UNCG Campus Weekly

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Lorena Guillén creates songs of immigration; concert is Saturday

UNCG Music’s Dr. Lorena Guillén has been shining a spotlight on the unique stories of immigrants.

Guillén, a performer and professor of musicology, is a highly awarded singer, songwriter and conductor. A native of Buenos Aires, she had been looking for a way to engage with the community, and to help Latina women share the stories of their journeys from their countries of origin to North Carolina.

“I am an immigrant, a Latina, and I want to use my art to give voice to other women like me. The music I’ve done has always been leading me to this.”

And so, “The Other Side of My Heart” was born. Guillén and her husband, Alejandro Rutty, who also teaches at UNCG’s School of Music, wrote the piece which is a musical-visual artwork composed of songs and recorded conversations with six women who shared and reflected about their dreams and fears while evaluating the things they gained and lost

Guillén says the music and story, performed by her Tango Ensemble, transcend politics and stereotypes.

“This is not an openly political piece – and we are not preaching – some people find the topic of immigration to be uncomfortable. But these topics can appeal to not just immigrants.  They are the concepts of home and the value of friendship.”

Guillén holds a Master’s in Vocal Performance and a Ph.D. in Historical Musicology and Music Theory from State University of New York at Buffalo. She has taught as a lecturer at UNCG since 2007, and has previously taught at Wake Forest University, Hartwick College (NY) and SUNY at Buffalo.

If you’d like to learn more about Guillén’s work, visit https://www.lorenaguillen.com/the-other-side-of-my-heart.

Hear a talk: Members of the Lorena Guillen Tango Ensemble and guest speakers of Greensboro immigrant support organizations, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, UNCG Music Building, Collins Lecture Hall

See the work: Saturday, Jan 27, 2018, 8 p.m., UpStage Cabaret at Triad Stage: Concert Album Release of “The Other Side of My Heart” with the Lorena Guillén Tango Ensemble. Tickets on sale at Triad Stage box office.

Copy drawn from CVPA web site. See full story by Terri Relos.