Virtual Concert: Border CrosSing

thumbnail border crossing
Venn Productions

Age Range: Elementary, Middle School

Note to Teachers: Virtual Concerts give your students the opportunity to practice their audience skills and experience a wide variety of genres performed by professional, Minnesota-based musicians. As the teacher, you’ll play the role of Concert Host narrating between each piece of music. Use your judgment to cater the concert to your students’ needs and attention span. If you need ideas adapting a virtual concert for your situation, please contact Katie Condon, music education specialist. We hope you enjoy this Class Notes Virtual Concert!

1. Begin by watching and listening to Border CrosSing perform Xicochi conetzintle by Gaspar Fernandes.

This piece featured singers and several instruments. Did you notice the instrument that looked like goat hooves? Learn a little more about that instrument in the next video.

Shahzore explained that a percussion instrument is anything that you “shake, scrape, or tap.” Can you list some percussion instruments that fit that definition? What specific sound are the goat hooves trying to imitate in Xicochi conetzintle?

2. Look at the three instruments below. From left to right, they are the bombo, the charango, and the double bass. To which instrument family does each belong? What features help you guess the correct instrument family?

Instruments in Hanacpachap Cussicuinin
Wikimedia Commons

The next video features these three instruments. The piece Border CrosSing performs is called Hanacpachap Cussicuinin. The composer credit is “Anonymous,” and it was composed in the 17th century. “Anonymous” means we don’t know who originally composed this piece of music.

After listening and watching, answer these questions:

  • How would you describe this music? 

  • What did you notice while watching? What did you hear? Write down some observations, or discuss with a partner or small group.

3. Listen to and watch Border CrosSing perform El Cantarico, by Tomás de Torrejón y Velasco. This song tells a story and has several different characters. As you watch, try to figure out what is happening in the story.

Now Ahmed will explain the story of El Cantarico. The singers will each explain what they do with their voice to help create their individual characters. We will also learn how Nico uses instruments to help tell the story.

4. Ahmed will talk about Border CrosSing’s next piece, and teach you how to sing along with part of it.   

Now watch Border CrosSing perform Alma Llanera. Do you remember the words and the hand gestures that go along with them?  Sing along while you watch and listen. 

Want to book a FREE, in-person concert for your school? View our artist menu to see our roster and to book a group! Please note: In-person concerts are for Minnesota schools only. If your school is not in the 7-county metro area, please email to learn more about your options of bringing a group to your school!

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