About this Artist
Born in Venezuela on December 13, 1984, María Inmaculada Velásquez Echeverria is a cum laude Professor of Special Education for Learning Difficulties and completed her studies at the Universidad Pedagógica Experimental Libertador [University of Free Experimental Education] in Barquisimeto; she is also a specialist in non-verbal resources of the Benenzon Venezuela Model, which she studied at the Benenzon Venezuela Musicotherapy Center. Furthermore, she passed the first and second levels of the Venezuelan Sign Language (LSV) course and is the Director of the Gestural Section of the White Hands Choir (Coro de Manos Blancas [CMB]) in FUNDAMUSICAL Bolivar de Venezuela’s Special Education Program.
At the age of seven, María completed additional musical studies at the Vicente Emilio Sojo Conservatory of Music, where her principal instrument was the concert flute. She participated as a chorister in the lead group at FundaMusical’s Special Education Program (PEE), performing before such personalities as Gustavo Dudamel, Maestro José Antonio Abreu, Simon Rattle, Claudio Abbado, Itzhak Perlman, Plácido Domingo, Michael Landerburger, Mark Churchill, Patricio Aizaga, and others. She also took part in the Salzburg Festival in August 2013. She started out as a teacher in the Duaca Children’s and Youth Orchestra Module. As part of her comprehensive and musical training in the field of Special Education, she participated in various National Comprehensive Training Seminars for teachers in their Special Education Program.
In October 2014, Maestro Patricio Aizaga invited her to start the first White Hands Choir in Ecuador; she was invited again in December 2015. During August of that year, the CMB participated in the El Sistema Milan residency as part of special programming to celebrate ExpoMilan 2015, in which she participated as Director of the CMB Gestural Section.
In September 2015, she was invited by Teatro Real and the Foundation for Social Action for Music, via its Special Education Program, to launch a new social classroom for the CMB. In 2017, she was invited by the Venezuelan Embassy in Japan to conduct their White Hands Choir during a celebration marking the 80th anniversary of bilateral relations between Venezuela and Japan in 2018; and in May 2018, she was invited, together with a delegation from the CMB, to tour Vienna for the 2018 Austrian Summit for Crime Prevention.