February 14-21, 2018


Restored organs we will hear in concerts during the Festival:
Basilica de la Soledad, Oaxaca Cathedral, ​Jalatlaco, Yanhuitlán, Zautla, Tlacochahuaya, Tlacolula, Tamazulapan, Tlaxiaco.


Another fabulous Oaxacan organ adventure is in the works! Our upcoming IOHIO festival will be the grandest yet, incorporating the recently restored organ of San Matías Jalatlaco into the concert program along with eight other restored Oaxacan instruments. The program this year will run for eight days and include the following activities:

* nine concerts on nine restored Oaxacan organs
* concerts by renowned organists Andrés Cea Galán (Spain) and Jan Willem Jansen (Netherlands/France), and outstanding Mexican musicians
* visits to twelve unrestored organs and their churches, many of which are usually inaccessible to the public, in the Oaxaca Valley and the mountainous area of the Mixteca
* the opportunity for organists and students to play some of the organs
* the opportunity for professional organists to participate in group concerts
* a sample of Oaxaca’s famous local cuisine in several villages
* guided tours of the former convent and church of Santo Domingo and the archeological sites of San Martín Huamelulpan and Monte Alban

There are few places in the world where so many baroque and neo-classic style instruments may be found in such a relatively compact geographical area. Most of Oaxaca’s organs, both restored and unrestored, are located in villages, where they may be appreciated as part of their overall cultural context—their churches, history, and setting.

The word continues to spread about the IOHIO Festivals and the number of participants grows every year, one of the lures being the personal rather than the institutional flavor of the event. The Festival attracts not only professional organists but also organ builders, restorers, musicians, writers, scholars in Mexican art and history, teachers, and, not least, those who simply love music and Oaxaca. For some, the IOHIO festival has been a “life-changing experience.”

February is one of the most beautiful times of the year in Oaxaca. The air is clear and warm and the sky deep blue. Our field trips through the Tlacolula Valley and the Mixteca Alta highlight the splendid and varied Oaxacan scenery, as the trees will just be coming into bloom and the countryside is golden during the dry season. We encourage those of you from northern climes to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to escape the cold.

During these events, new friendships and professional collaborations (even a romance!) are forged, and some folks return year after year. We invite you to become part of our IOHIO festival family and to discover a new aspect of Oaxaca’s rich cultural heritage. You may read a summary of our Eleventh Festival 2016 to have an idea of what’s in store.



February 14 (Wednesday)

8:00 PM: First Concert of the Festival in the Basílica de la Soledad, Cicely Winter, organ, Valentín Hernández, percussion, presenting a program of Oaxacan folk music

February 15 (Thursday)

10:00 AM–4:00 PM: Registration for the Festival in the Museo de Filatelia, Reforma 504
5:30 PM: Inauguration of the Festival in the MUFI Reception
8:00 PM: Second Concert of the Festival in San Matías Jalatlaco, Jan Willem Jansen (Netherlands), organ

February 16 (Friday)

9:00 AM: Lecture: “The Ongoing Work of the IOHIO: Organ conservation, documentation, restoration, research, and promotion,” Cicely Winter, Director of the IOHIO (Francisco de Burgoa Library, Santo Domingo Cultural Center, enter through the south door of the Library)
Coffee break
10:30: Presentation of the treasures of the Burgoa Library; guided tour of the former Convent and the Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman
12:00: Departure for San Andrés Huayapam
1:00 PM: Visit to the unrestored organ in Huayapam
2:00 PM: Midday dinner in Huayapam
3:30 PM: Visit to the Tule Tree or return to directly to Oaxaca.
Free time in the afternoon; organists may play the organ in the Oaxaca Cathedral until 6:00 PM
8:00 PM: Third Concert of the Festival in the Oaxaca Cathedral, Andrés Cea Galán (Spain), organ
Dinner on your own

February 17 (Saturday)

8:00 AM: Departure for the all-day trip to the Mixteca Alta
Visits to the unrestored organs in Santa María Tinú, San Andrés Sinaxtla (lunch), and San Mateo Yucucuí
2:00 PM: Fourth concert of the Festival in Sto. Domingo Yanhuitlán, José Francisco Alvarez, organ, and brass ensemble (Mexico): Carlos Mata Ortiz (trumpet), José David Medina Ibarra (trombone), Francisco Fidel Vázquez Borja (tuba).
5:00 PM: Fiesta and dinner in San Andrés Zautla
7:00 PM: Fifth concert of the Festival in San Andrés Zautla, participation of Festival organists.
9:00 PM: Departure for Oaxaca

February 18 (Sunday)

9:30 AM: Departure for Tlacochahuaya
Visit to the restored organ and the church in Tlacochahuaya
11:00 AM: Sixth Concert of the Festival in San Jerónimo Tlacochahuaya, Jan Willem Jansen, organ
1:00 PM: Midday dinner in Mitla, “Donají” Restaurant
3:00 PM: Visits to the unrestored organs in San Miguel del Valle and Tlacolula
6:00 PM: Seventh Concert of the Festival in Santa María Tlacolula, Andrés Cea Galán, organ
7:30 PM: Departure for Oaxaca
Dinner on your own

