Antelope Valley College Band

P'urhepecha wind band music

The Antelope Valley College Band has been a part of the Antelope Valley community in Southern California since the 1970’s.  Fifty-two percent of Antelope Valley’s population is Spanish-speaking and a large portion of the band’s members are Hispanic.  In an effort to address this cultural diversity, in 2009, supported by ACTA’s Traditional Arts Development Program, band director Robert Starner conducted a series of master classes and concerts with the Antelope Valley College Band focusing on traditional wind band repertoire from the P’urhepecha Indian communities of Michoacán, Mexico.

The projects goals were to give students and audience members a broader perspective of the history and development of wind bands in Mexico, specifically from the state of Michoacán, and a sense of the Mexican style for performing this unique repertoire.  In the 19th century, Michoacán saw an influx of French immigrants.  One of their contributions to the sate was the introduction of the French wind band tradition.  This tradition has grown in different ways all over Mexico.  In Michoacán, there is the rustic, traditional music of Meseta P’urhepecha and the Banda de Polica y Transitos, the oldest wind band in Mexcio dating back to before the turn of the 20th century.  Also, coming from teh same French tradition, there is the popular vocal/wing band music known as banda that developed in the state of Sinaloa and has since spread all over Mexico and to the United States.