Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Oaxaca with the choir

I joined the UNAM student choir Staccato (Staccato Coro Universitario Estudiantil) in mid-February. (Check out Staccato CUE's web site: http://www.cue.org.mx). I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in a trip to Oaxaca with them two weeks ago to help celebrate the one-year anniversary of Axis Mundi, the Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca choir. 

We left early Thursday morning and made the bus trip (about 6 hours) to Oaxaca, the capital of the state with the same name. 
on our way to Oaxaca 

lunch at the hotel. Can you spot the dog in the window? 






colorful alebrijes


colorful, quaint streets of downtown Oaxaca 

Templo de Santo Domingo

Templo de Santo Domingo

Templo de Santo Domingo

Templo de Santo Domingo

Templo de Santo Domingo

Templo de Santo Domingo

Templo de Santo Domingo

Templo de Santo Domingo






colorful, quaint streets of downtown Oaxaca




That evening we attended a concert by our hosts, Axis Mundi of Universidad Autónoma Benito Juarez de Oaxaca. 
sign announcing Axis Mundi and Staccato 

Axis Mundi and Staccato! 

Axis Mundi

That evening my roommate (also new to the choir) and I decided to practice a bit. While it started with just the two of us, we soon became the practice room as 8 more people joined us! 

Friday morning I explored downtown Oaxaca a bit more before practice. 

Catedral Metropolitana de Nuestra Señora de Asunción


Catedral Metropolitana de Nuestra Señora de Asunción


Catedral Metropolitana de Nuestra Señora de Asunción

Catedral Metropolitana de Nuestra Señora de Asunción

Catedral Metropolitana de Nuestra Señora de Asunción

Palacio Municipal


Catedral Metropolitana de Nuestra Señora de Asunción




We went to rehearse -- both with Axis Mundi (we sang three songs together) and together as Staccato CUE. 
on our way to rehearsal

UABJO

rehearsal 

rehearsal

rehearsal

rehearsal 


After rehearsal we had a bit more free time in the city. 
chapulines -- grasshoppers 

lunch at the market, trying tlayudas - a Oaxacan specialty


alebrijes 


alebrijes 

That afternoon we had a quick photo shoot as a choir in front of Templo Santo Domingo before our joint concert with Axis Mundi in Parque Pañuelito -- my first concert with Staccato! 






After the concert we went out with Axis Mundi to celebrate! 



Saturday morning we visited Monte Albán, the most important archeological site in Oaxaca and one of the earliest cities of Mesoamerica. Once again, we had a photo shoot with the choir and then had a guided tour. We even sang on top of one of the pyramids and in the plaza! 


Staccato CUE at Monte Albán








the photographers on the other pyramid 

Staccato CUE  

Staccato CUE 









ball court at Monte Albán
(here the losers were killed, as opposed
 to the winners being sacrificed in other civilizations)



CUE ladies 


CUE guys + Director Marco Antonio Ugalde


Saturday evening we had our second concert, this time at the Cultural Center attached to Templo Santo Domingo. 



'








after the concert 


after the concert 



bride and groom and wedding guests in the streets of Oaxaca 


Staccato and Axis Mundi out to celebrate 3 successful concerts! 


Sunday morning, the Director of Axis Mundi was generous enough to give 7 of us a tour of some sites outside of the capital.  Our first destination was Tule. We stopped for breakfast. I had hot chocolate (chocolate is a Oaxacan specialty) and a pastry, followed by barbecue tacos. Barbacoa is another Oaxacan specialty, but is very different than US barbecue. It's usually beef or goat meet and is traditionally cooked in a clay, in-ground oven. 

hot chocolate (a Oaxacan specialty) and pastry 

a friend's tlayuda

We visited the Tule tree, which is more than 2,000 years old!! 





Can you spot the "deer"? 



the "son" of the Tule tree is "only" 1,000 years old 



Our next stop was Lambityeco, another archeological site. 



view from Lambityeco

view from Lambityeco





"huaje" tree, where the name Oaxaca comes from
(Huaxyácac means "in the place of the huajes" in Náhuatl)


Our final stop was Tlacolula.

La Asunción de Nuestra Señora church

La Asunción de Nuestra Señora church

Capilla del Señor de Tlacolula

Capilla del Señor de Tlacolula

Sunday market 

Sunday market 

youth band playing in Tlacolula 

We had a slight complication heading back to Oaxaca when one of the cars' alarm started going off and wouldn't turn off. The seven choir members ended up piling into one car and finding out way back to Oaxaca so that we'd be back in time for the bus, while the Axis Mundi director stayed with the other car. Nothing like a good adventure!  

view from the bus on the drive back to the DF

view from the bus on the drive back to the DF






































view from the bus on the drive back to the DF -- so many cacti! 

Overall, it was a great trip! I enjoyed the chance to make friends and bond with the other choir members, sing, meet Axis Mundi and get to know a bit of Oaxaca! 




No comments:

Post a Comment