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San Diego-Tijuana To Have Binational Youth Orchestra

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The San Diego-Tijuana region will soon have its first binational youth orchestra. Heightened border security and concerns about violence in Mexico can complicate such initiatives, but organizers say it’s worth the effort.

— San Diego will soon have a youth orchestra linking musicians from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Select musicians from the Centro de Artes Musicales in Tijuana and the San Diego Young Artists Symphony (soon to be the Mainly Mozart Youth Orchestra) are coming together to form a binational orchestra.

Organizers say it’s the first such effort between the U.S. and Mexico.

The music directors of the Tijuana and San Diego youth orchestras will begin meeting next month to map out their vision for the project.

Rehearsals and performances will be held in San Diego during the first year. That means Mexican musicians will face long waits to cross the border.

Such cross-border collaborations are always tricky, said Nancy Laterno Bojanic, founding executive director of San Diego’s Mainly Mozart Festival, which is behind the initiative. The organization has been holding performances south of the border for 22 years.

“You have to be in it for the long run, or it can just be too complicated,” she said.

The new orchestra is to be called the Youth Orchestra of the Californias. Bojanic hopes it will help educate people in the U.S. and in Mexico about the cultural richness that exists on both sides of the fence.

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