120 Share Stage at Music Box

Image: Monchy Orchestra playing Christmas music.

Grand Finale for Venezuelan Project.

Thursday, December 08, the curtains came down on the “2016 IV Intensive Music Training Workshop” with a grand final concert, performed by the Saint Lucia System of Orchestras, at the Music Box in Rodney Bay, which brought together 120 musicians on stage.

This initiative was possible due to the collaborative efforts of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Saint Lucia School of Music. The workshops are part of a pilot programme, with Saint Lucia as its base, geared towards establishing a System of Orchestras in the Caribbean region.

The facilitators of the workshop, six young musicians/teachers from the Venezuelan National System of Orchestras and Youth and Children’s Choir were 28 year-old Fabiola Martínez (choir, music initiation and flute instructor), 25 year-old Blas Torrellas (bass instructor and conductor), 19 year-old José Ángel Salazar (violin instructor and conductor), 23 year-old Francis Gagliardi (French horn instructor), 25 year-old Joshua Barrera (Guitar instructor) and 24 year-old Luis Serría (Oboe and conductor) performed a series of small concerts at various schools to motivate and capture the students interests in music.

The Music Box was filled with the joy of Christmas cheer inspired by the orchestra’s interpretations of Christmas repertoires including: Jingle Bells; the Christian hymn, Gloria in ExcelsisDeo; the popular Catalan song El Noi de la Mare; and Silent Night. In keeping with the true nature of a symphony orchestra they also performed “Clark McAlister’s Nutcracker” and “Ted Ricketts’ Pirates of the Caribbean”. On occasions the entire orchestra was divided into smaller ensembles so that the children, youngsters and adults could showcase their newly learnt skills.

Venezuelans in attendance, were delighted and impressed with the quality and precision with which the young Saint Lucians interpreted the Venezuelan National Anthem “Gloria al Bravo Pueblo” and the Spanish-language song “Venezuela” which spurred on a resounding round of applause from the audience, bringing the curtains down on the ten weeks intensive music training workshop and the cultural exchange between Venezuela and Santa Lucia for this year.

Preceding the grand closing concert, the Venezuelan ensemble comprising the six Venezuelan music teachers, hosted a Latin American Christmas concert on Tuesday, December 6, treating the audience with songs from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Saint Lucia and Venezuela; including merengue from Caracas, Gaita from Zulia, Venezuelan calypso, aguinaldos (carols) and parrandas (parangs).

In his closing remarks, Mr. Richard Payne the Executive Director of the Saint Lucia School of Music, expressed that the school will continue making strides to ensure the consolidation of this musical project and hopes to keep receiving the valuable support of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Saint Lucia.

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