STARS Series continues with Día de los Muertos show
The Vilar Performing Arts Center is hosting its fourth Support the Arts Reaching Students (STARS) show on Wednesday morning
The Support the Arts Reaching Students (STARS) Series has returned to the Vilar Performing Arts Center for the school year, and will be bringing six free educational shows designed for elementary and middle school students to the stage between now and April.
The series was founded in 1998 by Pat and Pete Frechette, and for the last 23 years it has been staging an array of performing arts genres from dance and theater to world music that is tailored to students aged kindergarten through eighth grade.
Each of the performances is designed to be a fun and engaging artistic experience that also addresses important educational themes, such as bullying, cultural awareness or how to deal with challenging homework.
This year, the STARS Series kicked off on Sept. 23 with musician and storyteller David Gonzalez, who shared colorful tales from the Caribbean, South America and the Bronx while incorporating accessible Spanish language lessons. The multi-cultural band “Hot Peas ‘N Butter” performed their signature combination of traditional Latin music, Afro-Caribbean rhythms, jazz, bluegrass, country, and rock that has garnered multiple awards and been featured on Nick Junior.
October began with a daytime showing of Schoolhouse Rock Live!, which brought the classic educational movie to life with performers introducing the hits we all love, like “Conjunction Junction” and “Just a Bill”, to a new generation of learners.
Jarabe Mexicano quintet celebrates Día de los Muertos
This Wednesday, Oct. 27, the STARS Series continues with a timely celebration of Día de los Muertos, led by the Jarabe Mexicano quintet. The group performs on stringed folk instruments and percussion, and tells stories in harmonized vocals in Spanish and English. For this performance, they will be commemorating their deceased loved ones in the tradition of Día de los Muertos, as well as popular icons like Ritchie Valens, Bob Marley, and Juan Gabriel. The recommended age range for student attendees is fourth grade and up.
Jarabe Mexicano includes a study guide that is available for download on the Vilar Performing Arts Center website that describes each instrument, genre and musical element that they incorporate into their show. It also includes a references page that gives an overview of the cultural and aesthetic skills that students pick up during their performance.
The group is officially endorsed as cultural ambassadors by the Mexican Consulate in the U.S., and their show on Wednesday will highlight the importance of family connections through time and space while also illustrating the power of cultural remembrance for Latinos living in the United States and beyond. The show will begin at 10 a.m. at the Vilar Performing Arts Center.
Tickets to the show are $15 for adults and $12 for children, and are available for purchase at the Vilar Performing Arts Center website. Proof of vaccination is not required for STARS performances, but facial coverings will be required for all attendees.
The next STARS performance takes place on Thursday, Dec. 16 and will bring the Dallas String Quartet to the stage for a Christmas-themed show. From then on, shows will be held once monthly through the beginning of April.
What: STARS Series Día de los Muertos show with Jarabe Mexicano
When: Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 10 a.m.
Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center
Tickets: $15 for adults, $12 for children
More info: vilarpac.org
Upcoming STARS Series shows
Thursday, Dec. 16 | 12:30 PM
DSQ Electric is an international music sensation where Mozart meets Rihanna and Bach meets Bon Jovi. The Dallas String Quartet brings a fusion of classical and contemporary music on both traditional and electric strings. DSQ Electric has performed internationally as well as “at home” for U.S. presidents, professional sports organizations and more. DSQ Electric performs at the VPAC on Thursday, Dec. 16.
The Whiffenpoofs of Yale
Friday, Jan. 7 | 10 AM & 12:30 PM
Every year, 14 senior Yale students are selected to be in the Whiffenpoofs, the world’s oldest and best known collegiate a cappella group. On Friday, Jan. 7, the Whiffenpoofs perform at the VPAC.
The Queen’s Cartoonists
Thursday, Feb. 10 | 12:30 PM
The Queen’s Cartoonists play music from classic cartoons and contemporary animation. The performances are synchronized to video projections of the original films, and the band leads the audience through a world of virtuosic musicianship, multi-instrumental mayhem and comedy. The Queen’s Cartoonists perform Thursday, Feb. 10.
Thursday, March 17 | 12:30 PM
Goitse, pronounced “go-wit-cha,” is an informal Gaelic Irish greeting meaning “come here.” The popular multi-award-winning quintet Goitse has become a leader of the new generation of traditional Irish ensembles and performs Thursday, March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day!), at the VPAC.
Playing By Air
Thursday, April 7 | 10 AM & 12:30 PM
Playing By Air captivates audiences with a joyful fusion of music, juggling and circus in which traditional theatricality meets absurd comedy. The award-winning performers put on a performance with a contagious attitude of expressive play and creativity. The name Playing By Air is a pun based on the musical concept of “playing by ear” and highlights the elements of the show: fun, humor, music, creativity, improvisation and filling the air with flying objects. Several unusual musical instruments are used as well. Playing By Air takes the VPAC stage on Thursday, April 7.
For more information about the STARS Series, visit vilarpac.org/stars.