Mexican Composer Incubation Project

Mexican Composer Incubation Coalition

The overwhelming majority of band and orchestra titles representing Mexico are stereotypical, reductive and inauthentic. Mexico's musical culture is rich, diverse, and beautiful. 

The project is a partnership with composer and teacher, Enrico Chapela and his composition school, NICO (Núcleo Integral de Composición). NICO will offer a year-long Spanish-language composition course for composers in Mexico and greater Latin America. The purpose of the course is to teach Mexican and Latin American composers how to compose for US-style wind bands, as this is not a genre that is commonplace or standardized in Latin America. As part of the Mexican Repertoire Initiative at Dartmouth, the project aims to:

  • provide guidance, opportunity, and feedback to Latin American composers.
  • create a body of work for US band directors that will allow them to better represent

The Coalition

We have assembled a coalition of US and international wind bands committed to providing feedback and reference recordings for each of these works. Faculty include: Frank Ticheli, Arturo Márquez, Gabriela Ortiz, Thomas Verrier, Enrico Chapela, Juan Pablo Contreras, Charly Daniels Torres, Giovanni Santos

To join the coalition, contact Dr. Brian Messier, Director of Bands at Dartmouth College

The Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble will read a collection of the "grade 2" works from this course on March 22, 2023 as part of our Mexican tour at Xochipilli Hall, UNAM Facultad de Musica. 

Mexico has a large, thriving, classical music scene that has been largely ignored by the United States. Mexico City, the largest city in our hemisphere, is a cosmopolitan metropolis with several professional orchestras, conservatories, and many young talented composers looking for opportunities. The untapped potential is unfathomable. The next masterwork awaits. 

Within our borders, Mexican, Mexican-American, and Latinx populations are growing. Currently, Mexicans are the largest minority population in the United States, and by 2050, Latinx students will make up the majority of students in US schools. This population is not being represented in our programming. In part because a significant body of repertoire by Mexican composers does not yet exist, and in part because works by Mexican and Latinx composers have been largely excluded from Prescribed Music Lists.

Mexican Repertoire Initiative at Dartmouth

Part of the Mexican Repertoire Initiative at Dartmouth

An ongoing commitment to bringing Mexican repertoire to the international stage, providing opportunities for Mexican composers, and combating institutionalized racism in educational and professional performing ensembles.

Bentley Fellows Mexico City Trip

30+ Composers

Over thirty Latin American composers have enrolled to write 2-3 works for US wind bands. These works will be of varying levels: Grade 2, Grade 4, and Open (difficulty at the composer's discretion).

About the Project