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Meseta Guitar Concerts 4 Pilgrims

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
Another good reason to NOT skip the Meseta this summer: Camino Guitars, a non-profit group of musicians and instrument-builders, along with the Diocese of Palencia and the Peaceable Kingdom, is sponsoring a series of guitar concerts in three monumental churches on the Camino. Entry is free to pilgrims and locals. Classical instrumentalists from several parts of the world are accompanying the evening Mass, then presenting a 30 or 40-minute concert afterward.

The series premiered this evening at the Church of Santa Maria in Carrion de los Condes, with Cuban guitarist René Izquierdo and Belarus guitarist Elina Cheka. Just short of 100 pilgrims and local residents attended a lovely instrumental Mass, pilgrim blessing, and concert, an even that will (ojala!) repeat at 8 p.m. each Tuesday and Friday evening through August with a rotating crew of players (some play lutes, flutes, violins, harps, and other instruments... a couple of vocalists are also scheduled.)

The same program will travel east on Wednesday and Saturday evenings, with programs at the great templar Virgin Blanca church in Villalcazar de Sirga.

Pilgrims can hear live music and worship on Thursdays and Sundays at the emblematic San Martin Church in Fromista. The performances are scheduled to avoid overlapping; pilgrims on the move in the area have a good chance of catching at least one performance. A unique sello is available as well.

The series is a dream of guitar-builder/pilgrim Federico Sheppard of Green Bay, Wisconsin USA, who has built several Camino-themed guitars for use in the concert series. For details or to see a couple of fun videos of Rene and Ilena performing in a Moratinos farmyard, go to and find the entry titled "See For Yourself!"
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Wow! I hope they will still be around when I do the Camino from July 16-August 10. I wonder if there will still be a bed for me at the Peaceable Kingdom on July 28 - or I can just pitch my ultralight tent near the chicken. (It would be a bonus if Rene will still perform a concert for the chicken, the dog, and the "Discalzado Perigrino.")

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