Dia de los Muertos Concert Begins Holiday Weekend at CCHS

With beautifully decorated ofrendas at both ends of the lobby of the Robert Frost Auditorium, the holiday weekend began at Culver city High School with a concert for Dia de los Muetros – the Day of the Dead. On Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, student group La Fuerza worked with Self-Help Graphics to create festivities outside the Frost, keeping everything COVID-safe and Autumn cool. 

The evening was both unique and traditional. Tables were busy with students and youngsters making art – the traditional paper flowers and paper-mache skulls – and the scent of chocolate and chili filled the air with a distinctly Southern California aroma.

Día de Los Muertos, celebrated on November 1 and 2, originated in Mexico, and is mostly honored by Mexicans and Mexican culture. But CCHS La Fuerza co-president Alva Navas said the altar the group is creating with AVPA Art is designed to represent different ways people celebrate in all countries.
 
Hallmarks of community altars include framed photos of the deceased to whom the altar is dedicated, usually positioned in a prime spot on the altar. Papel picado also play a prominent role. These are tissue paper banners with cut out designs of animated skeleton figures that symbolize the wind, one of the elements of life. Sugar skulls, paper marigolds, photos, shoebox altars are also components of the community creation.

The Academy of Visual and Performing Arts opened with the Jazz Combo in a brief performance, followed by the main concert. Dr. Tony Spano conducted, leading the orchestra, jazz ensemble and concert band through “Dia de los Muertos” by Richard Meyer, “Zacatecas March” by Genaro Codina, “Danza de mi Corazon” by Steven L. Rosenhaus, and of course, “Music from Coco” by Michael Giacchino. 

Judith Martin-Straw

 

 

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