The national award winning Latino Arts Strings Program (LASP) was established in the fall of 2002 at the United Community Center (UCC) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and housed in Bruce-Guadalupe Community School (BGCS).
Created and directed by Dinorah Marquez, this pre-college music training program provides Latino students with instruments, music materials, individual lessons, small group and orchestra, and mariachi ensemble lessons every week, all for a fee of $65 per school year. The program reaches 200 children ages five through eighteen that may otherwise never have the opportunity to receive serious music instruction.
LASP began with 26 students in 2002 and now serves 200 students in violin, viola, cello, bass, and guitar. In addition to giving several solo recitals during the year, LASP students participate in one or more ensembles, which includes a “Latino Youth Orchestra,” one of our four mariachi groups, and varied chamber ensembles.
Under the instruction of seven instrumental teachers, students receive a solid technical foundation and classical training. However, technique development is acquired through the exploration of various forms of Latin American folk music, which we lovingly refer to as from Bamba to Bach or from Mariachi to Mozart.