Luz Elena Mendoza of Y La Bamba with the Camas High School Choir
This project, EL AGUA DE MI SER, is a collaboration between Latin folk artist Luz Elena Mendoza of Y La Bamba, the Camas High School Choir under the direction of Ethan Chessin, and arts education nonprofit Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington.
The choir will be performing new music, composed by Luz Elena Mendoza specifically for this collaboration. Building on the success of a composer-in-residence partnership Young Audiences has fostered between contemporary artists working in the professional music industry and the Camas High School Choir since 2016, Mendoza has been working with Chessin and his students this school year to create an original performance for a rock band, woodwinds and 200 high school singers.
Luz Elena Mendoza is a songwriter, guitarist, and frontwoman of Latin folk group Y La Bamba, based in Portland. The daughter of Mexican immigrants, she infuses American folk with elements from the traditional Mexican music that soundtracked her childhood, producing songs that are as culturally rich as they are affecting. National Public Radio named Y La Bamba’s OJOS DEL SOL one of the ten best albums of 2016. Y La Bamba’s most recent album, MUJERES, which Mendoza produced, is on the top ten of the Billboard Latin Pop Albums Chart and is widely acclaimed for its “formal inventiveness” (Pitchfork).
The Camas High School Choir, led by Director Ethan Chessin, has collaborated with Luke Wyland of AU, Kelly Pratt of Beirut, and now Luz Elena Mendoza of Y La Bamba to produce unique musical projects over the past four years through Young Audiences’ custom program.
This collaboration is one of many arts education programs facilitated by Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington. Young Audiences offers a full range of educational arts programming in multiple disciplines and cultures and serves over 70,000 students in more than 200 schools and community sites each year. The organization supports a roster of talented teaching artists, bringing them into collaboration with schools for artist residencies, workshops and performances; and partners with local schools, arts organizations, artists and community members to inspire young people and expand their learning through the arts.