Until the early 1960s, Roman Catholics all over the world celebrated mass only in Latin. But with the Second Vatican Council, churches began to use translations of the mass in their own language, and from this revolution came an explosion of traditional texts translated and then set to music in the tradition of each and every country and community.

Misa Criolla was written by Argentine composer, Ariel Ramirez, in 1964 and immediately gained popularity and was widely performed. It is quite a jam, so I recommend listening along to the entire thing while you enjoy this blog post 🙂

One has to wonder if the full mass, or more of it, will be performed at the All State Mixed Choir concert… stay tuned!

We are so thrilled to have a good Spanish piece on the program after a long while without. However, we have been trying to be very careful in teaching the Spanish pronunciation to our students, since there are so many native speakers around (we are not!) and Spanish diction is not something we studied as extensively (sadly) as French, German, and Italian. So we are referring to this guide when we teach it to our students. Big ups to Matthew Valverde (Native Texan, TCU alum, and Professor at Adams State University) for letting us share this wonderful resource!

Road Map

One of the most confusing things about this piece is all the page turning, particularly the first couple of repeats. Here’s a little road map:

  • After singing page 3 and 4, proceed to the 1st ending and then turn back to page 3
  • On the second time through, proceed to the 2nd ending and on to the first ending on page 6
  • **Turn all the way back to page 3 at the repeat sign and proceed to the first ending on page 4.
  • Turn back one more time to page 3 and sing the second ending on page 4
  • Proceed all the way through page 6 and take the second ending.

After this, the repeat at the end of the piece is a piece of cake. Simply turn back to page 12 after singing the first ending on page 13. When you get to page 13 again, sing the second ending and proceed.

Notice that the practice track cuts out the instrumental bits on page 10 & 11 and resumes with a pick up to page 12.

Rhythm

Maybe I’m the only one, but I plan on being a complete stickler for rhythm in this piece, because I believe a composer makes these decisions on purpose. I want to hear the difference between 8th note/16th note rhythm and triplets! (see the top of page 5 for reference.) Be the person who does this right and you’ll score major points, at least with me!

Spend lots of time just speaking these words with accurate rhythm and make sure you mark any sticky places.

A few more notes:

  • Use caution when highlighting. The soloist is on top
  • The three part split is always SSA. Remember to look for your words above the staff! Also, notice the missing dot on the top of page 16, the rhythm should match the soloist

Happy Practicing!

~Natalie