March 2012

Mozart, Manu Chao, and Improvisations in F

March 18, 2012 17:26

On March 17, the students of The Day-Star School in Juticalpa participated in a mini-concert that I pulled together with the help of La Sociedad de la Cultura. It was an amazing event. It was wonderful! We all got to share and appreciate each others talent. We had a lot of support from the teachers and students. Everyone kept asking me when the next time we were going to have another concert. I have a few more months left in Juticalpa, and it will be my pleasure to pull together another concert!
I began the program, introducing the performers in English and Spanish. My beginning piece was Mozart's Sonata 34 and many people commented on my manual dexterity. Quite a compliment! Then I introduced Victoria and her brother Leo. They played "In the Mood" on saxophone. Then I played Bach's Andante in A Minor, a piece that I have been working on ever since I got to Juticalpa. After that, Roger played a guitar solo, then Josue and Roger both played La Chispa Adecuada. It is a beautiful melody and their dedication to the guitar was apparent. My favorite part of the program was something that went unplanned. Since a performer did not show up, Josue and I had to think fast. Josue woke up on Saturday morning with a tune in his head. He improvised it and so we decided that he would play it and I would improvise from his music. It was perfect: authentic, original, peaceful, beautiful, and inspiring.
Another teacher played songs by Manu Chao with Leo the saxophonist. Then, one of my 8th graders Tania sang "My heart will go on" from Titanic with Leo. The other really wonderful part about the whole show was my student Jorge. He played "Can you feel the love tonight" by Elton John on the keyboard. Everyone was very impressed with his piano skills. I'm pretty sure that he does most of his playing by ear. Most of these students play music by ear, and reading music isn't something that is very common here.
I am so proud of my students! I wasn't sure how it was going to go, and there wasn't any electricity that day. I was a little concerned about Jorge and his keyboard, but he had a battery for the keyboard. These students are so dedicated! It was such a pleasure to work with the Cultural Society, with the students, and other teachers. The next event will be just as great!

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