Sergio González, tenor, sang Manuel Ponce’s Marchita el alma (The soul withers) as part of his first semester recital at Santa Ana College.

González was accompanied by Susan Dennis, who improvised the piano score at times.

The work was performed at the request of vocal instructor Eileen O’ Hern, whose students have performed a number of Ponce songs in the past including Estrellita, Cerca de ti, Por ti mujer and Cuiden su vida.

This Friday, José Eduardo Hernández performs Ponce’s Por ti mi corazón.

Marchita el alma begins at 2:15. The first song is Star vicino by 17th-century Italian composer, Salvator Rosa.

The Santa Ana College Music Department presents tenors Sergio González and José Eduardo Hernández this week as part of the Applied Music Student Recitals.

González performs Ponce’s Marchita el alma (The Soul Withers) as part of his recital on Tuesday, May 8 at 5:00 pm, and Hernández performs Ponce’s Por ti mi corazón (For You, My Heart) as part of his recital on Friday, May 11 at 12:30 pm.

Recitals are held in the Fine Arts Building room C-104 and are free to the public.

Reviews to follow.


Manuel María Ponce y Cuéllar (1882-1948) was one of Mexico’s greatest and most prolific composers. He is most widely known for his guitar compositions commissioned by the famed concert guitarist Andrés Segovia of Spain, but he left behind an important body of music for piano (a concerto, concert etudes, mazurkas, sonatas, rhapsodies), symphony orchestra, chamber ensembles and voice.

Santa Cecilia Orchestra Presents ‘Latinos Clásicos’


Every year Santa Cecilia Orchestra takes great pride in presenting the music of Latino classical music composers.


Santa Cecilia Orchestra (SCO) will once again celebrate the glory of Latin-infused classical music by hosting Latinos Clásicos, which will take place at Occidental College’s Thorne Hall in Los Angeles on Sunday April 29 at 4:00 p.m.

As the next concert celebration of Santa Cecilia Orchestra’s 19th season, conductor Sonia Marie De León de Vega will lead SCO’s 80-piece symphony orchestra that will feature the world premiere of Yalil Guerra’s Old Havana.

This sizzling concert’s bold color and atmosphere infused music will ignite passions in an orchestral performance that is sure to exhilarate and delight the audience, revealing the soul of Latin music, thrilling Latin rhythms and rich, exciting orchestration.

The concert performance will also feature Conga del Fuego Nuevo from Arturo Márquez and his  the Los Angeles premiere of Leyenda de Miliano; Astor Piazzolla’s Tangazo, Alberto Ginastera’s Dances from Estancia, Carlos Chávez’ Chapultepec.

SCO continues to fulfill its mission by sharing the beauty and inspiration of classical music with Southern California audiences, giving special focus to Latino communities.

There will be one performance only of this program.  Tickets priced at $26, $20 and $7 (youth, 17 and under) are available by calling the orchestra office at (323) 259-3011 or by visiting

About Santa Cecilia Orchestra

Under the leadership of Maestra Sonia Marie De Léon de Vega, Santa Cecilia Orchestra pays tribute to its extraordinary history on its 19th anniversary as the only orchestra in the nation with a specific mission to take classical music to the Latino community.  Media and speaking inquiries, please contact Lucía Matthews of DIÁLOGO at or for news, photos and biographies for conductor and soloists, visit

About Sonia Marie De Léon de Vega, founder of the Santa Cecilia Orchestra

Maestra Sonia Marie De Léon de Vega has achieved distinction as a Latina in a male-dominated occupation with extraordinary inspirational musical talent who has not only become world renowned for her skills on the podium as the music director and conductor but she has created her own organization—the Los Angeles-based Santa Cecilia Orchestra, which is the only orchestra in the nation with a specific mission to share classical music with the Latino communities.

Sonia is also celebrated in educational circles for creating “Discovering Music” in 1998, a two-year music education program that takes orchestra members into elementary schools in underserved Latino neighborhoods to introduce children to classical music and the instruments of the orchestra.  Discovering Music is currently offered in 18 elementary schools throughout Los Angeles and has touched the lives of more than 40,000 students in 35 schools through the power of music education.  Due to its success, Discovering Music has been expanded to include a string program that offers free violin lessons throughout the school year and a mentorship program in middle schools.

Under the leadership of De Leon de Vega, Santa Cecilia Orchestra and the Discovering Music program have attracted the sponsorship of noted foundations and institutions, including the Annenberg Foundation, the Weingart Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.  De Leon de Vega’s accomplishments have been recognized in a variety of organizations, including:

La Opinión:  Mujeres Destacadas Award in Art & Culture 2011.

National Latina Business Women Association-Los Angeles:  Inspirational Leader of the Year Award 2010.

KCET:  Local Hero Award 2006.

The Vatican:  She was the first woman in history to receive a Vatican invitation and conduct a symphony orchestra at a Papal Mass.

Hispanic Business Magazine:  Awarded 100 most influential Hispanics in the U.S. 2005.

Hispanic Business Magazine: named her in their 80 Elite Women list in 2005.

Senator Jack Scott and Assemblywoman Carol Liu:  Business Woman Of The Year in Arts And Entertainment 2005.

