President Scott Showalter today announced that the 2019 Schnitzer Wonder Award will recognize Mariachi Una Voz of the Hillsboro School District, represented by founder and manager Dan Bosshardt. The award will be presented at the Oregon Symphony’s free Concert for the Community on Saturday, April 13.
Mariachi Una Voz launched in 2010 with support from the Hillsboro School District Office of Equity. Featuring strings, brass, and singing, the band is free and open to all Hillsboro middle- and high- school students. Since its inception the group has been a beloved addition to over one hundred school and community events, performing in venues as diverse as the Portland’5 Centers for the Arts theaters, the Moda Center, major regional cultural festivals, and schools, libraries and hospitals. The group’s mission is to promote cultural understanding and community unity through music education and performance.
The Schnitzer Wonder Award was created in 2015 by Jordan Schnitzer to honor his parents, Harold and Arlene Schnitzer, and their commitment to philanthropy, fairness, opportunity, education and creativity as the heart of a strong and vibrant community. The award honors an individual or organization that directly works to build community through the next generation of artists and/or student musicians. This award comes with a $10,000 monetary prize, intended to help further the honoree’s work.
“We are proud to honor Mariachi Una Voz for their outstanding work inspiring young people to participate in music and celebrating the rich cultural heritage present in our region,” said Showalter. “Dan Bosshardt and his students are a brilliant example of the way music can empower our youth and build community.”
The Oregon Symphony and Mariachi Una Voz enjoy a rich partnership. The group has repeatedly performed at the Oregon Symphony’s pre-concert Prelude series, and they were frequent performers at the Waterfront Concert where they played to an audience of thousands. As part of the 2019 free Community Concert, Mariachi Una Voz will join the Oregon Symphony on stage at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall for a celebration of music of the Americas.
Mariachi Una Voz is part of an increasing number of Oregon students finding their voice and passion in youth mariachi programs. Musicians in the program have recently participated in the Maricahi STEAM camp at Oregon State University and the Portland Mariachi Youth Celebration at Portland State University. They are encouraged to take leadership roles within their community, and grow their capacity to serve as mentors, advocates and bridge-builders between and among cultures.
“I share the belief of many of our community musical allies and partners, that every child who wishes to learn to play a musical instrument should have the opportunity,” Bosshardt said. “The students that find their way to our group have inspiring personal stories. They have very supportive families
that often do not have the financial means to provide transportation, instruments, lessons, or private instruction. This award will help us continue to provide a pathway to inspiration and put the tools for success into the hands of the next generation. We are extremely grateful to the Oregon Symphony and the Schnitzer family for this honor.”
Bosshardt joins past recipients of the Schnitzer Wonder Award including Diana Scoggins and Raúl Gómez of Metropolitan Youth Symphony, Julane Stites of Dance West, Mia Hall Miller of Pacific Youth Choir, and Bonnie Reagan of BRAVO Youth Orchestras.
ABOUT THE OREGON SYMPHONY
The multi-Grammy-nominated Oregon Symphony ranks as one of America’s major orchestras. Led by Music Director Carlos Kalmar, it serves over 300,000 people annually through more than 110
performances and award-winning education and community engagement programs. Now in its 123rd year, the Oregon Symphony is the oldest orchestra west of the Mississippi.
The Symphony’s ground-breaking 2017/18 Season set box office and fundraising records and was marked by an initiative to connect more deeply with the Portland community. The organization embarked on the year-long Sounds of Home series, which revolutionized the role of the arts in addressing three of the most critical social issues of the day: immigration, the environment, and homelessness. This series made a powerful impact in the community through innovative art, cross- sector partnerships with 37 organizations, and civic leadership. Sounds of Home community concerts hosted in venues across the city reached nearly 3,000 attendees and were viewed by thousands more through live streaming on social media.
The Symphony reached over 15 million radio broadcast listeners in the 2017/18 Season via All Classical Portland as well as American Public Media’s SymphonyCast and Performance Today. The season additionally featured three world premieres, including the first-ever play commissioned by an American orchestra.