Carlos Colón is a composer, liturgist, and cultural promoter whose recent projects lie at the intersection of social justice and religious change. Colón’s personal experiences of immigration and violent conflict inform his compositions’ calls to justice, peace, and beauty. Born in Chalchuapa, El Salvador, Colón was forced to flee his home at the age of 14 due to civil war. A resident of the United States since 1986, he holds a B.M. from Belmont University and M.M. from Baylor University.
Premiering at Baylor University in 2008, his work Las Lamentaciones de Rufina Amaya, a requiem in memory of the victims of the 1981 El Mozote massacre in which the Salvadoran army killed 800 peasants, has been performed in Dallas, Grand Rapids, and El Salvador. Obertura Para Un Mártir, a work commemorating slain Archbishop Oscar Romero, was commissioned by the president and first lady of El Salvador and premiered there in 2010.
In 2015, Colón composed the score for a short documentary film that he also helped produce. Lamento Con Alas: Documenting Immigrant Deaths along the Texas–Mexico Border features the forensic work and research of Lori Baker, an associate professor of anthropology at Baylor known for identifying the remains of deceased immigrants along the U.S.–Mexico border in an effort to reunite them with their families.
Colón’s music has been performed in festivals in the United States and abroad, receiving acclaim in both England and Cuba. Recently, his music was performed in Carnegie Hall, on Venezuela National Radio, at the Calvin Worship Symposium, and as part of the Festival de Música Contemporánea of El Salvador. He is a resident scholar in Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion.
Violence, Lament, Redemption: A Composer’s Journey | essay | Transpositions
Baylor Composer Writes Music, Inspires Film Short | profile | Waco Tribune-Herald
Identifying the Stranger: Lamento Con Alas as a Means of Dignifying the Dead | artist statement | The Other Journal
Las Lamentaciones de Rufina Amaya | program | Calvin Symposium on Worship
Obertura para un Martir | performance | YouTube