Dear friend,

Welcome to the last week of January! Today we share with you a short piece by Rafael Hernández Marín (1892-1965), a composer from Puetro Rico who specialized in Puetro Rican styles such as the canción, bolero and guaracha. We came across this string quartet arrangement of "El Cumbanchero" through a happenstance of worldwide meetings. Our director, Kevin Bishop, worked in Afghanistan with Colombian conductor, composer, and musician Camilo Jauregui. A few years later they made music together in Bogotá, Colombia, and a few years after that Camilo moved to Pittsburgh. In Pittsburgh he helped found a Latin American chamber orchestra called Camerata 33. Cuatro Puntos planned a 2020 concert project with Camerata 33 in Connecticut, but the pandemic had other ideas. Nonetheless, our musicians took the opportunity to play some of the arrangements suggested by Camilo and his colleagues. Please enjoy today's premiere of El Cumbanchero by Rafael Hernández Marín.

Did you miss last week's premiere?

1/17/22 Today we wake up to start the third week of 2022, remembering the contributions and bravery of Martin Luther King Jr. The campaign he ignited against oppression and violence continues, as relevant today as in 1963. Today even our school children face violence in many forms, and this violence- even the very fear of it- takes a psychological toll. It shapes their upbringing and development.

In 2021, Cuatro Puntos partnered with the National Campaign To Stop Violence (Do The Write Thing), a national organization that helps children heal from violence of all types by challenging them to write about it. Each year over 90,000 middle school students across the USA write essays, and 50 make it into a book in the Library of Congress. Cuatro Puntos Ensemble members wrote new music in response to excerpts from these essays.

Today we share with you an essay by Delilah, a middle school scholar from Palm Beach County, Florida. In today's video you'll hear her read a poignant excerpt from her essay about staying alive at school, about what she feels it would be like to have an active shooter in her school, and what she would do to say goodbye if such a moment occurred. Following her excerpt is a new composition written by Ameen Mokdad, performed by Cuatro Puntos Ensemble, in an attempt to incapsulate the fear and nostalgia in such a moment.