Paraguayan students serenade Pitt State
Val Vita | Collegio Reporter
Pitt State is home to 38 Paraguayan students, six of whom are music majors, and they presented their traditional songs Wednesday night in McCray Hall, as part of the Paraguayan Gala.
Nearly 100 people attended the concert, which was hosted by the Paraguayan Student Association (PSA). Alheli Aranda, PSA member, was one of the students who performed. Aranda says the event wasn’t just an opportunity to share the Paraguayan culture.
“This was a way to say thank you to Pittsburg community that has welcomed us so well,” said Aranda, sophomore in music performance.
Aranda says there’s a Paraguay-Kansas partnership, which allows Paraguayan students to come to Pittsburg State. She says that’s one of the reasons Paraguayan students are one of the largest international student communities at PSU.
One of the songs Aranda performed was the “Danza Paraguaya,” (Paraguayan Dance). Maria Victoria Goydy accompanied Aranda on the cello.
“I was very excited about this concert,” said Goydy, freshman in music performance. “Actually, I was nervous. This event is very important for us, because we are showing our culture, our music. I wanted to do my best tonight.”
Daniel Ayala says he was excited about the presentation, especially because it was the first time PSU held a concert featuring only Paraguayan music.
“Tonight is exclusively with Paraguayan performances,” said Ayala, junior in piano performance. “It’s our own music, so we are a lot more comfortable about it.”
Each student could choose the song they wanted to present. Eitel Krohn, who played the piano, chose a song named “Jogo de Ninos,” (Children Playground) because of the famous Paraguayan composer, Jorge Lobito Martinez (1952-2003).
“It’s a ballad with jazz sounds,” said Krohn, sophomore in piano performance. “I really like this song, and I’ve played it several times before, in Paraguay.”
Krohn says he felt more comfortable performing the Paraguayan music.
“It’s because it’s music from my roots,” Krohn said.
Ernesto Estigarribia says there are two genres of music in Paraguay: the polka, which is a fast and happy style, and the guarania, which has a melancholic character.
“And the composers we are playing tonight based their music in those two genres,” said Estigarribia, junior in violin performance. “The feeling I have with this concert is that, as Paraguayan musicians, we have the duty to make our music known.”
After the students’ presentation, Paraguayan pop singer Gimena Sanchez, who lives in Kansas, gave a performance. The Paraguayan Student Association also offered traditional food after the concert.