“Tutti!” (“all together” in Italian) says Reyna, our choir master. We stand up, twenty five soprano, alto, tenor and bass adult singers in the auditorium of Casa Tres Mundos, a cultural centre and music/art school in the heart of colonial Granada (Nicaragua). Not only is she the director of the music school, Reyna sings and plays the piano, flute, violin and guitar.
Born and raised in Managua, Reyna Somarriba has been active on the music scene since the age of six, winning scholarships to study at the Escuela Nacional de Musica during her primary and secondary school years. She continued her love of music as a teacher and then as coordinator and director of Musica en los Barrios, a program that promotes music in Managuan neighborhoods. Since university studies in music were not offered in Nicaragua, she continued her education in architecture. Later, while on a choir tour in Costa Rica, Reyna identified a music program at the National University of Costa Rica. With the University providing a tuition scholarship and Casa Tres Mundos providing funding for her living costs, Reyna was able to pursue her dream and spent 5 years studying music with a focus on choir direction. Shortly after Reyna graduated from her studies in Costa Rica, the stars aligned and she was hired as music school director of Casa Tres Mundos. Reyna is one of only 8 music school or choir directors in the entire country of Nicaragua who earn his or her living as professionals.
Under her guidance, Casa Tres Mundos music school offers classes to 150 young and adult students. She is responsible for
fourteen teachers who provide instruction on music and musical instruments. Reyna directs two choirs and organizes performances in Granada, elsewhere in Nicaragua, and tours in Mexico and Central America. Her work in Nicaragua affords the rare opportunity for parents and local community members to be exposed to live classical music. She also works with volunteers at Casa Tres Mundos and Musica en los Barrios, and has hosted fifteen volunteers in her own home in Managua during the past five years. Her commitment is both personal and professional.
Reyna promotes traditional music and songs from Nicaragua, Latin America, and from around the world; striking a balance between classical and popular music. Her incredible patience, joy, and enthusiasm come together to form that rare capacity to transmit both knowledge and passion for music. When asked to describe Reyna in one word, her choir members state: “brilliant”, “luminous”, “warm heart”, “talented”, “motivator”, “efficient”, “powerful” and “hero”. On concert nights, Reyna is blooming with her mass of curly dark hair, her glittering evening gown and her beautiful high heel sandals. She is elegant and classy and clearly in her place as a choir master and orchestra conductor. She loves performing and leads with skill, energy and grace.
Reyna believes Casa Tres Mundos is a place that provides opportunities to make dreams come true. Both Reyna and Casa Tres Mundos are very lucky to have each other.
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