Niños Cantores de Morelia

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cathedral-sm.jpg (24155 bytes)THE PORTALS of the first Conservatory of Music in the Americas was opened by the 20th Bishop of Michoacan, Don Francisco Mathos Coronado, on the 30th of August 1743 in the city of Valladolid, Mexico, now named Morelia. It was not until thirteen years later that Mozart was born, and 122 years before the first Conservatory in the United States was established at Oberlin. In a document still preserved it is recorded that Pope Benedict XV granted favors to this institution.

A group of niños cantores of the cathedral was organized into a "College" for the choral service to the altar a short time after in the same city by another Bishop, Dr. Anselmo Sanchez de Tagle. This college of Children was founded the 8th of January 1765, and was recognized by the viceregal authorities four years later.

After many years of successful operation both corporations ceased to exist because of unfavorable circumstances. In 1914 Canon Jose Ma. Villasenor founded the High School of Sacred Music and dedicated it to restoring the significant traditions of ancient Valladolid. This school embraced in its scope the revived old Conservatory of the Roses, the College of Cathedral Children, and the Niños Cantores de Morelia.

Today, within the ancient walls of the Colegio Las Rosas, the tradition of great music is being upheld. Here the Singing Boys of Mexico study and sing under the direction of Maestro Romano Picutti, former director of the Vienna Choir Boys, who came to Morelia in 1949 to organize the present choir.

ncm1-sm.jpg (17907 bytes)In five years the Singing Boys of Mexico have achieved phenomenal success. They have received ovations in Mexico City's huge Palacio de Bellas Artes, have given special performances for the President of the Republic and for the Primate of the Mexican Church, and have toured Central America with great acclaim. When the choir returned to Mexico City in 1952 for a performance of Mozart's Requiem with Mexico's National Symphony Orchestra, critics agreed that the Niños Cantores had "arrived" as one of the great choirs of the world.

The choir is now making its second extensive tour of the United States; the first, last year - from Texas to North Dakota and New York - was a sensational success. The choir climaxed last year's tour with a concert in one of the world's great and hallowed rooms for music, the Town Hall, in New York City.

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Niños Cantores de Morelia in Town Hall, New York (1954)


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This page was last modified on 02 September 2004