Each week on World Music, we not only hear great sounds from around the world, but I share a little news about the many interesting festivals that are taking place this week as well. This week, we'll learn about how folks prepare for the holidays by ridding their towns of evil.
"The Nutcracker" is now an American Christmas tradition, but when Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky debuted the work in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892, it wasn't a success. San Antonio Symphony’s Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto explains.
"You have to understand, until Tchaikovsky came along, ballet music was just ballet music," Fujimoto said. "It wasn’t appreciated for its own good, and Tchaikovsky single-handedly did that."
The deaths of eight foster kids over the past year have sparked concerns and lawmakers are now being asked to review the Texas foster care system. Some child advocates say the blame lies with the legislature and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has asked lawmakers to take another look at the issue.
Catholic bishops on both sides of the Texas-Mexico border are releasing a letter to their parishes and elected officials to address what they call the "human tragedies" of the current immigration system. The clergy hope the letter will change misconceptions about undocumented immigrants.
Paseo del Rio officials are checking their lists for decorations and lighting on 26 river barges that have to be ready by Friday for the big holiday river parade.
Decorators in the Paseo marina below downtown San Antonio are working to string lights, build stages, and cover woodwork and electrical cords with layers of cotton that will make the barges look like they went through snow.
With all the holiday-themed events scheduled there’s something you may have missed: the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza. It's coming to San Antonio, and as extravaganza Producer Cynthia Muñoz said, it’s a week full of special events, and music.
"The Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza is a seven-day mariachi music festival that starts Sunday, December 1 and runs through Saturday, December 7. It’s in its nineteenth consecutive year as the largest and longest-running mariachi music festival in Texas," Muñoz said.
The National Center for Reason and Justice is saying Fran Keller, who was incarcerated 20 years ago in a bizarre ritual abuse case in her Austin daycare center, is going to be freed as early as this afternoon to await the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeals on whether or not a retrial is necessary.