Luciana Schulle BA ’05 returned to her alma mater recently when her cantata, The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, was performed as part of Park Place Church of God’s Coolidge Concert Series. The cantata tells the story of the many mothers who lost their young adult children in Argentina during what Schulle calls a “dirty war.” Directed by Dr. Rick Sowers, the piece was performed by the women of the Anderson University Chorale, with AU Alumna and faculty member Marci Wagnon as soloist.
Schulle was born in Brazil in 1979, not long after the government in neighboring Argentina quelled protests of the government by the country’s young adults by kidnapping, torturing, and many times killing them. The families never knew what happened to the children after they were ripped from their homes.
What Schulle remembers is the many mothers, adorned with white scarves, holding public marches and demanding the whereabouts of their children. “I grew up knowing their story and it had a huge impact on my life,” she explains. Years later as a graduate music composition student at Butler University, she brought their struggle together in a cantata named for their organization, The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo. “I wanted to give these women a musical voice and write this as a tribute to them.”
The cantata, which was performed with chamber orchestra, is sung in Spanish and Latin. It has nine movements, beginning with the night the children are taken from their homes and ending with the mothers today still asking what happened to their children.
The cantata is Schulle’s final thesis for her degree at Butler, which she will receive in December. It was not required for her to find someone to perform her piece. That has just been a special bonus to her. “I never imagined that it would be performed so soon in such a wonderful way,” says Schulle. “I’m so grateful my alma mater is still supporting me.”
Ultimately, Schulle would like to see her piece performed in Argentina.
—Written by Deborah Lilly, editor of Signatures magazine.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,750 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.