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Magallania (Punta Arenas)

versión On-line ISSN 0718-2244


FONSECA, Nelia E. "Serve the lord with joy" Music in the San Rafael Arcángel mission (1889-1911). Magallania [online]. 2014, vol.42, n.2, pp.23-40. ISSN 0718-2244.

The first Salesian priests came to Patagonia in 1887, with the aims of converting the aborigines of the region into Catholics. The San Rafael Arcángel Mission was founded by the Salesian order on Dawson Island, Chile, in 1889. This order had been founded by Don Bosco in Turín, Italy, in 1859. The Salesian missionaries and the sisters of the María Auxiliadora order set up schools where they gave singing lessons to boys and girls through both religious and secular songs. Some of the children were taught to play the typical instruments of an Italian band. Mentioned as part of the band a repertoire are the works of Salesian composer Monssignore Santiago Costamagna, (1846-1921). It is worthwhile noting that some of them have become very popular to Catholic Church services in South America. Salesian priest Monssignore Giuseppe Fagnano (1846-1917) encouraged the Dawson island missionaries to form a music band with the children of Tierra del Fuego. In order to achieve this, Monssignore Fagnano supplied the mission with music score, as well as wind and percussion instruments made in Turin and Milán. The main objective of this piece of research is together information about the music played in the San Rafael Arcángel Mission on Dawson island, Chile (1889-1911). The study concludes that music had a leading role in the conversion of the aborigines from Patagonia. The Salesian order applied one of Don Bosco a favorite pedagogical strategies: An oratory without music is like a body without soul.

Palabras clave : Salesian musical practices; evangelization; Salesian Congregation; Isla Dawson.

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