December 19, 2014
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Aldrich students get a taste of Mexico at PPAC
Don Fowler

A winter storm did not stop Patti Mellor’s second year Spanish students from learning about Mexican culture while attending a production of “The Splendor of Mexico: A Celebration of Mexican Music & Dance” at the Providence Performing Arts Center last week. The Aldrich students attended the event along with middle school students from across the state in a program sponsored by the Bank of America.

Cynthia Goldsmith, Director of Special Projects for PPAC, praised the bank for their continuing sponsorship of the educational program.

David A. Salit, managing director of Bank of America, said that the bank has sponsored the program for middle school students for the past 15 years, with well over 100,000 students participating.

Veronica Robles and her Mariachi band took the students through a rich history of Mexico from pre-historic times to the arrival of the Spanish to the modern day world of hybrid cultures, performing Mexican dances from different regions and singing traditional music. Gorgeous colorful costumes and pre-Hispanic musical instruments added to the authenticity of the performance.

Ms. Robles involved the students in the program, often speaking in Spanish and teaching them new words. A number of students were invited on stage to participate in a lively Mexican dance, as the entire audience got involved.

“It is truly a Broadway moment for many of them,” Goldsmith said.

Salit said that the bank has a committee that selects five performances a year, and that while they are very entertaining, important messages are included.

“Diversity is one of our major objectives,” he said. “Our final program of the year is a production of the play, ‘Bully,’ performed by Kaleidoscope Theatre.

Mellor said that this was the first program for her class, and she was provided with a study guide to integrate the performance with classroom activities.

For further information about the program, contact Cynthia Goldsmith at 421-5767 or cgoldsmith@ppacri.org or tj.crawford@bankofamerica.com.


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