Promúsica Choir, in Mexico City, integrates polyphonic singing enthusiasts, following the European amateur choir tradition. It was founded in 1985 upon the initiative of Xavier Torresarpi, and is currently conducted by Samuel Pascoe, and Countertenor Edwin Calderón who is the assistant conductor. The Choir’s motto summarizes its philosophy
“We sing for the joy of singing”
In over thirty years, apart from its lead conductor, Promúsica has performed under the baton of outstanding maestros such as Luis Herrera de la Fuente, Enrique Diemecke, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Enrique Barrios, Enrique Bátiz, Eduardo Diazmuñoz, Fernando Lozano, Jorge Velazco, Miguel Bernal Matus, José Areán, León and Carlos Spierer, Zuohuang Chen, Louis Clark, José María Vitier, Leo Krämer, Alun Francis, Gabriela Díaz Alatriste and Charles Dodsley Walker. Besides, they have attended the masterclasses of Mezzo Soprano Margaret Lattimore, a member of the Metropolitan Opera House ensemble.
Their vast repertoire encompasses classical works such as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mahler’s Eighth and Third Symphonies, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Requiem, and Solemn Vespers of the Confessor; Händel’s Messiah, Gounod’s Saint Cecilia’s Solemn Mass, Verdi’s Requiem, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung and Mass in Time of War, Shostakovich’s Second and Third Symphonies, Schöenberg’s Gurrelieder, Brahm’s Liebeslieder, Poulenc’s Gloria, among others. It also includes works such as José María Vitier’s Cuban Mass, Ariel Ramírez’ Creole Mass, Pau Casals’ El Pesebre, romantic opera choruses, works by the Mexican baroque composer Manuel de Sumaya, and Pascoe’s Spring Songs, inspired in poems by pre-Hispanic King Nezahualcóyotl and premiered in October 2016.
Promúsica has performed with prominent Mexican orchestras such as the National Symphony Orchestra, Mexico City Philharmonic, the National Autonomous University Philharmonic Orchestra, State of Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra, Mexico City Chamber Orchestra, Minería Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Bellas Artes, Xalapa Symphony Orchestra, the National Polytechnic Institute Symphony Orchestra; as well as New Jersey Philharmonic Orchestra.
In January 2013, the Choir took part in the 60th anniversary celebration concert of the Canterbury Choral Society of New York in Carnegie Hall, with Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, becoming thus the first Mexican choir to perform in this hall. In November 2014, they participated in the XXVI International Music Festival in Morelia, Mexico, interpreting Miguel Bernal Jiménez’ Aeterna Trinitatis Mass.
The choir prides itself on their contribution to the development and diffusion of musical culture in Mexico, not only through its frequent performances in renowned cultural halls in the city, but also by sponsoring talented young Mexican musicians who perform as soloists in presentations, and a choir of primary school age children in Texcoco, Mexico.
Samuel Pascoe Aguilar was born in Mexico City and studied piano in the National Autonomous University (UNAM) Music School. He pursued a Master’s degree in choral conducting and composition at Westminster Choir College in Princeton. In 2005, he became the first student in Boston University to obtain a Doctorate in Musical Arts in orchestral conducting.
Maestro Pascoe has been the Musical Director of the Madrigal Singers of Bellas Artes, Kontempo Ensemble, National Music School Symphony Orchestra, Academia Orchestra in Mexico City, All Campus Orchestra in Boston University, and Promúsica Choir. He has been a guest conductor with the National Autonomous University Philharmonic Orchestra, the Soloist Ensemble of Bellas Artes, the Chamber Orchestra of Bellas Artes, AMEN Choir, among others.
Edwin Calderón was born in Mexico City and studied piano and singing in Mexico National Conservatory. He became the first countertenor to graduate from this institution. His repertoire as a soloist encompasses the most important oratorios by composers such as Vivaldi, Händel, Bach, Pergolesi and Mozart, as well as Orff’s Carmina Burana. As a pianist, he premiered in Mexico Miguel Bernal Jiménez’ posthumous work The Hymn of the Forest. He has interpreted Carmina Burana version for two pianos and percussions in numerous opportunities, as well as regular performances in recitals as a piano accompanist.
Maestro Calderón has collaborated with different antique music ensembles in the diffusion of the music of New Spain. He is a soloist with the baroque orchestra La Galatea, and a multidisciplinary artist with the company Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes. He is a member of the cast of Iolanthe by Gilbert and Sullivan. Since 2005, he is the assistant conductor of Promúsica Choir.