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South of the border, down Mexico way

Sones de Mexico, an ensemble dedicated to preserving the various "sones" or styles of folk music that are indigenous to the various Mexican states, was the second offering from the UVM Lane Series recently. The Redstone Recital Hall had few empty seats either for the concert itself or for the pre-concert talk, a staple feature of the Lane Series.

This remarkable six-member group between them played some 30 to 40 instruments, as well as singing and, in the case of the lone woman member, remarkable step dancing.

The focus for this particular concert was centered on the music of the late Mexican revolution, so that music of the time of the revolution was one aspect, music created by the revolution another, as well as music that sang the praises of such folk-heroes as Pancho Villa. There was at least one Revolutionary march.

Under the leadership of Victor Pichardo, an active member of the ensemble, and with the narration by Juan Dies, the ensemble moved through all the elements of its program with sounds as colorful as the colors of the costumes of Mexico and as vivid as the poinsettias and the bougainvillea and all the other floral wonders of the country.

One particularly wonderful moment in the program came when the ensemble turned its attention to J. S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, which suffered no harm at the hands of the ensemble, producing an effect that the composer could certainly have accepted without any qualms.

The audience, charmed by the first sounds of the evening, participated whenever asked to do so during a generously programmed concert. At the conclusion of the program, they were equally generous with their applause, bringing the members of the ensemble back to the stage for a number of bows. All in all, it was a brilliant and wonderful evening.

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