Rodríguez Moñino Choir

The IES Rodríguez Moñino choir began in the years 1995-1996 and 1996-1997 as the initiative of a number of pupils and the school music teacher, María José de Vega Elías. Its first activities were the Certamen de Villancicos which is organised every year by the Badajoz Local Council, and a choral meeting in the San José de Almendralejo church during the Christmas holidays. Its first pieces were renaissance carols like “Ay, linda amiga” or “Ay, triste que vengo” by Juan del Encina and the carols “Los peces en el río” and “La Buena Nueva”.

In 1999-2000 the IES Rodríguez Monino choir played a part in the birth of La Asociación de Directores de Coros Escolares de Extremadura, ADICOREDEX.

This association came about at the request of various school choir directors (among whom must be mentioned María Gago, first president and coordinator) that used to meet up to do joint music festivals. Its members agree to participate in the Christmas and spring festivals in Badajoz’s López de Ayala Theatre and to collaborate in proposed activities. In each of these festivals each choir sings two songs, in which the efforts of many primary and secondary schools come together to offer a musical spectacle thanks to the work of the directors during the school year.

ADICOREDEX was the first association of its kind in Spain. Nowadays its structure is followed throughout the country because we know that five minutes of music requires hours of practice over the course of many days during the school year. Without the coordination of many choirs these concerts would be very difficult to put on.

The evolution of the IES Rodríguez Moñino choir is most obvious during Badajoz’s Local Council’s Christmas competitions, and we were chosen to participate in the Grand Final for three years.

Being a part of this organisation has facilitated access to grants from numerous public institutions and help from private companies in order to record some of our music on CD, and some videos from the festivals in the López de Ayala.

Together with ADICOREDEX in Christmas 2000, ten pupils from the choir went on a trip to Vienna, invited by the city’s Council.

The following year another ten pupils went on a trip to Paris and put on a concert in the city’s Hogar Español.

We also have to mention the visits to Madrid (Lo + Plus, Beauty and the Beast, We will rock you…) and the trip to Salamanca to meet the choir of La Fuente de San Esteban school.

To complete the list of activities we need to mention the trips to various zones in the region (Guadalupe, Trujillo, Plasencia, Hervás, Puebla de Alcocer, etc.); the collaboration and participation in the Festivales de Villancicos de la Parroquia San Juan Macías, as of 2001, in which we get together with other secondary schools from the region; the participation in the Festival Iberico de Música in its rendition of Música en la Calle; and the performances in our school’s finales de curso (performed in the school itself in the CPR’s performance room, or in the Caja Extremadura Esteban Sánchez culture classroom in the Hernán Cortes University Residence.

The choir’s repertoire changes from year to year, depending on the qualities and abilities of its members, given that the choir’s make-up changes from year to year. Because of this we have performed themes in different styles, vocal or instrumental, a capella, mono or polyphonic, accompanied by the scholarly or classical instruments of those that are available. The whole choir participates in the arrangements, so that the recordings are a result of a group effort.

Teresa Barco (the school’s music teacher) and Sergio Fernández (in 2004-2005) have also participated in the running of the choir.

The IES Rodríguez Moñino choir is renewed every school year, and in Christmas 2006 had its 10th anniversary since its first appearance in Almendralejo’s Festival de Villancicos.

It’s also great to be able to mention that some of those first pupils now collaborate with us so that the current pupils can benefit from their experience.

Of all the activities carried out to commemorate this anniversary, the choir’s webpage (www.coromonino.es) stands out. It was created by Concha Corrales Isaac, and displays our most important activities and tries to form a link between all those who have participated in this great project in some way or another.

The support of the AMPA, of colleagues and of the school itself, represented by the boards of directors that we’ve had, have of course been invaluable to the project,  as has our workplace, the ‘Joaquín Oncins’ classroom. We hope that the pleasure we gain from working in this classroom is reflected in every piece of work that we do.

Thank you to all those who have made it possible.

María José de Vega Elías, Conductor of the IES Rodríguez Moñino choir in Badajoz.


Translated by Chris Harper

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