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Instituto de Música Juan Morel Campos

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Instituto de Música Juan Morel Campos
Front facade view of the Instituto de Música Juan Morel Campos in Ponce, Puerto Rico
Calle Salud and Cristina[1] and Calle Mayor and Cristina[2]

School typeSpecialized musical arts school
Established1947; 77 years ago (1947)
PrincipalWilfredo Colon Maldonado (Academic Director)[2]
Enrollment300+[2] (2017)
AreaPonce Historic Zone
WebsiteInstituto de Música Juan Morel Campos

Instituto de Música Juan Morel Campos (English: Juan Morel Campos Music Institute), formerly known as Escuela Libre de Música de Ponce (English: Ponce Free School of Music), is a musical arts institution in Ponce, Puerto Rico. It is an institution of the Ponce Municipal Government.[4][5] Its first director was Librado Net Pérez.[6] The building had been the former location of the Ponce regional headquarters of Bomberos de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Firefighters).


Front facade view of the former site of the Instituto de Música Juan Morel Campos in Ponce, Puerto Rico

The school was founded in 1947 under the municipal administration of Mayor Andrés Grillasca Salas as the Escuela Libre de Música de Ponce (Ponce Free School of Music).[7]

The school's first location was at the structure previously occupied by the Liceo de Ponce (Liceo Ponceño), an early 20th-century girls-only school on the northwest corner of Salud and Cristina streets.[8][9]

In 1977 the name Escuela Libre de Música de Ponce was changed to Escuela Libre de Música Juan Morel Campos, after the Ponce composer and conductor.[10][11] In 1980, the Institute was officially reorganized under mayor Jose Guillermo Tormos Vega as an entity of the Municipal Government.[2] Enrollment growth and increased school offerings resulted in the school expanding its headquarters. In 2008, the school expanded again by acquiring a new site on the corner of Calle Cristina and Calle Mayor streets, opposite to Teatro La Perla.[2] The new site included additional classrooms, new administrative offices and an amphitheater.[10] Ponce Municipal decree #40 (2012-2013) renamed the institution to Instituto de Música Juan Morel Campos.[12]

Construction and appearance[edit]

The Institute's first structure, on the northwest corner of Cristina and Salud streets, was built in the Art Deco style. The new building on the southwest corner of Cristina and Mayor streets is a former fire station, which was built in recto-linear fashion following modern architectural style. The front yard of the Institute at Calle Cristina contains the only olive tree planted in Puerto Rico.[13] The building as originally built was not only a fire station but also the former location of the Ponce regional headquarters of the Bomberos de Puerto Rico.

A mosaic mural titled "La Abnegacion" (Selflessness) by Rafael Ríos Rey (now [2023] in ruins] commemorates the building's former use as a fire station.[14] The mural was built in 1960.[15]


The Institute has several musical organizations. Among them are Coro de Niños (Children's Choir) and Coro Juvenil (Youth Choir), both directed by music professor María Asunción Ondarra Fombellida.[16] It also has a Conjunto de Tiples (Treble Ensemble), led by professor Héctor Hernández.[17][unreliable source?] There is also a Conjunto de Cuerdas Punteadas (Plucked Strings Ensemble).[18] In addition there are an Orquesta Sinfonica Juvenil (Youth Symphony Orchestra), Banda Juvenil (Youth Band), Conjunto de Metales (Metal Ensemble), Conjunto de Cañas (Reeds Ensemble), Conjunto de Percusión (Percussion Ensemble), and Conjunto de Acordeones (Accordion Ensemble).[5]


Its symphony orchestra received a Senate Resolution from the Puerto Rico Senate in 2010.[4]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ De la Muerte Hasta a Vida. Archived 22 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine El Visitante: Prensa Catolica para la Paz. Ponce, Puerto Rico.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Luchan padres y maestros por preservar el Instituto de Música. Archived 14 December 2017 at the Wayback Machine Jason Rodríguez Grafal. La Perla del Sur. Ponce, Puerto Rico. Year 35. Issue 1776. Pages 4-5. 13 December 2017. Accessed 13 December 2017.
  3. ^ Juan Campos Morel Escuela Libre De Musica. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  4. ^ a b Resolucion del Senado Numero 1281. Archived 3 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine 26 April 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Instituto de Música Juan Morel Campos.". Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  6. ^ Librado Net: Del pentagrama al pincel. Archived 2012-05-02 at the Wayback Machine Lizette Cabrera Salcedo. Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico. Ponce, Puerto Rico. May 1998.
  7. ^ Free School of Music.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Escuela Libre de Musica. Archived 2006-12-02 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Luis Fortuño Janeiro. Album Histórico de Puerto Rico (1692-1963). Page 374. Ponce, Puerto Rico: Imprenta Fortuño. 1963. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  10. ^ a b c d e Juan Morel Campos Music Institute.
  11. ^ There is a Escuela de Musica located at Calle Lolita Tizol at the location of the old Spanish Barracks which is an entity different from Instituto de Musica Juan Morel Campos and which operates under the direction of the Puerto Rico Department of Education
  12. ^ Concierto en Villalba de la orquesta sinfónica juvenil de Escuela Libre de Música de Ponce. Villaba Online. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  13. ^ Recreacion. Oficina de Fomento Turístico. Municipio Autónomo de Ponce. 7 September 2009. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  14. ^ Plaza Cacique Agüeybaná el bravo e Instituto de Música Juan Morel Campos.
  15. ^ Instituto de Musica Juan Morel Campos: El Mural. "Cultura y Sociedad Puertorriqueña. SaludosPR.com.
  16. ^ Concierto de Navidad y estampas típicas en Plaza Las Delicias en Ponce. WORA-TV. 14 December 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  17. ^ Comunicado de Prensa. Noticias Sur P.R. 7 September 2012.
  18. ^ Presentan Poemario “El Paso de Una Hoja Seca” de María del Rosario “Cuqui” Caraballo. Noticias Sur P.R. 31 July 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  19. ^ Yovianna Garcia.[permanent dead link] Berta Rojas

External links[edit]