Cross-cultural exchange: Argentinian bluegrass band visits Bay City elementary school

An Argentinian Appalachian-influenced string band in Bay City, Michigan.

The Midland Center for the Arts and Bay City’s Washington Elementary School.

It was a unique set of partnerships in Bay City earlier this week as the Midland Center for the Arts brought its Windows on the World program to Washington Elementary.

Following a performance at the Center on Sun., Nov. 17, the Argentinian-American string band Che Apalache brought its unique fusion of bluegrass, Americana, and Latin music to the Bay City elementary students the following morning.

An international music group performed bluegrass, Americana, and Latin music at Washington Elementary School this week, hoping to expand the world view of the students.The group, featuring members from Argentina, Mexico, and the United States, performed for the students and spoke about music and culture. To see a video of the performance, visit the Center Facebook page.

"One of our goals at the Center is to provide opportunities for interaction between students and professional artists to facilitate learning, appreciation, imagination, and creativity whenever we can," says Katie Trzaska-Miller, manager of community engagement.

"We are excited to bring Che Apalache to the students at Washington Elementary so they can build on their experience with our classical musicians from last school year."

As part of the Windows on the World series of performances at the Center, the organization presents the Great Lakes Bay Region the opportunity to experience artists live, in-concert, playing types of music not readily available throughout the area.

By then bringing them to area schools, the Center provides the same opportunity to students even more unlikely to experience such cross-cultural exchanges.

"We are a low socioeconomic school, and many of our students don’t have an opportunity to see musicians like this," says Dr. Sara Moore, Washington Elementary School principal.

"Getting up close and personal with a group like Che Apalache, something different than what they hear on the radio, is an awesome experience and we really appreciate our partnership with the Midland Center for the Arts."

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