Offered as a course at Ohio State, the Andean Music Ensemble teaches students how to play and perform folk music from the South American countries of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile and Argentina. Students learn how to play various Andean instruments, sing in Spanish, Quechua and Aymara, explore Andean musical and performance aesthetics and learn about the cultural background, and social significance of the songs.
Formed in autumn 2014, the ensemble has been performing ever since. The course is taught every semester and is open to undergraduate and graduate students. No auditions or prior musical experience is required. This spring, there were 14 registered students in the ensemble, which continues to grow.
Instruments include zampoñas or sikuris (Andean panpipes), tarkas (Bolivian festival flutes), quenas/kenas (notched mouthpiece flutes), charangos (Andean syncretic string instruments), guitars, bombo (Andean bass drum) and chakchas (goat hooves rattles), among others.
In addition to equipping students with musical skills, the course complements undergraduate lecture courses on Latin America and graduate level theoretical and methodological seminars on music and culture, adding an important experiential component to the curriculum in music and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.
You can hear samples of the music performed by the Andean Ensemble below.
Gordon Ulmer, Ph.D. student in Anthropology, made a fantastic video with original footage of the Virgen de la Candelaria festival in Puno and an electro andean remix of a piece by the OSU Andean Music Ensemble from our AU 2015 repertoire.
Past Outreach Performances
Outreach is an important component of the ensemble. The Andean Ensemble has participated in numerous outreach performances since its inception in 2014.
Día de los Muertos Musical Performance
On November 2, 2016, the Andean Music Ensemble performed for Ohio State students, faculty, and staff as well as local high school students at the Día de los Muertos event in Thompson Library. This was only the second time that live music was performed in the library's history!
You can listen to recordings of the songs here.
Nationwide Children's Hospital
In Spring 2016, a few of the members of the Andean Music Ensemble performed for children currently at Nationwide Children's Hospital. The Ensemble performed on a volunteer basis with players who were able to make it to the event, and also hosted a small "Instrument Petting Zoo".
Girl Scouts Workshop
As an end-of-semester performance, the Andean Ensemble showcased a Navidad Andina event. Sponsored by OSU's Organization of Hispanic Faculty and Staff and featuring the OSU Andean Music Ensemble, this event celebrated a unique musical tradition from Latin America. In addition to the performance, the Andean Music Ensemble also organized an "Instrument Petting Zoo" for the kids.
President Drake's Home
The Andean Music Ensemble received a very special invitation to perform at the Drake’s Residence in spring 2015 to launch a series of student musical performances hosted by Mrs. Drake. They performed for an audience of 30 invited members of the OSU community, providing a unique opportunity to showcase thenew ensemble as a product of a fruitful collaboration between the Center for Latin American Studies, Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the School of Music.
Building Bridges Program
During spring 2015, the ensemble participated in the Building Bridges Outreach Program, coordinated through the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, which brought 130 4th-7th graders from the Columbus Bilingual Academy, to campus.
In November 2015, a few of the members of the Andean Music Ensemble supported Lucy Andrade’s booth on Ecuadorian Culture at an International Festival. Lucy is a member of the OSU staff. She and her daughter are from Ambato, Ecuador. The Ensemble performed on a volunteer basis with players who were able to make it to the event.
Michelle Wibbelsman, assistant professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, is director of the Andean Ensemble and can be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Andean Ensemble was established by the collaborative effort of the Center for Latin American Studies, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and School of Music.