Concepción Hernández Gutiérrez, the music that promoted the first women’s philharmonic band in Tlahuitoltepec
The Ka’Ux Women’s Philharmonic Band, originally from Tlahuitoltepec Oaxaca, is made up of up to 30 members.
Made up of girls, young people and mothers from the Mixe community, the Ka’Ux Women’s Philharmonic Band is a dream that came true in 2006, thanks to the tenacity of music Concepción Hernández Gutiérrez, then 14 years old, and who is currently the coordinator of this group.
Made up of between 25 and 30 members, this group from Tlahuitoltepec Oaxaca, had to face the disbelief and indifference of the authorities of their community for whom it was something impossible because a female band had never been seen in that town; Nor were women considered playing instruments that were imagined only for the male gender, such as the tuba, the trombone or the trumpet.
In an interview with the director of the band, Concepción Hernández Gutiérrez, who trained as a musician at the Ollin Yoliztli School and currently belongs to the Symphony Orchestra of the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) where she is the main flutist, she says that as a child she had a vision in the one who imagined a female band playing the music of her town.
“I imagined a band of all women playing and that seemed very nice, so I feel that the emotion was what moved the most,” he says.
He remembers that when he went to request support from the authorities of Santa María Tlahuitoltepec they were surprised by the proposal, since at that time he was 14 years old and they perceived it as an idea with a childish vision.
However, thanks to her fighting spirit, the pressure and support of mothers and fathers and of the young women who were going to be part of the gang, the authorities realized that the girl’s dream could come true. and they said: “okay, we are going to give them the opportunity to use the instruments of the municipal band”.
He remembers that the beginning of the band was difficult because they were embarrassed to play the tuba and nobody wanted to cheer up, until María del Rosario, a
of the members, said “I can” and they all supported each other, each one also experimenting with the other instruments.
This motivated them more, that encouragement spread to the public and the authorities who, from then on, offered support, recognizing the band, which was formed with women of different ages.
“In the beginning, we taught ourselves; we chose the pieces we wanted to play, we even conducted right there. We did everything and, when we gave our first participation, it was seen that we could. From then on they gave us a music teacher”, comments the interviewee.
In 2009, they decided to become independent and become a private band.
In their presentations they offer a repertoire in which their own compositions can be heard, such as the son sung in the Ayuujk (Mixe) language entitled Juj´ ky ´äjtïnkëxp, written by the trumpeter Lucía Paula Hernández Gutiérrez; but they also perform sones, marches, cumbias, traditional Oaxacan music, rock, ballads and danzón, including classical and concert works.
Starting in 2014, the women’s philharmonic band identified itself with the name Ka’Ux, taking inspiration from the endangered quetzals; Thus, the band resignified it as “Birds that sprout life in the heart”, derived from an anecdote of the grandmothers who claimed that when a boy or girl did not speak or was slow to do so, they asked the birds that had just arrived in town for help. “The grandmothers used to say that the birds – quetzals – were very noisy, just like us making our music,” members of the band have commented.
In 2020 the group recorded the album “Aves que retoñan vida en el corazón”, which is for sale in digital or physical format on its Facebook page Banda Femenil Ka’Ux or by message to WhatsApp 951 582 4756.
Throughout its history, the Ka’Ux Women’s Philharmonic Band has received several awards for its work and has performed at festivals and fairs in the country such as the “Cultural Festival for Women’s Rights” and at the XXIV National Fair of Country Culture.
Follow their social networks: Banda Femenil Ka’Ux on Facebook and also on YouTube.