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The CSO Latino Alliance marked its upcoming fifth anniversary with a Volunteer Appreciation Party, a cocktail reception and performance, on July 11 for its members and representatives of other CSO volunteer groups. Hosted by Latino Alliance members Rina Magarici and Matt Schiff in their River North home, the event featured a mini-concert of chamber-music works, performed by Civic Orchestra musicians Carmen Abelson and Maria Arrua on violin, Benjamin Wagner on viola and Denielle Wilson on cello. Jeff Alexander, president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, welcomed the crowd and introduced the performance.  After shouts of “otra, otra” (encore!), the ensemble offered string-quartet renditions of two popular Latin-American folk tunes: “La cumparsita” (1916), one of the most famous tangos of all time, and “Tico-Tico no fubá” (1917), a Brazilian choro song popularized by Carmen Miranda.

An advocacy group established in 2013, the CSO Latino Alliance works to connect the CSO with Chicago’s communities by creating awareness, sharing insights and building relationships. Among its activities, the Latino Alliance hosts four networking receptions, ahead of CSO performances, each season. Its next event will be its Fifth Anniversary Celebration Concert on Sept. 5 at Buntrock Hall with a reception and screening of the documentary “Redes” (1936), with a score by Silvestre Revueltas. Civic musicians will perform excerpts from the score, along with Revueltas’ String Quartet No. 2 (Magueyes). Conductor Angel Gil-Ordoñez will lead a Q&A session afterward.

For more information about the Latino Alliance, click here.