Mexico at the Victoria Hall ¡ Una noche maravillosa !
Geneva’s Victoria Hall was full, on 9 May 2019, with people who came to hear 400 children from Geneva’s private schools sing to raise funds to enlarge a music school in a shanty town in Oaxaca, Mexico.
One of the highlights of the evening was the performance of the Mexican song Cielito Lindo, sung to an accompaniment recorded by the children at the Santa Cecilia music school – a moment of magic uniting Switzerland and Mexico.
At the end of the evening Don du Choeur raised the handsome sum of CHF 100,500, including ticket sales, various fund-raising activities and the proceeds of the collection, amounting to CHF 15,938. The money raised will enable the construction of three large rehearsal rooms and ten individual practise rooms. This will effectively double the school’s capacity, offering more places to children whose lives are blighted by poverty and the menace of street violence and drugs.
A well-earned success for the children
The audience of 1,500 were carried away, charmed and moved by the Mexican ambiance, the children’s enthusiasm and the professionalism of the musicians and conductors. The variety of the offerings, the beauty of the dancing – Mexican and modern – and the complexity of the songs in three languages earned the audience’s admiration from the start.
As the cameras swept across the large choir, they showed the unmistakeable joy on the faces of these children of all races, of so many nations, their determination to give it their all and their close complicity with the conductors and musicians.
Visually, the concert was one of the most striking yet produced by the Don du Choeur, with scenic elements, lighting and staging creating a series of dazzling mini scenes not seen in previous concerts.
A commitment beyond all expectations
The President of Don du Choeur, Isabelle Chatel, paid tribute at the gathering to the efforts of all who had been involved in the evening’s success – the singers, the teachers at the 12 private schools, the conductors and the musicians. She also thanked the children of the Lycée Toepffer and the Institut International de Lancy who gave out the programmes and organised the collection, the volunteers who produced games for the children, those who prepared the Grütli venue and the Mexican buffet, the team of photographers and all who worked behind the scenes.
The involvement of the Mexican community, the folk dancers and the musicians of the Mariachi Quetzal gave the evening a very special festive quality!
The heads of many private schools and of companies sponsoring the concert honoured the evening by their presence. The Mexican Ambassador to the United Nations, HE Senora Socorro Flores, was totally moved by the huge amount of work achieved by the children and described the concert as “maravilloso” (wonderful).
Heartfelt thanks to the children and their teachers – they made this concert brilliant and they are Don du Choeur’s raison d’être!