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Nuestros Corridos Concert

Idaho Latino Scholarship Foundation

The goal of the Corrido Concert 2016 Project was to promote knowledge about the economic and cultural contributions of the Latinos to the state of Idaho. Their history has been omitted from standard texts, therefore, this type of projects is very important.
As a way to disperse cultural and historical information, two additional public presentations were added; one before the corrido concert (Consulate of Mexico’s 15 of September celebration) and another two after the concert (Idaho Historical Society Brown Bag series and BSU.)
The meat of the project was the Corrido Concert at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Saturday, September 24. Juan Manuel Barco, Seattle accomplished musician and song writer came to Idaho to lead a group of musicians in a historical journey about the history of the Latinos in Idaho. Bonifacio Dominguez from Lewiston, Damian Rodriguez from Burley, and Ana Maria Schachtell from Boise, joined Juan Manuel, and Norma Pintar, professional dancer and choreographer from Boise, added folkloric dance to the evening presentation.
40 Burley Junior High School students took part on workshops and performed at the concert. Juan Manuel Barco spoke to musicians about song writing emphasizing the Mexican corrido. These musicians also performed in the evening.

The committee is aware of the lack of information on Latino history in Idaho that Idaho students receive during their history classes through their educational journey.
Touring eastern Idaho created historical awareness and called attention to what Dr. Gamboa calls “the one-sidedness of Pacific Northwest history.”
After successfully completing the Corrido Music Project (2010-2014,) with the publication of the book, “Nuestros Corridos: Latinos in Idaho, Idaho Latino History through Song & Word – 1863 to 2013,” the committee began looking for funding to take this historical presentation throughout the state.
The young students in attendance learned that right where the concert was taking place, Pocatello, Latinos participated in its economic development as railroad and agricultural workers in the first part of the 20th century. They enjoyed the stories being told through music and word and become aware of the long history of the Latinos in Idaho and their contributions to the economic and cultural development of our state.
At the end of the concert the audience shared stories and expressed their thanks for a wonderful and effective history class. One family in attendance were the descendants of a “rielero” (rail road worker) whose name is included in one of the ballads/corridos.

At the conclusion of the project, students responded to questions related to the identified Standards:

Several Anchor Standards were met:
#5 – Develop and refine artistic techniques and work presentation – The group of students worked all morning with the instructor focusing on rhythm, technique, steps and choreography. After working for five hours with breaks in between, they were able to present a wonderful performance of which they were very proud.
#6 – Performing: Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work – The students learned the history behind the song, they sang along when they were performing, and they delivered a wonderful performance full of emotion.
#8 – Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work – They learned that through music and poetry the composers deliver messages that allow us to understand our societal cultural and historic context.
1) At the conclusion of the project, students responded to questions related to the identified standards
Culture – “I enjoyed the musicians’ presentations and their songs about our history. I didn’t know that history could be so much fun”
Leadership – “I learned the choreography of the dance and how we need to depend on each other for the presentation.”
Personal Development – “I feel I accomplished a lot today, I leaned about corridos, about dancing, and about our history.”

Impact

The Latino population in Idaho has hungered for decades to be recognized as a contributing force on the cultural and economic development of our state. It is important to have public presentations about the history of the Latinos in Idaho to promote the cultural pride and academic performance among Hispanic youth.
Projects like this make a tremendous impact in the Latino community, but also in the community at large. This project was not only a learning experience for the youth involved, but also for their parents and the rest of the audience.

Reflection

Having a presentation celebrating the history of the Latinos in Idaho is relevant to the whole community, especially to the Latino youth. We all know how important it is for people, especially the young, to see faces like themselves in the annals of history. This is related to pride and positive feelings that spill over other areas of their lives.
At the end of the evening, we noticed that the students were very happy, and complementary to the musicians and to the choreographer. They made positive comments that showed appreciation for all those involved.
There were a group of teachers in the audience and invited the group to return to Pocatello in the near future.

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