceived this piece as a meditation on the dichotomy of the beauty of Earth as seen from outer space and the pain and suffering contained within it as we approach its surface, the news release said.

Third in the program is a song cycle by Dominic Dousa, Ph.D., an El Paso composer and professor of music theory and composition at UTEP.

“Through the Refining Fire” is “a musical setting of works from the 1920s by three African American poets,” Dousa said. “The set opens with a selection from ‘I Must Share That Rung With You’ by El Paso poet Bernice Love Wiggins. The poem’s text is a buoyant and optimistic exhortation for those in the African American community to rise up and share their rightful place in society.”

The other poems in Dousa’s piece were composed by literary figures closely associated with the

Harlem Renaissance, CDS said.

The vocal part of Dousa’s piece will be performed by tenor John Carlo Pierce.

Pierce “enjoys an international reputation for beautiful sound and incisive acting,” CDS said. “As an operatic tenor, he held contracted positions with the opera theaters in the German cities of Cologne and Mainz and has appeared on stages and concert platforms in North and South America, China, and across Western Europe.”

To close the program, CDS will invite NMSU and El Paso Community College music students and high school students from the Las Cruces Symphony Youth Orchestra and El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestra to join them for a performance of Edvard Grieg’s “Holberg Suite.”

“I hope this will be the first of many more collaborations of this type,” Vega-Albela said. “As a professional training ensemble, this effort is very much in line with our mission within the musical community of Las Cruces and El Paso.”

Visit cameratadelsol.org/