Category Archives: The Arts

Misa Azteca

One of the several projects that I’m involved in is the incredible Misa Azteca!

Misa Azteca Logo

Misa Azteca is a staged, concert piece for orchestra, choir, soloists and pre-Columbian percussion ensemble. It is based on the “ordinary” and “proper” of the Roman Catholic High Mass and verses from the Cantares Mexicanos, a collection pre and post conquest verse of the Mexica (the Aztecs). Misa Azteca is sung in Latin, Spanish and Nahuatle.

It has already been performed at Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, CECUT (Centro Cultural Tijuana), Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Apollo Theater (in Greece).

I first listened to parts of this concert piece three years ago and was so moved that I become obsessed with it and wanted to promote it so everyone could hear it! Now, I’m good friends with the composer and his wife and am honored to help them in sharing this beautiful piece of music that honors Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Mass.

Composer, Joseph Julian Gonzalez shares about the unity in Misa Azteca: “By blending Latin and Aztec texts, as well as the various rhythms, instrumentation, and tone unique to both, this concert piece resolves the tensions commonly associated with two seemingly irreconcilable cultures. The theme of complementarity that overrides the assumption that these two worlds must remain disparate, binds everyone in the mutual quest for unity and peace.”

Gonzalez explains the text: “As an example, I hand-picked verses from post-Columbian Aztec verse (once again, from the Cantares Mexicanos) that I believe have a similar theme relevant to the sections of the ordinary and proper of the Mass.  For example in the Gradual, the soprano implores in Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs) “May I never die! May I never perish!  Let me go where one does not die.” This wail of grief is answered by the choir peacefully singing the prayer from the All Saints Day mass, “The souls of the just are in the hand of God…in the sight of the unwise they seemed to die, but they are in peace”.

This is a big week for Misa Azteca with 3-4 meetings within the next two days for international performances as well as working on a promo video.

Be sure to follow Misa Azteca on twitter for updates and information of upcoming performances. And check out the website to learn more about Misa Azteca!

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Feliz Navidad!

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us!

Prayer to the Most Loving Infant Jesus

O most loving and blessed Infant Jesus! Great God and Lord of Heaven and earth, Thou hath hidden Thy Divine Majesty under the lovable semblance of a child before Whom the powers of the heavens tremble, the mighty kings of the earth bow, and the evil spirits under the earth must bend. Though Thou art the Almighty God, for love of us Thou didst become a little Child, so that we might love Thee more ardently, serve Thee more faithfully, and humbly follow Thine example in childlike purity and love.

I, a poor sinner, bow down humbly before the great God concealed in this lovable Child and adore Thee. I love Thee as the highest and most loving God. I entrust myself to Thine infinite Goodness. Oh teach me after Thine example to love humility and crush pride, to desire to grow in virtue and childlike trust. Direct and rule me and make me virtuous, that I may please Thee and be little in this world and great in the next. Amen.

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A Live Nativity

This past Sunday I was honored to be Mary at a Live Nativity for “Instruments of Hope”.

The event began with a candlelight walk with the Three Kings through the St. Francis Sculpture Garden at Marywood to the manger scene where they came upon Mary, Joseph and the Infant Jesus surrounded by several live animals recreating that starry night in Bethlehem. After singing several Christmas Carols including Silent Night, Drummer Boy & Joy to The World the children had a chance to pet the animals and partake in donuts and warm beverages. It was truly a beautiful night and very honored & blessed to be a part of it!


Filed under Catholicism, The Arts

From Tragedy Springs Beauty

A good friend of my parents, Reyna Garcia, had a gallery at the Fiesta Mexicana this weekend in downtown Grand Rapids.  I met Reyna when I first came back to Michigan.  She had been deeply moved when she heard I had been shot.  Not only did Reyna pray for me, she also began working on a painting which she titled “Rose”.  When we met, the painting was a work-in-progress, and I was still very weak and could barely walk on my own.  I finally saw Reyna this weekend at the Fiesta.  It was wonderful to see her again and she was thrilled to see me more fully recovered.

For those in the West Michigan area, be sure to check out Reyna’s ArtPrize entry, located at Cathedral Square – 2nd Floor. You can see more of her artwork online here: Reyna Garcia’s Art

Reyna Garcia y Rosario Rodriguez - 'Rose'

Rose by Reyna Garcia

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“Point. Shoot. Oscar.”

Film Responsibly

 Presented by Angelus Student Film Festival

Enjoy these hilarious videos about Jon Cipiti who is the worlds most creatively confused filmmaker

Film Responsibly #1

Film Responsibly #2

Film Responsibly #3

Film Responsibly #4

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Fix You

I saw this dance last year on “So You Think You Can Dance”.  The powerful choreography and moving song ‘Fix You’ from Coldplay touched me the first day I saw it and it’s still remembered deep in my heart to this day. In this dance I see myself as Allison… sick & broken while Robert portrays my friends, family and all those praying for me as well as The Grace, Mercy & Love of Christ Jesus, the intercession of Our Blessed Mother & all the saints in heaven!

Thank you to all of you who are praying for me & carrying me… I wouldn’t be able to walk without you!

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Support Catholic Art at ArtPrize!

Artist Mic Carlson has created two life size, bronze statues for ArtPrize. The statues of Jesus and St. Francis of Assisi will be unveiled at the Opening Night Reception tonight at the Waters Building, Downtown Grand Rapids, MI from 6pm – 10pm.

Micasso Productions, Waters Building 161 Ottawa, NW (Downtown GR) Suite 100 (on main floor)

How you can support Catholic Art at ArtPrize: Please vote for Mic’s St. Francis & Jesus during the first week (Sept 22-29)  which is a crucial time for voting and help him make it to the top 10! Last year his Bronze statue of St. Francis of Assisi – brother of peace missed the top 10 by just a few votes. He was in the top 25 during the entire event.

There is buzz that Wood – TV8 may be at the Waters Building at 5:00pm for Mic’s opening night for ArtPrize. They stopped by to talk to Mic earlier today and are going around town capturing footage at events for the 6pm news. Come on down early if you want to be on tv!

Also, News/Talk Radio 1340 WJRWwill at the Waters Building interviewing Mic at 6:30pm

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