Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Pope Visit: Music Groups, Selections Announced

The World Meeting of Families –Philadelphia 2015 today announced that The Philly POPS Festival Brass will perform “Fanfare for the Common Man,” as Pope Francis arrives on stage at Independence Hall for his highly anticipated address on immigration and religious liberty on Saturday, September 26. 

 The classic “Fanfare for the Common Man” was written in 1942 for the Cincinnati Symphony by legendary American composer Aaron Copland, whose parents were Jewish immigrants from Lithuania.

“There was no better choice than to have The Philly POPS Festival Brass perform at this singular moment of anticipation and excitement for the City,” said Donna Crilley Farrell, Executive Director of the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015. “Set against the backdrop of Independence Hall, the joyful sounds of this quintet will surely delight audiences and set the right tone as the Holy Father prepares to address two of the most important issues being discussed in the world today.”

In addition to The Philly POPS Festival Brass, the World Meeting of Families also announced the eight performance groups who will be part of pre-programming at Independence Hall in advance of Pope Francis’ remarks to an expected crowd of 30,000. Pre-programming will begin at 12:30 p.m. EST. Reflecting the immigrant heritage and cultural diversity of the City of Philadelphia, these performers include:

El Mariachi Flores

A regionally-based mariachi band with roots in Mexico City, Mexico, El Mariachi Flores has entertained numerous audiences throughout this region for more than a quarter century, including audiences in which Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Archbishop Charles J. Chaput have been present. A sextet, complete with vihuela and guitarron, El Mariachi Flores performs varied musical styles, from bolero to son jaliscense.

Kùlú Mèlé African Dance and Drum Ensemble

Inspired by the voices of its ancestors, Kùlú Mèlé African Dance and Drum Ensemble preserves, presents and builds upon the dance and music of Africa and the African Diaspora. As a roster artist for the Pennsylvania Performing Artists on Tour (PennPAT), Kùlú Mèlé tours regionally and nationally, and has performed at the Folk Life Festival in the Virgin Islands and the XXII Caribbean Festival in Cuba.

Mystic Warriors

Celebrating Andean music, which has its deep roots in South America and is often seen as part of the defining cultural legacy of the Incan empire, Mystic Warriors powerfully brings to life the well-known flutes and panpipes while also integrating more contemporary instruments. In performances, audiences often cite its global appeal but also remark that aspects of this peaceful music are reminiscent of Latin music, jazz and even mainstream music.

Pablo Batista and the Mambo Syndicate

The 2015 recipient of the PEW Center for Arts and Heritage Award, Pablo Batista is a Philadelphia native who has contributed to three Grammy-award winning albums during his 31 year career as a percussionist. Having worked with jazz legend Grover Washington Jr., Jeffrey Osborne, Diane Reeves, Teddy Pendergrass and Alicia Keys, Pablo Batista – with his Mambo Syndicate, an eleven piece band – will perform rhythmic upbeat salsa music sure to electrify the crowd!

Philadelphia Argentine Tango School

Founded by Andres Amarilla & Meredith Klein (also Director), The Philadelphia Argentine Tango School will celebrate the Pope Francis’ favorite dance with an energetic performance prior to his arrival on the Mall. In October 2009, the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School established a permanent studio in the resurgent Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia. Since then, Mr. Amarilla and Ms. Keith have been enthusiastically collaborating with other local arts and development organizations to help build a robust Frankford Avenue Arts Corridor in which “The Tango” plays a special role.

Polish American Cultural Center

Polish heritage is quite strong in Philadelphia but perhaps nowhere is that heritage more proud or thriving than within the Port Richmond neighborhood and Saint Adalbert’s Catholic Church at which two Sunday Masses are still celebrated in the Polish language. A group of 20 students, ages 10 – 16, who attend St. Adalbert's Polish Language School will represent the Polish American Cultural Center by performing traditional Polish dances in advance of the Holy Father’s arrival at Independence Hall.

Tibetan Association of Philadelphia

In advance of the Dalai Lama’s visit to Philadelphia in October 2015, the Tibetan Association of Philadelphia will participate in pre-programming Independence Hall to highlight its commitment to love, compassion and kindness. Performing authentic Tibetan dances, the Association will represent its important and universal mission of promoting the principle of non-violence through its culture, tradition and language.

Vietnamese Fan Dancers of Rowan University

Representing the thriving – and growing –Vietnamese population across the region, Rowan University’s acclaimed Department of Theatre & Dance will perform a traditional Vietnamese Fan Dance, also known as vũ phiến. This beautifully choreographed dance, featuring vibrantly colorful fans, has been long been a hallmark of Vietnamese celebrations, including religious ones.

“The rich cultural fabric of the Philadelphia region will be fully celebrated on Saturday, September 26 in advance of Pope Francis’ arrival at Independence Hall,” said Ms. Farrell. “In this most historic setting for both our city and our nation, we honor our immigrant heritage, which has in so many ways defined the United States from its inception. These selected performance groups will not only entertain the thousands who will attend this remarkable event but also remind us that cultural expressions of joy are a hallmark of American life.”

For more information regarding the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, visit www.WorldMeeting2015.org. You can also engage the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia on Facebook (World Meeting of Families 2015) (Encuentro Mundial de las Familias – Filadelfia 2015), Twitter (@WMF2015) (@WMF2015ES) and Instagram (WMF2015).

About World Meetings of Families

Beginning with 1994, The Year of the Family, the Pontifical Council for the Family has been responsible for organizing the World Meetings of Families in Rome (1994); Rio de Janeiro (1997); Rome (2000); Manila (2003); Valencia (2006); Mexico City (2009); Milan (2012); and now, Philadelphia (2015). Since its inception by Saint John Paul II, the World Meeting of Families has sought to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across the globe.

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