The POA moves from strength to strength

The orchestra is now a successful professional ensemble and Music Director de la Parra has an independent conducting career that includes South and Latin American works as well as the bread and butter mainstream repertoire essential for growing conductors.

The POA has a two pronged mission, to correct misconceptions about, and explore the huge legacy of, modern musical composition in Central and South America; and secondly, to showcase Central and South American talent.

To a much greater extent than we have in North America, composers in Central and South American have had to deal with the awareness that classical music is an "import," as a consequence, through out the 20th century many have wrestled with issues of modernism, tonality, accessibility and assimilation/incorporation of regional idioms and what that means in the creation "art" music. The question of relevance dealt with by of these composers are similar to issues asked today by those who question classical music's importance in contemporary culture. Particularly as the media and popular music take the intellectual limelight from classical music, issues of populism, dominant popular music forms and musical evolution may give certain Central and South America compositions a resonance unimagined by the composers.

The second point of the POA's mission bears particular relevance to Ms. de la Parra, who is clear on the importance that the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas can play in encouraging great Latin and South American performers early in their career. As Ms. de la Parra put it, if they don't see avenues that can assist them and increase their awareness that they are part of the larger world of classic music then tremendous talent will be discouraged and lost.

The Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas is comprised of professional musicians from all parts of the globe and one of Ms. de la Parra's jobs as conductor is to impart a certain latin swing to the orchestra, since dance and rhythm are essential to capturing the essence of many of the compositions the orchestra will perform. Ms. de la Parra does this by encouraging the orchestra to add some physicality to their playing which contributes to their vibrant sound. She also educates the members in essential latin moves and dances, and falls back on You Tube examples for some take home exercises.

The orchestra is a typical New York "melting pot" creation, but one presumes that soon the POA will be know as the New York orchestral rhythm kings.