Cicely Winter, Director (Cecilia in Spanish) grew up in the state of Michigan, has lived in Oaxaca since 1972, and became a nationalized Mexican citizen in 2008. She played the piano by ear from the age of four and started piano lessons when she was seven. She studied piano and harpsichord at Smith College and the University of Michigan, where she obtained a B.A. in Music and an M.A. in European History, and later studied piano performance at the post-graduate level in the School of Music at Indiana University. Her principal teachers were Mischa Kottler, Fritz Steinegger and Leonard Hokanson (piano) and Lory Wallfisch and Elisabeth Wright (harpsichord).

In 2000 with the support of the philanthropist Alfredo Harp Helú, the Instituto de Órganos Históricos de Oaxaca A.C. (IOHIO) was established as a non-profit organization and since then Cicely has served as its director. The IOHIO’s work includes the protection and conservation of the 72 pipe organs documented to date in the state of Oaxaca, technical and musical training at the local level, promotion of the organs through concerts, masses, and festivals, and historical research.

She learned to play the organ by listening to concerts, master classes, and recordings. Nevertheless she does not consider herself an organist in general terms, since she plays only the Oaxacan organs and organs of similar style. She has presented numerous piano, harpsichord, and organ concerts in Oaxaca and other Mexican cities as a soloist, accompanist, and participant in duos and chamber groups. Her repertoire includes classical, sacred, and folk music, and various concerts have benefitted community service projects in Oaxaca.

In 2017 Cicely was invited by the Archbishop of the Antequera Oaxaca Diocese, Monseñor José Luis Chávez Botello, to form part of the Comisión Diocesano de Bienes Culturales y Arte Religioso (commission dedicated to the conservation of church art); her participation was ratified by the current Archbishop Mons. Pedro Vásquez Villalobos. This is the only commission in Mexico which includes a department for the historic organs.

She teaches the IOHIO organ students and organizes concerts regularly. Her work to promote the organs may be appreciated through her CD “Música Oaxaqueña en el Órgano de la Catedral de Oaxaca” in collaboration with the percussionist Valentín Hernández, and her participation in “Mi Oaxaca”, recorded by the renowned singer Eugenia León. Her book of Oaxacan folk music transcribed for keyboard, Música Regional Oaxaqueña de ayer y hoy, transcripciones para órgano y piano, was published in 2018.
(Other publications).


Joel Antonio Vásquez González, Project Coordinator (Oaxaca 1981), studied music in the Escuela de Bellas Artes de la Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca. He continued his studies with Christophe Lafontaine (piano) and Cesar Guzmán and Ricardo Rodys (organ) in the IOHIO Music Academy (2004 – 2007). In 2008 he studied organ with Rodrigo Treviño in the Escuela Nacional de Música (UNAM). He has participated in master classes offered by Kimberly Marshall, Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini, and Guy Bovet during the Organ and Early Music Festivals of the IOHIO. Joel has worked with the IOHIO since 2009 teaching organ and piano, helping with organ conservation, documentation, and analysis; providing technical support; and participating in concerts as both organist and singer. He forms part of the Gregorian chant group “Schola Cantorum Antequerensis” and the Oaxaca City Chorus, and plays the mass in the Oaxaca Cathedral and San Matías Jalatlaco.


Isaí Guzmán Hernández, Social Media Coordinator (Oaxaca, 1996), studied in the CEDART high school (“Centro de Educación Artística Miguel Cabrera”) and demonstrated interest in the Oaxaca organs as a young teenager, leading to piano and organ lessons with the IOHIO since 2010. He was invited to participate in the 2015 SOLUNA Festival of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. In 2016 - 2017 Isaí studied religion with the Dominican friars of the Santiago Province in Mexico in the Beato Jordán de Sajonia Convent in San Francisco del Rincón, Guanajuato. In 2018 he participated in master classes offered by Andrés Cea Galán on the organs of the Mexico City Cathedral. Isaí is closely involved with all musical activities in the Basilica de la Soledad, and plays the mass there regularly, as well as in the churches of Santo Domingo de Guzmán and San Matías Jalatlaco. He is interested in Mexican church history, particularly of the Dominican order. He plays regularly in IOHIO concerts, provides technical assistance, and created and manages the IOHIO Facebook page.

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