Free Sunday concert features Andean indigenous musical elements

Misa Criolla – a performance of musical works by the late Argentine composer and pianist Ariel Ramirez – will take place Dec. 5 in the Scarritt Bennett Center’s Wightman Chapel. The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 5 p.m.

The English translation of Misa Criolla is Creole Mass. The term refers to a religious mass that uses the language and music of the common people.

Serenetta, a local Latin ensemble led by Vanderbilt alumnus Pablo Garzon Morales, will perform musical pieces that Ramirez wrote during the 1960s. Mark Ring, director of music at St. George’s Episcopal Church, is serving as musical director and has arranged a special choir for the performance.

Misa Criolla is one of several events the Center for Latin American Studies is hosting this year to mark the 40th anniversary of the founding of liberation theology,” according to Claire Gonzalez, outreach coordinator. “Ramirez wrote works that opened up religious music to the general population and included voices of the indigenous people.” She noted that the center has purchased an Andean stringed instrument known as the charango that the musicians will use for the performance.

Fernando Segovia, the Oberlin Graduate Professor of New Testament, and Helena Simonett, associate director of the Center for Latin American Studies, will offer commentary during the performance to provide context and information about the musical works.

For more information, visit or call Gonzalez at 343-1837.