February 19 (Monday)

8:00 AM: Departure for the two-day trip to the Mixteca Alta
10:30 AM: Visit to the church and unrestored organ in Tamazulapan
11:00 AM: Eighth Concert of the Festival in Sta. Maria Natividad Tamazulapan, with the participation of Festival organists (lunch)
Visits to the unrestored organs in Santiago Teotongo, Santiago Tejupan, and San Pedro and San Pablo Teposcolula
3:00 PM: Comida in Teposcolula, “Eunice” Restaurant
7:00 PM: Ninth Concert of the Festival in Sta. María de la Asunción Tlaxiaco, with the participation of Festival organists
8:30 PM: Dinner in Tlaxiaco, “El Patio” restaurant
Overnight in Tlaxiaco hotels “Del Portal” and “San Mishell”

February 20 (Tuesday)

8:00-9:00 AM: Buffet breakfast in Tlaxiaco
9:00- 10:30 AM: Organists may play the Tlaxiaco organ or visit the archeological site of San Martín Huamelulpan with Dr. Marcus Winter (INAH)
11:30 AM: Visits to the unrestored organs in San Pedro Mártir Yucuxaco and Santa María Tiltepec
2:00 PM: Farewell dinner in the home of the Cruz García family in Tiltepec
5:00 PM: Departure for Oaxaca

February 21 (Wednesday)

9:30 AM: Guided visit (for Festival participants only) to the archeological site of Monte Albán with Dr. Marcus Winter (INAH)
2:00 PM: Return to Oaxaca


Unrestored organs we will visit during the Festival:
Huayapam, Tinu, Sinaxtla, Yucucui, San Miguel del Valle, Tlacolula, Tamazulapan, Tiltepec



February 14:

The concert in La Soledad is free.

February 15:

Registration, inauguration, buffet.
Tickets for the concert in the Cathedral ($100 pesos) are included in the price of the Feb. 16 events and are distributed during Registration.

February 16 includes:

Coffee break
Guided tour of the Santo Domingo church and ex-convent
Transportation to Huayapam
Visit to church and unrestored organ (Huayapam)
Midday dinner in Huayapam
Concert in Jalatlaco
Foreigners $90 USD / Mexicans and permanent foreign residents in Oaxaca $60 US (1100 MXN)

February 17 includes:

All day transportation to the Mixteca Alta
Visits to three unrestored organs (Tinú, Sinaxtla, Yucucuí)
Concerts in Yanhuitlán and Zautla
Church tours
Fiesta and dinner in Zautla
Foreigners $160 USD / Mexicans and permanent foreign residents in Oaxaca $110 USD (2100 MXN)

February 18 includes:

All day transportation to the Tlacolula Valley
Visits to two unrestored organs (San Miguel del Valle, Tlacolula)
Church tours
Midday meal in Mitla
Concerts in Tlacochahuaya and Tlacolula
Foreigners $120 USD / Mexicans and permanent foreign residents in Oaxaca $80 US (1500 MXN)

February 19-20 includes:

February 19 Events and Overnight in Tlaxiaco
Transportation to the Mixteca Alta
Concert in Tamazulapan
Visits to four unrestored organs (Tamazulapan, Teotongo, Tejupan, Teposcolula)
Church tours
Midday meal in Teposcolula
Concert in Tlaxiaco
Dinner in Tlaxiaco
Hotel in Tlaxiaco

February 20 Events
Breakfast in Tlaxiaco
Visits to two unrestored organs (Yucuxaco, Tiltepec) and one archeological site (Huamelulpan)
Midday dinner in Tiltepec
Transportation back to Oaxaca
Foreigners $400 US / Mexicans and permanent foreign Oaxaca residents $270 US (5000 MXN)

February 21 Option includes:

Transportation to and from Monte Alban, Entrance Fee and Guided tour
Foreigners $50 US / Mexicans and permanent foreign residents in Oaxaca $40 (750 MXN)

*Please note that fees quoted in Mexican pesos may vary slightly by the time of the Festival and will be updated if necessary in February.

Besides the expenses listed above, the organizational costs, and a donation to each church with an unrestored organ, your participation fee also includes a contribution to our festival scholarship fund so that selected Mexican organ students may participate in the festival activities free of charge.

NOTE: All concerts are free, except the inaugural concert in the Oaxaca Cathedral ($100 pesos) because we require a silent audience for a professional recording of the concert and need to filter the audience. If you would prefer to attend the concert only and not participate in the programmed activities, you may buy your ticket at the door of the church just before the concert.


To reserve a place in the Festival, please fill out the form and click SEND to email it to the IOHIO office. We will then send you payment instructions. Please submit a separate form for each participant even if you will be traveling together with identical itineraries.