Latina Power by author Ana Nogales:  Ms. De Leon de Vega is profiled in the book, which was was released by Simon and Schuster in 2004.

Univision, Mervyns, and Target:  Named her Outstanding Latina of the Year in 2000.

Born in San Antonio, De Leon de Vega is the daughter of actress/producer Sonia De Leon and singer/guitarist Reynaldo Sanchez. At the age of four De Leon de Vega moved to Los Angeles, California, where she was raised and began her musical training becoming an accomplished pianist and organist.  While always distinguishing herself academically her graduate studies led her to love and specialize in conducting studies with Dr. David Buck.  She also trained at the Herbert Blomstedt International Institute for Instrumental Conductors and at various American Symphony Orchestra League workshops with Otto Werner Mueller, Maurice Abravanel, Pierre Boulez, Andre Previn, Zubin Metha and Ricardo Muti.  De Leon de Vega has been a guest conductor for many orchestras and opera companies and has developed concerts and children’s music workshops for the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of Los Angeles.

SANTA ANA, CA. On Saturday September 17th, 2011 I performed a set of classical guitar music by the Mexican composers Manuel M. Ponce and Julio César Oliva as part of the annual Fiestas Patrias held in downtown Santa Ana. This was the first time that the marketing entity Downtown Inc sponsored a display of Mexican arts and crafts in the Artists Village, they called the event the Mexican Artisan Fair. I also performed an original composition of mine, Oliviana, an hommage to J.C. Oliva.

My recital set was as follows:

Tres canciones populares mexicanas (Manuel M. Ponce)

I. La pajarera

II. Por ti mi corazón

III. La valentina

Scherzino maya (Ponce)

Estrellita (Ponce)

Mi ciudad (arr. Julio César Oliva)

Oliviana: Homenaje a Julio César Oliva (Omar Ávalos)

Esta es una entrevista que me concedió la compositora Ana Lara en el 2009, después de haberla conocido en Segerstrom Art Center.

Ana Lara:
Querido Omar:

Muchísimas gracias por tu interés y tu memoria. Me siento muy halagada.

Te respondo debajo de tus preguntas.



—–Mensaje Original—–

De: O. Ian Ávalos <>


Enviado: Mie, 17 Jun 2009 8:52 pm

Asunto: Algunas preguntas


Omar Ávalos:

Hola estimada Ana Lara,

Soy Omar Ávalos, te conocí en el estreno munidal de Altre Lontananze en Costa Mesa el jueves pasado. He seguido tu trayectoria por unos años. Estuve en el estreno de otra obra tuya, en Long Beach, con la Sinfónica de Long Beach y Enrique Diemecke. También tuve la oportunidad de presenciar tu obra “Angels of Darkness and Light” con la Sinfónica del Pacífico y Carl St. Clair en el 2007.

Creo haber leído una entrevista contigo en un artículo, “Cinco compositoras mexicanas” o en el libro Visiones Sonoras, no recuerdo exactamente.

Bueno, hablando de entrevistas, quize hacerte unas preguntas. Gracias de antemano por responder.


1. En tu obra Altre Lontananze, escuché influencias de Edgard Varèse o de Krzysztof Penderecki. ¿Cuáles compositores han influenciado tu obra en tus propias palabras?


Como seguramente sabes, yo estudié en Polonia de 1986 a 1989 así es que hay una cierta influencia polaca tanto de Penderecki como de Lustoslawski aunque yo no la siento tan evidente en Altre Lontananze sin duda lo son en otras obras como La Víspera o Ángeles de Llama y hielo que tú escuchaste.

Tengo muchas otras influencias que van cambiando a lo largo del tiempo pero me siento muy cerca de compositores italianos como Scelsi o Sciarrino en cuanto a su búsqueda tímbrica. En Altre Lontananze hay también influencia de Bach…

2. A veces se oye hablar de “dos Méxicos” o “el otro México” cuando se refiere a la abundante población mexicana en Estados Unidos. ¿Te gustaría difundir tu obra más entre esta población?


Por supuesto. A través de mi trabajo he descubierto que hay una relación muy cercana entre mi música y los mexicanos en Estados Unidos, me siento muy bien escuchada. Yo creo que la música es una manera muy importante de comunicación y siempre me siento agradecida cuando alguien entra en resonancia con lo que quiero decir musicalmente. Poder tocar el alma de otra persona, comunicarse a través del sonido me parece un milagro.


3. Una última pregunta, ¿Cómo crees que se podría difundir más tu obra, y las obras de otros compositores mexicanos, entre la población mexicana radicada en EEUU?


Afortunadamente hay muchos festivales que incluyen música mexicana en muchas partes de los Estados Unidos. Creo que con la llegada de Dudamel a LA Philharmonic tendremos un nuevo espacio para que se conozca no sólo la música mexicana sino la latinoamericana también. La música requiere tiempo no sólo para ser escuchada, sino también para que tome su lugar en el repertorio. Creo que cada vez se escucha más la música nuestra en los Estados Unidos y estoy segura que irá aumentando. Está también la posibilidad de conocer la música de autores mexicanos a través de internet. Yo diría que casi todos tenemos páginas en internet en donde se puede escuchar nuestra música.

Espero haber contestado bien a tus preguntas

Mil gracias a ti por tu interés


Ana Lara, compositora mexicana