A nationally known Latina opera singer will headline the 11th annual “Latina Voices” program, sponsored by Friends of the Pikes Peak Library District at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24 at Library 21C, 1175 Chapel Hills Drive.
Cecilia Violette López is the artistic advisor for Opera Idaho and has performed with the Minnesota Opera, Opera Colorado, Opera Tampa, Opera Idaho, Ash Lawn Opera, The Northern Lights Music Festival, Madison Opera, Pacific Symphony, and Virginia Opera, among others.
López has been named one of “Idaho’s Top 10 Most Influential Women of the Century” by USA Today and has been identified as one of opera’s “25 Rising Stars” by Opera News.
The daughter of Mexican migrant workers, she now is on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She will tell her success story and perform selected works.
She will be accompanied on piano by Eric Osman, who performs with the Colorado Army National Guard band and teaches piano.
A second accompanist, Ana Santeliz, has played musical instruments since she was a child.
She has served in the Illinois National Guard Army Band and transitioned into the Army Band in 2014. In 2015, she moved to Colorado where she was stationed at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora. In 2017, she discharged from the military and began studying Music Education at Colorado State University – Pueblo. She now works for the Community Partnership for Child Development as the Outreach Coordinator.
Another presenter will be Keeley Griego, a Colorado Springs native, now living in Pueblo. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Women’s and Ethnic Studies, a minor in anthropology, a certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies, and a certificate in Global Studies.
Griego graduated from Leadership Pikes Peak’s Leadership Now! program for young professionals in 2018, served on the steering committee for Leadership Pikes Peak’s 2019 Women’s Community Leadership Initiative class, and was hired to manage both programs in 2020. Griego was selected as part of the Colorado Springs Business Journal’s Rising Stars Class of 2021 and is currently serving for a second year on the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s first Women and Girls of Color Fund Advisory Council. She is now the Digital and Community Educator for Inside Out Youth Services.
The program’s emcee will be Amy Sanchez-Martinez. A graduate of Mitchell High School and UCCS, she became a teacher at Mitchell, where she taught world history, U.S. history, constitutional and criminal law, and student government. After earning her Masters of Science in Organization Leadership with graduate honors from Regis University, she also served as social studies department chair for six years before becoming a master teacher for the System for Teacher and Student Advancement. She also served as dean of students and taught a student leadership class at Mitchell while studying for her principal’s licensure. As assistant principal at Mitchell, she oversaw instruction and professional development. Amy is currently campus director at Sand Creek High School, serving staff, students, and her community.
The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 9:30 with refreshments. For more information, 719-531-6333, ext. 1461.