Annual IU song festival supports artistic use of Spanish, Portuguese

The third annual Spanish and Portuguese Song Festival, organized by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 1, at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center on the Bloomington campus.

Five undergraduate students will participate for the top prize, judged on both their musical ability and language skill.

Israel Fernando Herrera

Organizer Israel Fernando Herrera at last year’s Spanish and Portuguese Song Festival.

“We created this annual festival to encourage the artistic use of Spanish and Portuguese by IU students, and have been overwhelmed by the support it has received from faculty, students and other participants,” said organizer Israel Fernando Herrera, a lecturer in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

Fellow lecturer Francisca Escoriza-Gallardo will serve as a juror this year.

“The first year, my husband and I attended as part of the audience, and I enjoyed the performances, the effort the students put into their presentations and the atmosphere so much that I offered my help to Israel for the subsequent festivals,” she said. “Being part of the jury is fascinating. We’re looking for fluency, good pronunciation and knowledge of the lyrics. My tip for the participants is to choose a song they love, so they can savor those minutes on stage as well as communicate their passion and enthusiasm to the audience.”

Several guests will also perform, including folklorist, scholar and performer Tomás Lozano; Department of Spanish and Portuguese lecturer Anna Lynch; cellist Nicholas Mariscal, a student in the Jacobs School of Music and winner of the Latin American Music Recording Competition; Bruno Sandes with the Latin American Music Center, who will sing in Portuguese; and Hispanic linguistics master’s student Rebecca Clay.

This year’s festival also includes a new category for students from Bloomington schools. Herrera said he expects participants from Bloomington High School North, Bloomington High School South and New Tech High School, as well as Batchelor Middle School.

The festival is free and open to the university and Bloomington communities. No tickets are required.

It is sponsored by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese in the College of Arts and Sciences, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, La Casa, Latino and West European studies and the Commission on Multicultural Understanding.

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