Huapango de los Muertos, Op. 12a

for Trombone and String Quartet

Op. 12a, 2019

Duration: 7m

Commissioned by Dr. William Haugeberg of the University of Texas - Rio Grande ValleyPremiered at the 2019 International Trombone Festival.

PDF Perusal Score

Huapango de los Muertos is inspired by the traditional Mexican dance known as the huapango, danced to the musical style of son huasteca, as well as the Mexican tradition of Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. 


Traditional huapango rhythms are combined with more contemporary jazz harmonies, along with the dissonant interplay of major vs. minor in the melodic material. Later, extended string techniques are used to evoke the image of dancing skeletons. 


Huapango de los Muertos is a fun and exciting piece that is a reflection of Mexican culture, and informed by the five years I spent living in Mexico. When Dr. Haugeberg, one of the trombone professors at the University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley, contacted me about commissioning a piece for him with string quartet, I wanted to write a piece that reflected the Mexican heritage along the border, as well as my experiences living in Mexico. The Disney movie, Coco, was also fresh on my mind, having watched it in Spanish in Mexico, where it was a huge hit. The film helped regenerate interest in Mexico's cultural heritage among younger generations.