Chorus to Sing Spanish Version of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ at Smithsonian


Despite the vast array of ethnicities and cultures in the United States, the country’s national anthem is generally performed only in English. But on Saturday, Sept. 29, the official Spanish version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" -- which dates back to 1946 -- will be performed in the Flag Hall at the National Museum of American History.

The anthem will be performed at 2, 3 and 4 p.m. by a local chamber chorus, Coral Cantigas, that specializes in Latin American music.

During your visit, you can also tour the exhibition "Not Lost in Translation: The Life of Clotide Arias," which pays tribute to the musician and composer who was appointed by the U.S. State Department to write the official Spanish translation of the national anthem.

Arias, a Peruvian immigrant, penned the translation shortly after World War II ended. Although curators said the Spanish version was sent to U.S. embassies in Latin America, there have been few records of it ever having been performed.

She also wrote music for Spanish-language marketing divisions of many U.S. companies.

Saturday's program will also features Arias' best-known composition, “Huiracocha.”

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