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Amazonia Invited to Perform in New York City with Dr. Cristian Grases

Outstanding music program receives special invitation

Distinguished Concerts International New York City (DCINY) announced today that Anaida Carquez and the Amazonia Vocal Ensemble have been invited to participate in a performance of Alberto Grau’s La Doncella on the DCINY Concert Series in New York City. This performance, under the baton of Dr. Cristian Grases, will take place in Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall on Saturday, June 17, 2017. These outstanding musicians will join with other choristers to form the Distinguished Concerts Singers International, a choir of distinction. Maestro Grases will lead the performance and will serve as the clinician for the residency.

Why the invitation was extended

Dr. Jonathan Griffith, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor for DCINY states: “The Amazonia Vocal Ensemble received this invitation because of the quality and high level of musicianship demonstrated by the singers as well as the exceptional recommendation given by Maria Guinand.

It is quite an honor just to be invited to perform in New York. These wonderful musicians not only represent a high quality of music and education, but they also become ambassadors for the entire community. This is an event of extreme pride for everybody and deserving of the community’s recognition and support.”

The singers will spend 5 days and 4 nights in New York City in preparation for their concert. “The singers will spend approximately 9-10 hours in rehearsals over the 5 day residency.” says Griffith. “Not all of the time is spent in rehearsals, since there is so much history and culture to see in New York City. However, the performance is the primary purpose for their visit to the city.” Members of the community are encouraged to give financial support in sending these singers to New York by contacting Anaida Carquez at (786)-870-2424 or via email at

Guest Conductor Cristian Grases

Dr. Cristian Grases joined the USC Thornton faculty in the Fall 2010 semester as assistant professor of choral music and conductor of the USC Thornton Concert Choir. Born in Venezuela, he earned degrees from the Simón Bolivar University (MM), where his principle teachers were Maria Guinand and Alberto Grau, and the University of Miami (DMA). He has previously served as interim director of choral activities at Central Washington University and assistant professor in choral music at California State University.

An award winning conductor and composer, Dr. Grases received the prestigious award for the arts in Venezuela, Orden José Felix Ribas for artistic merit, first prize at the Emerging Composer Competition at Yale University for his work Visiones del Llano—2. Amanecer, and an invitation from Helmuth Rilling to study at the Sommerakademie in Stuttgart, Germany. Additionally, he has been commissioned to write for several prestigious organizations such as the Piedmont Children's Chorus and the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and his works have been performed by the Los Angeles Master Chorale.

Dr. Grases has participated in numerous festivals, workshops, and events as a guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and conducting pedagogue in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Most recently, he guest conducted in Canada, France, Denmark, The Netherlands, Israel, Indonesia, China, and Venezuela. He has also presented sessions in the World Symposia in Denmark and Argentina, and several ACDA regional and national conventions.

During his time in Florida, Dr. Grases was the founder and artistic director of Amazonia Vocal Ensemble, based in Miami, with a focus on Latin American repertoire. He also served as conductor for the Women’s Chamber Ensemble of the University of Miami, was the assistant conductor of the Miami Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Eduardo Marturet, and the conductor of the Young Musician’s Orchestra.

In 2004, Dr. Grases was selected by the International Federation for Choral Music as one of a five-member committee for the Songbridge Project, together with renowned choral masters and chaired by the creator of the project, Erkki Pohjola (Finland). He was elected into the Board of Directors of the International Federation for Choral Music in 2008 and remains active in this position. In addition, Grases is currently chair of the Ethnic and Multicultural Repertoire and Standards Committee for the Western Division of the American Choral Directors Association, he is the editor of the Children’s and Youth Column for the International Choral Bulletin, and is in charge of the new Choral Series entitles “The Choral Music of Latin America and the Caribbean” published by Gentry Publications.

DCINY Productions

Founded by Iris Derke and Jonathan Griffith, Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) is the leading producer of dynamically charged musical excellence. With its unforgettable concert experiences in renowned venues, empowering educational programs, and its global community of artists and audiences, DCINY changes lives through the power of performance.


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