Alejandra Stanford is born into a privileged bicultural family in Minneapolis of 1902. Growing up, she and her artistic family experience the intermingling of American, Mexican, and European cultural influences, as well as national events that challenge their lives; yet, Alejandra finds music is the perfect expression of her own artistic inclinations, emotions, and ambitions. As a young pianist and budding composer, she is affected by Minnesota’s musical pioneers and resolves to become an orchestral conductor despite the obstacles. Alejandra travels to the great cities of the world in pursuit of her dreams. Along the way, she will meet two men who are her match in ideals and intellect. Ultimately, it is the passion for music and love which guide, inspire, and determine Alejandra’s destiny.
History and fiction converge impeccably in this historical novel infused with music, art, and romance, creating a compelling first installment to the A Song in My Heart trilogy.
For more information, please visit: www.RomaStocks.com
About the Author
Roma Calatayud-Stocks is an author and songwriter. With bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Minnesota, and later further studies at MacPhail Center for music, she recorded her original compositions. In 1998, Roma released her debut album Carnival of Life.
In 2002, Calatayud-Stocks was the creator, artistic director, and producer of Latin Renaissance, a fundraiser for the Minnesota Orchestra Volunteer Association and Casa de Esperanza at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. She continued producing cultural events, and took additional classes in fiction writing at the University of St. Thomas.
A Song in My Heart is Calatayud-Stocks’s debut novel. It is the literary and musical realization of many years of study, research, composition, and artistry. The musical score, to A Song in My Heart, with fourteen songs and instrumentals in popular twentieth-century musical styles with classical, jazz, and latin influences, was composed by Roma Calatayud-Stocks and arranged by Chan Poling.
What's Being Said
“I have arranged and played many styles of music over the years. Roma’s music has touched me always. Her new collection of songs for her story A Song In My Heart are once again beautiful and lushly romantic, evocative of another time and place.”
“Roma Calatayud-Stocks’s debut novel is about the life of Alejandra “Ale” Stanford during the first three decades of the twentieth century. The author takes the reader on a compelling journey, spicing her narrative with details that speak to her own powers of observation and willingness to do the necessary research. It is a sparkling account, and we look forward to the sequel to follow. I enjoyed it immensely.”
—John Watson Milton, award-winning author of fiction and history—
If you enjoy American and world history and culture, especially of the arts such as music and paintings and their interplay with cultural developments, women’s issues, and politics, you will love this book. Protagonist Alejandra Stanford is a Minnesota based product of both the American and Mexican monied class. She grows up comfortable a part of both cultures with the wherewithal to enjoy life to its fullest, yet she takes the time and resources to help those less fortunate. She and both her families have a highly developed appreciation for all the arts—that is their primary entertainment and recreation in the early 1900s. Ale must balance her desire for romantic love, proficiency at classical and pop music, and a line-crossing champion of women involved in music composition and conducting.
This is a first volume in a family saga trilogy. Ms Stocks’ writing style is a “You Are There” approach that is intensely personalized. The author’s unique approach to telling this story is demonstrated by her composing and recording music that exemplifies the moods of different story segments as they unfold. A note about her music (Did I just say that?) unlike so many music composition majors who have been taught that only musical weirdness should be used, her pieces are artfully pleasant. They exemplify the story points in ways that make sense, and yet they provide musical surprises at times with unexpected chord changes and melodic directions the listener doesn’t hear coming and yet make perfectly good sense once the new direction flowers. Ms Stocks’ music is a joy to experience. I found myself playing her accompanying CD while I read her entertaining book. In all, this was a highly unusual and well-done project that marries the written word with the musical words. We rated it five hearts.