Glendon’s ‘Noche Latina’ blows away the winter blues

With winter and snow intent on continuing to torment us, the warm breezes of Latin music at Glendon’s Noche Latina were just what everybody needed. Playing at two sold-out concerts on March 1 and 2 in Theatre Glendon, the Glendon Musical Ensemble (GME) warmed the atmosphere and melted the hearts of the audience with a two-hour bonanza of singing, dancing and instrumentals.

Well-known pieces, such as Tito Puente’s “Oye comó va”, Abreu’s “Tico, tico”, Jobím’s “Corcovado”, Haroldo Lobo’s “Tristeza” and the Gypsy Kings’ “Bamboleo” delighted everyone, as they were performed with irresistible charm and great musical skill. But there were new, original compositions as well, such as the GME’s own guitarist, Glenn Williams’ sophisticated “Look Up to the Sky”, after the style of Jobím.

The variety of instruments – strings, guitars, flute, clarinet, accordion, drums, percussion and keyboard – created a rich sound that made listeners give into the rhythms and melodies, swaying and occasionally clapping out the beat.

The Glendon Musical Ensemble, formed in 1999, boasts 33 members comprised mostly of students, but also welcomes alumni, faculty and staff members. Co-directed by two dedicated and versatile student musicians, Paulo Bittencourt and Cristina Raimondo, they not only perform in special concerts, conceptualized and mounted entirely by the group, but also support other Glendon events, such as the recent March Break Gala at Glendon, by creating a warm and welcoming ambiance through their music. They represent the liberal arts ideal of an all-round education and an opportunity to hone artistic talents on campus. Although Raimondo will graduate this year, she and Bittencourt will remain co-directors of the GME. The number of new members and eager participants in the ensemble are an encouraging sign for the future.

Bittencourt’s haunting and delicious rendition of “The Girl from Ipanema”, accompanying himself on the keyboard, ended the concert and brought the audience to their feet. Everyone wanted more summer breeze, ocean waves, lovely melodies, dancing feet. No one wanted to go out into the cold.

This article was submitted to YFile by Glendon’s communications officer Marika Kemeny.