Check the box by each date you wish to reserve:
Feb. 16
Feb. 17
Feb. 18
Feb. 19-20
Feb. 21

For the overnight in Tlaxiaco Feb. 19,
please indicate the type of room preferred:
Single Double Triple

and the names of other guests sharing the room:

I would like to play/perform on the organ in:

  Perform Play
Oaxaca Cathedral  

Professional organists are invited to sign up to perform on one of three organs, while students and organ aficionados will have the opportunity to play two of them. Please send us your curriculum vitae along with your registration form. We will be in touch with you later about the details.

Please indicate any special dietary needs or write any comments here:




We recommend that you make your hotel reservations as soon as possible because the Festival takes place during the peak tourist season.

Hotels which are close to the Museo de Filatelia (MUFI), Reforma 504
(Festival registration and departure for field trips)

Hotel Maela
Hotel Casa Vertiz
Hospedería la Reja
Hotel Casa de los Frailes
Hotel Casa Conzatti
Holiday Inn Express LINK
Hotel Quinta Real

Please keep in mind that nothing is very far away in downtown Oaxaca and it’s a very walkable city; there are also many hotel options near the main square (Zócalo) or the Santo Domingo Church.

Hotels which support the IOHIO

Hotel Parador San Agustín
Hostal de La Noria
Hotel Gala
Hotel de la Parra


The State of Oaxaca is in southern Mexico; its capital, the city of Oaxaca, is located in an extensive and culturally rich central valley that has an elevation of around 5,000 ft. (1500 meters) above sea level. As a result, the tropical climate is moderated considerably: February temperatures average a high of 79 °F (26 °C) and a low of 56 °F (13 °C). There is little chance of rain in February.

The city of Oaxaca has been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It has many beautiful churches and buildings dating from colonial times, and a diverse cultural component is provided by the various indigenous groups which reside in the state. It is also known for the quality and variety of handicrafts produced in the area. As a result, tourism is one of the main industries in the state, and the population welcomes visitors with enthusiasm and courteousness. Many Oaxacans in the tourist industry speak at least some English.

Agriculture and handicrafts are the primary occupations of the villages throughout the Valley of Oaxaca, which has three branches. Two of the tours in the Festival will visit the eastern branch, the Valley of Tlacolula. Two other tours will pass through the western valley on the way to the Mixteca Alta, a more mountainous area in the northwest region of the state. Participants will have free time on several days to explore the Oaxaca City but should consider adding a couple of days to their visit if they want to explore further afield on their own. Incidentally, Travel + Leisure Magazine readers recently rated Oaxaca #6 of the World’s Top 15 Cities.


All U.S. and Canadian citizens must have a passport to enter Mexico. A visa is not required but each visitor is issued a tourist card upon arrival in Mexico, which must be turned in upon departure. Citizens of other countries should consult the appropriate authorities and/or the Mexican Embassy. We advise you to carry a copy of your passport with you and leave your original hidden in your suitcase or safe in your hotel.



When you arrive at the Oaxaca Airport, you may take the airport transportation to your hotel (costs around $6.00 USD in the group van).
Whenever transportation is included in the Festival fees, participants will be taken to the event in comfortable, air-conditioned buses or vans driven by professional drivers. The historic center of the city is small and quite walkable and taxis are relatively inexpensive, so participants can easily reach the Festival activities held in the city on their own.



The weather will be warm and sunny at midday and cool in the evenings. It may be especially chilly in some of the churches, so bring layers of clothing. Please remember that you will be visiting functioning churches in traditional communities; shorts on either men or women or revealing tops on women are not acceptable.

Bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes for climbing up the stone spiral staircases to the choir lofts, walking on cobblestone streets, and for visiting the archaeological sites. Bring sunscreen and a broad-brimmed hat (or buy one in the market) or a visor for the sun, which is more direct than in North America and Europe.


Do not drink the water - Never drink from the tap, only from a sealed bottle; even use it to brush your teeth. Restaurants and hotels provide bottled water, and it is easily purchased at little shops or pharmacies. Bottled water will always be available on our field trips.

If you have a delicate stomach, you could take preventative acidophilus or probiotics to reinforce your intestinal flora. Oaxaca restaurants try to be very careful — after all, they depend on tourism — but nevertheless, you will be in a different ecological zone. A nurse will accompany us on all field trips.

Altitude and mountains - Our field trips will take us on curvy mountainous roads, so if you are prone to car sickness, you can bring Dramamine or buy it here. The altitude in the Oaxaca Valley is 5000 ft. (1500 m.) and in the Mixteca Alta it is 7000 ft.


The best way to get Mexican currency is through an ATM which are plentiful in the city. Make sure your bank and credit card companies know you will be out of the country so they don’t suspect fraud and deactivate your cards when you start taking out money. Credit cards are welcome in all the major tourist hotels, restaurants, and shops. However, cash in USD may be a problem in smaller venues and you should have pesos on hand. The customary tip in restaurants is 15%.