Cinco de Mayo Spotlight on Donna Peña



Donna Peña releases Sigan la Bandera (Follow the Banner), a musical telling (in the Catholic tradition) of the legend of Mary who many believe appeared to St. Juan Diego as the Virgin of Guadalupe in 1531.
For centuries, pilgrims have “followed” and made processions to her “banner,” the cloth from Juan’s cloak on which her image reportedly miraculously appeared. These 12 new and traditional songs will delight all who love the mariachi music of Mexico. Performed by the ensemble Mariachi Tepeyac, with Donna on vocals and flute, Sigan la Bandera captures the color and mystique of this spirited music.
The album is rich with traditional Marian songs. “Mi Virgen Ranchera” is a very popular song by the famous Mexican composer Chucho Monje. “Virgen Mambisa” is a flamboyant song by Cuban nationals Rogelio Zelada and Orlando Rodríguez of Miami. Many will also recognize “Santa María del Camino,” a well-known song by Spanish composer Juan Antonio Espinosa.
Donna leaves her own mark on the album with her original compositions. One medley combines a traditional song with something Donna learned from the Mexican community growing up in Minnesota, “El Adiós de un Soldado/Adiós, O Virgen de Guadalupe” is a touching remembrance of young people leaving for war.
“There is no greater pride in Mexico than the look of the charro,” she explains, “and the sound of the violins, trumpets, guitars, guitarron and vihuela that make up the mariachi. With the opening statements of these instruments, one hears the gritos and roars of approval by those who come to listen. There is truly nothing like it.”
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