Stringing Students Together

La Catrina String Quartet“The music carried me away to dreamland, except I wasn’t dreaming. This was real music infiltrating my veins”, said Matt Jenkins, a junior art major about convocation on Thursday, February 17. La Catrina String Quartet made an interminable impression on Berea College students Thursday night in Phelps Stokes Auditorium.

La Catrina String Quartet, composed of two violins, a viola and a cello, performed second to last this year in the Stephenson Memorial Concert series. The Stephenson Memorial Concert Fund was established in 1987 by Louis B. and Edna M. Stephenson in memory of their children Nancy Anne Stephenson and John B. Stephenson–Berea College’s president from 1984 to 1994. Nancy Anne was a pianist who unfortunately passed away at a young age. The performances have been chosen in accordance with Nancy’s taste in music and portray diverse musical instruments stemming from a number of multi-cultural influences. The fund also covers all traveling expenses for convocation guests.

A senior Communications major said, “I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it; it was relaxing and exciting at the same time. The music evoked several different emotions throughout the performance. It was very refreshing.” La Catrina Quartet performs masterworks of the string quartet repertoire while promoting global Latin American and Mexican music.

In Mexican Folklore, “La Catrina” is known as death and can portray herself in many festive and elaborate clothing ensembles. Mexican history and culture is intimately related to La Catrina because during celebratory occasions, such as the Day of the Dead, she is thought of as a welcome guest.

La Catrina String Quartet is a most welcomed guest at Berea College, where diversity is celebrated and a variety of different cultural traditions such as the Chinese New Year, Ramadan and multi-ethnic holidays are upheld. Berea College believes that personal knowledge is obtained by celebrating and learning from “all peoples of the earth.”

The performance concluded with a South American favorite “Allegramente Rustico” included in the String Quartet No. 1 by Alberto Ginastera. The song resembled the mariachi style music that is prevalent in Latin America and left the audience in a standing ovation.

Categories: News, People, Programs and Initiatives
Tags: Convocation, La Catrina String Quartet, music, Stephenson Memorial Concert

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources—primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia—but welcomes students from 41 states and 76 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly to earn money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.