History

The Multicultural Music Group, Inc. is a non-profit organization established in 1996 as a response to the need of multicultural music representation in the symphonic repertoire, the teacher training curricula and the instrumental music programs in the schools.

As a result of the paucity of multicultural music in instrumental settings and the need for cultural understanding among ethnic groups, the organization had a great acceptance by different audiences and educational institutions in New York City.

Why MMG?

The population in the United States and in many other countries in the world is extremely diverse. We have the responsibility to examine and discuss what unites us as a country and as a global village. We should be aware of the common values we share in this international scenario comprised of so many ethnic groups and beliefs. The use of multicultural music can help with this unifying vision. Nevertheless, the status of world music in instrumental settings is minimum or almost non-existent.

In the professional performance aspect, the presentation of multicultural music in orchestras or small chamber ensembles is not very common. Furthermore, the creation of multicultural music for orchestras is rarely promoted by presenting organizations or by the administration of established symphonic organizations. Moreover, if multicultural performances are presented, information about its origins and its cross-cultural relationship is not usually provided to the audiences.

In the educational aspect, the MMG supports the schools to comply with the national educational reform, which includes the application of multicultural music instruction. Unfortunately, this topic is not usually included in the teachers training curricula and consequently in the schools’ music programs, especially in instrumental music instruction for symphonic settings.

Therefore, in order to improve the aforementioned situations, the MMG provides music instruction, professional development, and multicultural performances in the symphonic setting with a research component, which provides information about the origins and development of different musical genres.

Mission

The mission of the MMG is to create & present new symphonic music, promote research of hidden aspects of history, and to provide direct student instruction in multicultural instrumental music as a tool to promote global understanding, social justice awareness, and diversity in the symphonic repertoire.

We work towards a vision which foresees a fair historical portrait of our underrepresented communities in the educational and artistic fields and a genuine support by symphony orchestras, media sources, and concert venues to include the talent of minority composers in their presentations.

MMG fulfills its mission and vision through new music commissions that support living composers-of-color, and by providing economically accessible professional music presentations that promote the talent and compositions of non-European-descendant composers in symphonic, chamber music settings. Open dialogue and reflection are a unifying component of all MMG performances & educational programs to deepen students & audiences’ listening, learning and cross-cultural experience.

MMG Board of Directors

Edwin Marrero, Chair/President

Dr. Edwin Marrero is the Chair/President of the Multicultural Music Group (MMG)’s Board of Directors and an active guitar and bass player in Jazz and Latin music. Dr. Marrero was elected Chair of the MMG Board of Directors in July 2020, this is his 9th year in the MMG Board. He is a retired arts coordinator from the Mount Vernon Department of Education and a retired guidance counselor with the NYCDOE. Edwin has a Ph.D. in Curriculum Development from Teacher College, Columbia University and is one of the leading consultants for the educational and performing components of the Multicultural Music Group.

Mariana Muñiz, Vice-Chair/Secretary

Ms. Mariana Muñiz is the Vice-Chair/Secretary of the Multicultural Music Group’s Board of Directors. Mariana is an Academic Counselor at Fordham University and a part-time guidance counselor with the NYCDOE. Ms. Muñiz has an Ed.M. in Educational Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. She was elected Vice Chair/Secretary of the MMG Board of Directors in July 2020. This is Mariana’s 9th year in the MMG Board, and she is an active community organizer for our partnerships with higher education’s institutions, community-based organizations, and performing arts venues in NYC.

George Sanchez, Treasurer

Mr. George Sanchez is the Treasurer of the Multicultural Music Group’s Board of Directors. George is a Senior Officer at the Human Resource Administration at Marriot International and a legal & financial consultant for Marriot’s community affairs in NYC. Mr. Sanchez has an MS in Business Administration and Legal Studies from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He was elected Treasurer of the MMG Board of Directors in July 2020. This is George’s 8th year in the MMG Board, and she is our liaison for accounting, legal, and audit services in NYC.


Bruce Purse, Director

Luis Muñiz, Director

Alberto Lopez, Director

Luis Mojica, Director

MMG Staff

Luis Mojica, Executive Director

Luis Mojica completed his doctoral degree in music administration from Teachers College, Columbia University, and studied music composition & orchestration independently with Latin pianist Charlie Palmieri and Pulitzer Prize winner David Del Tredici. He has worked as producer, arranger, composer, and orchestrator with such artists as Eddie Palmieri, Donald Harrison, Frank London, Ray Santos, and Olu Dara among others. Luis has worked at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music as Artistic Director, Dean of the Preparatory School at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, Dean of the School of Education at the Metropolitan University in Puerto Rico, Chancellor of Caribbean University in Puerto Rico, and Educational Consultant for the National Educational Reform in Mexico from 2017 to 2018. Luis founded the MMG in 1996 and served as the Executive Director of the Multicultural Music Group until 2004, when he had a seven year leave for outside professional services and returned to MMG as consultant in 2011 and to the ED position in 2018.

Ali Bello, Orchestra Conductor & Artistic Director

Ali Bello is the Artistic Director of the Multicultural Music Group and main conductor of the MMG Orchestra. Venezuelan born Ali Bello, has become one of the most dazzling and sought-after violinists, distinguishing himself for his versatility among different music styles in addition to his well-found classical training and multidimensional improvisational skills. His violin has backed up amazing singers of the stature of Mercedes Sosa, Susana Baca, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Alejandro Fernández, and Cheo Feliciano among others. Mr. Bello is currently finishing his doctoral studies in Administration and Supervision at Metropolitan University in Puerto Rico and playing as guest soloist with different artists at the international level; 2022 was Ali’s first year as Artistic Director and his 12th year as Main Conductor with the MMG Orchestra.

Ivan Rosales, Administrative Director

Ivan Rosales is the Administrative Director of the Multicultural Music Group since 1999. Ivan is a graduate of Queens College with MBA and a minor in music performance. Mr. Rosales currently works as an event consultant with the Bronx Arts Ensemble and the Bronx Symphony Orchestra. Ivan currently manages the MMG payroll, bookkeeping, and financial reports to the MMG Board. He has been the fiscal consultant for all our grant proposals and manages all the contracting and hiring process for faculty, staff, and volunteer services at MMG.


Alec Castro, MME Coordinator & Percussion Chair

Timofei Rosales, SYP Coordinator, Lower String Chair & Instructor

Pete Nater, Upper Brass Chair & Instructor

Dave Chamberlain, Lower Brass Chair & Instructor

Olga Chernigova, Upper String Chair & Instructor

Morgan Papas, Upper Woodwind Chair & Instructor

Peter Miranda, Lower Woodwind Chair & Instructor