Sala Nezahualcoyotl
Special Event
Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble

Mexico City Tour: 2023

March 20 - 24, 2023

This event occurred as part of the 22/23 Hop Tour season. This is an archived view.

This spring, the Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble embarks on its long-awaited tour of Mexico City, serving as cultural ambassadors and advancing the goals of the Hop's Mexican Repertoire Initiative.

22/23 Hop Tour

The ensemble will perform new works by Mexican composers alongside the CECAMBA Banda Sinfónica and the Banda Sinfónica FaM UNAM in Puebla and Mexico City. In addition, the ensemble will hold reading and recording sessions during the trip. Watch a livestream of the Friday concert here >

Tour Schedule

Monday, March 20

ÓNIX concert, mural tour and reception

Tuesday, March 21

Concert at Teatro Principal, Puebla | Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble with CECAMBA

Wednesday, March 22

Reading Session | Dartmouth/NICO Composition Course

Thursday, March 23

Recording Session | UNAM and DCWE students on Hopkins Center commission of Mutante by Enrico Chapela

Friday, March 24

Concert at Sala Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico City | Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble with FaM UNAM Banda Sinfónica
Watch the livestream here >

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. 

Learn more >



Greetings from the President of Dartmouth College

Dartmouth's status as basecamp to the world has been demonstrated in many ways throughout the years. The prominence and diversity of arts at Dartmouth are central to this status. Now the Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble takes its turn center stage in this inaugural tour to Mexico. In collaboration with its counterparts at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in Mexico City, their concert features new works by esteemed Mexican composers commissioned in partnership with the Hopkins Center for the Arts, making this unprecedented experience possible while embodying the hope and cooperation that come from cross-cultural artistic experiences such as this. We are honored for these events to be included in the year-long binational celebration of the 200th anniversary of US-Mexico diplomatic relations.

Dartmouth fully embraces the important role of the arts in a Liberal Arts education—providing high quality training and experience for our scholar-artists, many of whom commit to rehearsals and practice on top of demanding academic coursework. Through this project, our students have an important opportunity to rehearse and perform with globally preeminent musicians, learn from conservatory faculty, and become ambassadors of diplomacy between our countries that will serve them for the rest of their lives. I hope this cultural exchange paves the way for more exciting collaborations in the future.

—Philip J. Hanlon
President of Dartmouth College

Greetings from the Director of the Hopkins Center

It is with tremendous gratitude that the Hopkins Center for the Arts and its musically ambitious Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble introduce you to the Dartmouth College Mexican Repertoire Initiative.  This project, dedicated to the creation of new works by Mexican composers, is committed to advancing opportunities for composers and musicians in the US and Mexico. Our goal is for this music to be more readily available, better known and more frequently performed across our continent. This inaugural tour of performances throughout the United States and Mexico features our first round of commissions, which you will hear on these programs.  We are grateful to Dr. Brian Messier, Director of the ensemble, and his colleagues for their research, scholarship and musicality. Together, they are bringing attention to this music and to the need for broader cultural representation in our performance repertoire.  

We look forward to creating more works in the future as these project partnerships continue to grow in Mexico as well as the US. Our collective student and professional musicians transcend all barriers through this joint initiative, coming together to perform music that helps us better understand each other and our many cultures. It is fitting that this series of events has been selected to participate in the bicentennial celebration of diplomatic relationships between our countries. May music continue to touch our hearts and bring us closer together.

—Mary Lou Aleskie
Howard Gilman '44 Executive Director Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth

Greetings from Banda Sinfónica FaM UNAM

On behalf of the Facultad de Música of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), I am excited and honored to be a part of this collaboration with Brian Messier and  Dartmouth College. Mexico and the United States both have a long and rich history of symphonic bands, but until now our nations have never worked together in this medium. It is incredible that now, the Mexican Repertoire Initiative at Dartmouth has joined two of the most important institutions from our respective countries in collective music making. Even more amazing is that we are coming together to make music by Mexican composers! Even within Mexico, symphonic bands rarely play music by Mexican composers. The care and commitment that Brian has shown to Mexican music is truly remarkable. I am proud to share in the spotlight that the Mexican Repertoire Initiative has shined so brightly on Mexican music, and my students of the Banda Sinfónica are proud to share the stage with their counterparts in the Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble. The work that the Mexican Repertoire Initiative is doing is important for us, important for Mexico, and important for the world. Thank you.

