Within the Spanish Community of Wallingford, there is a music school. Initially, known as The Escuela Guadalupana de Música, the music school was founded in 2008 by Evangeline Mendoza Bourgeois. In 2010, the Academy was invited to come under the auspices of the Spanish Community of Wallingford where it has grown to its maximum capacity of fifty students.
The music school provides training in music to children aged 7 to 17. The children receive classical music instruction learning to play musical instruments and singing lessons in Spanish. The seven-year-old begin by singing traditional folk music in Spanish and learning basic rhythm. At age 8 the children choose one of three instruments to study: guitar, violin and piano.
In 2012, a collaboration between the Spanish Community of Wallingford music school and a Student Volunteer Organization at Choate Rosemary Hall, Teach Music, was created. The Choate students provide weekly instrumental lessons in violin, guitar, and recorder to forty students aged six to eleven. Since then, students and their tutors have joined forces and presented recitals at SCOW and Choate.
Students can also join the folk dancing program and participate in different Folklore dance concerts statewide. The purpose of this instruction is to enhance the appreciation by the students of their heritage and culture. The instructor is Julieta Rodriguez.
SCOW’s Music School has performed in recitals and concerts in multiple venues and events such as Celebrate Wallingford, Peabody Museum at Yale and the University of Connecticut, Stors campus.
It is the mission of the school to strengthen the children’s knowledge and appreciation of their heritage through its music and to bring awareness of this culture to the greater community.
Photograph courtesy of Ray Ross Photography.