Music, Lectures to Highlight Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration

September 9, 2014 – Dutchess Community College will mark Hispanic Heritage Month with events including a fandango workshop, lectures and a family festival, all scheduled from Sept. 13 – Oct. 31. All events are free and open to the public.

The festivities will kick off on Sept. 13 with a Family Festival show called Animal Tales (Animales). Singer-storyteller Felix Pitre will use stories and songs to celebrate the environment and encourage respect for creatures large and small. The show will begin at 11 a.m. in the James and Betty Hall Theatre and is appropriate for all ages.

A workshop scheduled for Sept. 16 at 12:30 p.m. in the Ritz Lounge will culminate in a fandango, a cultural celebration and musical jam session combined into one event. The music performed will be a fusion of indigenous, Spanish and African elements. Participants will have the opportunity to learn a few chords on the jarana, a guitar-like instrument, and perform a few dance steps.

On Oct. 7 a Lyceum program called “Being an Immigrant and Being Mexican: Children’s Experiences Growing Up in Different Immigrant Neighborhoods” will feature SUNY Albany Associate Professor of Sociology Joanna Dreby, who will discuss her comparative study of immigrant communities in New Jersey and Ohio and how children’s experiences differ based on where they grow up. It will be held at 12:30 p.m. in Bowne Hall, Room 122.

A full listing of Hispanic Heritage Month events follows. All will take place on the main DCC campus in Poughkeepsie. For more information about the Hispanic Heritage Month events, contact Dr. Craig Stokes at (845) 431-8446 or


Library Display throughout September and October
A celebration of the life and work of Gabriel García Márquez, 1927-2014, Colombian author and recipient of the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Family Festival – “Animal Tales (Animales)” by Felix Pitre
Saturday, September 13 at 11 a.m.
James & Betty Hall Theatre, Dutchess Hall
Sing and laugh along with Latin American singer-storyteller-musician extraordinaire Felix Pitre as he presents a collection of wonderful animal stories and songs celebrating the environment and teaching respect for creatures large and small. This treat for young audiences includes stories from Brazil, Mexico, and Peru, with songs such as "Froggie Went a Courtin'," "Alouette" and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" among others. 

Fandango Workshop
Tuesday, September 16, 12:30-1:45 p.m.
Ritz Lounge, Dutchess Hall
Come celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by participating in a fandango, which is a cultural event, a kind of party and musical jam session rolled into one. The music performed and danced to is known as Son Jarocho, a regional folk musical style from the Mexican state of Veracruz , located along the Gulf of Mexico . It represents a fusion of indigenous, Spanish and African musical elements, reflecting the population that evolved in the region from Spanish colonial times. Son Jarocho often is played only on jaranas, a small guitar-like instrument, and sung in a style in which several singers exchange improvised verses called décimas , often with romantic or humorous content. The most widely known son jarocho is " La Bamba ." At the fandango guests will have the opportunity to learn a few chords on the jarana and some dance steps.

Lecture – “’Yo digo baila: Tu Dices Dance’: Diversity in Mexican Music and Identities in New York City” by Emily Williamson
Friday, September 19, 12:00-12:50 pm
Bowne Hall, Room 122
Emily Williamson is a Ph.D. Candidate in Ethnomusicology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. New York City is a city of immigrants and is possibly the quintessential example of how a city is enriched by its immigration history. In recent decades, Mexican immigrants have become the fastest growing immigrant group in New York. Yet, there is still little research on the lives of this expanding group. In her research, Williamson examines the ways Mexican communities have integrated music into their daily lives in New York. This lecture more specifically, addresses how musical practices reveal the diversity of the various Mexican communities, groups and individuals.

Lyceum – “From Gang Member to Pediatrician … What Does it Take?” by Juan Pacheco
Thursday, October 2, 12:30-1:45 p.m.
James & Betty Hall Theatre, Dutchess Hall
Juan Pacheco is a former gang member who has invested his life working and volunteering as the East Coast Representative for Barrios Unidos, a youth violence prevention/intervention and community awareness organization. Pacheco also worked as community liaison for World Vision’s Community Mobilization Initiative (CMI) and his role helped the CMI Program attain the title of “Best Practices in Gang Prevention.” In his lecture, Pacheco relates all the things in life that he was forced to sacrifice because of his gang involvement, including his freedom and a full scholarship to George Mason University.  But he has turned his life around and uses his past experiences with overcoming obstacles to fuel his dreams for the future.  He is now in the Pre-Med program at George Mason University and is working to help other young people change their lives for the better by telling his story.

Lecture – “Is Latino/a Identity Constructed Around a Common Language?” by Craig Stokes, DCC Associate Professor of Spanish
Friday, October 3, 12:00 to 12:50 p.m.
Bowne Hall, Room 122
Professor Stokes will try to answer this question as he looks into the way language may or may not be the defining factor behind Latino identity.

Lecture – “Being an Immigrant and Being Mexican: Children’s Experiences Growing Up in Different Immigrant Neighborhoods” BY Joanna Dreby, SUNY Albany Associate Professor of Sociology
Tuesday, October 7, 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.
Bowne Hall, Room 122
In this presentation, Professor Dreby will draw from her comparative study of Mexican families living in two new destination communities in central New Jersey and northeast Ohio. She will describe how children experience being an immigrant and being Mexican differently depending on where they grow up, and also how increased immigration enforcement shapes the lives of children regardless of where they live.

Music Show – DCC Jazz Ensemble, Directed by Dr. Christopher Brellochs
Friday, October 31, 12:00 to 12:50 p.m.
Ritz Lounge, Dutchess Hall
Hispanic Heritage Month wraps up with a Day of the Dead concert.