—Luis Manuel Sánchez
Director, Banda Sinfónica FaM UNAM

Greetings from CECAMBA Banda Sinfónica

Wind Bands (Wind Ensemble) can be defined as musical groups that have within their ranks musicians who primarily play wind and percussions instruments; some ensembles even include string instruments such as cellos and double basses.  However, these ensembles go beyond the limits of their instrumental makeup since, unlike other groups such as symphonic orchestras, these bands are all-terrain ensembles, so adaptable that they can play in virtually any condition.  Their music can be played in a concert hall (such as this magnificent theater) or they can play in so many diverse conditions: outdoors; in a kiosk or esplanade; standing or sitting; in a procession or a marching the cold; in the heat;  and even in the rain or snow. Its members can range from musicians in training to experienced performers. The music they can play is very diverse in types or genres, since their adaptability extends to their repertories, enabling them to adapt or create a range of music from classical or academic music (Mozart, Beethoven, Holst, Meij, etc.) to popular and regional music (jazz, Charleston, danzónes, sones, etc.) to brand new creations composed by living composers. These characteristics allow both the musicians who compose them and the repertoires they interpret to be vast and diverse. The encounter that is taking place tonight is an example of this richness of sound possibilities and collaborations in harmony (sonorous and logistical), between two groups located many kilometers or miles away, but who share a common restlessness or obsession: "The music of (the) wind(s)". The Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble and CECAMBA have prepared a program together, remotely and in person (today only!), created by extraordinary composers who have found in this group a sonorous tool, diverse in rhythms, colors and affections; characters, atmospheres and sounds, and which we hope will move you and make you fans, followers and lovers of the Bands. Please enjoy.

—David Pérez Olmedo
Artistic Director of CECAMBA

Greetings from NICO and the  composition course for Symphonic Bands

In an unparalleled act of musical diplomacy between Núcleo Integral de Composición (NICO), Centro de Investigación y Estudios Musicales (CIEM) and Dartmouth College, we have developed a composition course aimed to help students learn, understand and discover their love of music through a goal-oriented Wind Band composition curriculum. We strive for a model that balances fundamentals and discipline, while guiding the creative voice and musical needs of each individual. Dr. Brian Messier has been of paramount help in clarifying the characteristics and nuances that have advanced wind bands as an expressive musical medium, while providing a framework that allows each student to remain true to their authentic voice. On Tuesday, March 21, the first two premieres from this course will be presented at Teatro Principal, Puebla: Vals Carmelita by Adalberto Avalos Cruz, and Reencuentro by Natalia Quintanilla. These works are a collective triumph for our students, NICO, CIEM and Dartmouth.  On Wednesday, March 22, 3:30 pm in Xochipilli Hall at the Facultad de Música, we will also hold a reading session of 11 works from the course. Dr.  Brian Messier and the Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble, alongside Maestro Luis Manuel Sánchez and the Banda Sinfónica of the Facultad de Música de la Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM), will play through "in-progress" works with the composers present, providing real-time feedback. We are proud to present you, Enrico Chapela Barba and my two teaching colleagues, Professors Charles Daniel Torres and Edgar Merino, with this wonderful program that embodies collaborative arts in its fullest form. 

—Dr.  José Gurría-Cárdenas
Composition Professor 
Núcleo Integral de Composición

Letter from the Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble Director

Welcome and thank you for joining us in the Mexican Repertoire Initiative. This inaugural tour, and the music we are presenting, is the result of almost five years of work that began with an email exchange between Enrico Chapela Barba and myself in October 2018. That email turned out to be the seed that fell on  good soil. And here we are at the harvest. I have learned so much and have so much to learn; about Mexico, about music and about the world we live in. I have made connections who have become my partners in this work. I have been championed in this mission by the visionary leadership of the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth and by my friends, colleagues, brothers and sisters on both sides of the imaginary line that divides us. The itinerary for our week in Mexico is the overflowing cornucopia of the fruits of our labors: performances and recording and reading sessions of original, authentic Mexican music;  fellowship between students, directors, administrators and governments; a transcendence of borders made possible by the power of music and collaboration. The seeds of our initiative are blooming; join us in nurturing their growth.

—Dr. Brian Messier
Director, Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble



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Visiting Information

Puebla & Mexico City, Mexico

Av. 8 Ote. s/n, Centro histórico de Puebla
72000 Puebla, Pue., Mexico

Directions to Venue

Av. Insurgentes Sur 3000, C.U. Coyoacán, 04510
Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico

Directions to Venue