Band of Women of Costa Rica Offered Its First Concert

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Three decades ago, for the first time, a woman managed to join a concert band and ran into adverse circumstances; From the official who did not want to receive her documents because “in bands, there are only men”; As well as the mockery of those who questioned their performance by reason of gender.

“They told me what would I do in a band if I was a woman? At the audition I did very well, I was working pro bono to get acclimated, unfortunately, they gave the job to a man even though my qualification was superior. According to the director, being a woman I was of no service to him. My long hair and braid did not fit into the waistband of the military uniform the band was using at the time; Also asked me if I thought of having children, because if I became pregnant I would not know how to replace myself, “recalled Margaret Chinchilla, who did not give up and shortly after joined the Concert Band of San José, where she still plays as a flutist.

The ensemble is made up of 19 female members of the MCJ Concert Bands and 17 invited; together they completed a grouping of 36 performers.

At the moment the circumstances were different, and although the music was a smaller part in the seven bands of the country, they participated in equal conditions and their work was rightly valued. In order to recognize and make visible their contribution, the Band Directorate of the Ministry of Culture and Youth (MCJ) promoted the formation of the Band of Women of Costa Rica, the ensemble that debuted this April 1st at 5:30 pm, In the amphitheater of the National Center of the Culture (Cenac).

The concert was free and open to the public. The repertoire was conformed by pieces with musical arrangements of Victor Hugo Berrocal, like: Maicito tierno, of Blas Solano; Arrancaterrones, by unknown author; Masquerade of Pedro Arias and In the light of the stoves, both of Dionisio Cabal; And the world premiere By the Guayas for flute and band; Also of the authorship of Berrocal and that counted on the interpretation of flutist Margareth Chinchilla Nunez like soloist. Part of this music accompanied the spectacle of the Curubandá Folk Company, artists invited to the activity. The direction of the Band of Women was in charge of Pilar Redondo and Ana Pamela Goyenaga.