Under the slogan, “Two countries, multiple orchestras, ten days of music, one goal: to celebrate what unites us!”, the U.S. Embassy announced the dates of the “Amistad en Acción” (Friendship in Action) Festival, an initiative that celebrates the bilateral relations between the United States and El Salvador.
U.S. Ambassador Jean Elizabeth Manes, along with Director of Poligono Industrial Don Bosco Father Pepe Moratalla, and Executive Director of the Symphony of the Americas Renée LaBonte, announced the 6 public concerts to be held under the Amistad en Acción Festival.
Director of Poligono Industrial Don Bosco Father Pepe Moratalla said, “We have to give the study of art the seriousness and educational quality that it requires, and take on a personal commitment and responsibility for its development. The classes here are all free, we have good teachers and we have young people that represent a first-rate Salvadoran talent that is world-class.”
The six free public concerts will be held from June 23 to 29 in Plan El Salvador Seguro priority municipalities. In addition, there will be a private concert at the U.S. Embassy San Salvador’s United States Independence Day celebration on June 27th.
The Amistad en Acción Festival will feature performances by the U.S. Symphony of the Americas (SOA), the Don Bosco Choir, and the Don Bosco Youth Symphony Orchestra, and six municipal philharmonic groups benefitting from USAID Violence Prevention programs.
Executive Director of the Symphony of the Americas Renée LaBonte added, “As American musicians, we are very proud to be working with the young musicians of the Don Bosco Chorus and Orchestra. The musicians here with us are the principal musicians of our Symphony of the Americas, but they are also teachers and chairmen of music departments at various universities throughout the United States.”
She added, “One of the things that we are most impressed with is the talent of these young, self-taught musicians. We hope the work we are doing is the seed that helps promote continued development of the underprivileged youth and provides increased educational opportunities throughout El Salvador, particularly with this wonderful Don Bosco Youth Orchestra. Then we will feel that we have been a success.”
The SOA aims to encourage and promote the growth of cultural interests and educational activities through the fine arts.
The Don Bosco Choir and Youth Symphony Orchestra have a mission to guarantee access to a comprehensive and systematic musical education to the most vulnerable Salvadoran children and young people. Over the years Don Bosco’s music program has positively impacted more than 4,000 girls, boys and young people in high-risk areas. Currently the project includes 250 musicians and 300 choir members.
The municipal philharmonic groups are part of a sustained effort to offer new opportunities to youth in high-risk communities though USAID-funded violence prevention programs. The participating philharmonic groups have 969 active members in the municipalities of Acajutla, Cojutepeque, Conchagua, Ilobasco, La Union, Panchimalco, Quezaltepeque, San Vicente, Soyapango and Usulután, and feature string assembles from Tecoluca and Nejapa.
Ambassador Manes said, “El Salvador has a youth with an impressive talent, and the young people of the orchestras participating in this series of concerts are evidence of that.”
The six concerts below are free, and open to the public:
- Friday, June 23 at the Teatro de Santa Ana at 3:00 pm;
- Saturday, June 24 at the Victoria Cinema in Ahuachapán at 3:00 pm;
- Sunday, June 25 at Mundo Mundo in Soyapango at 4:00 pm;
- Monday, June 26 in the Municipal Court in Cojutepeque at 10:30 am;
- Wednesday, June 28 at the Salvador del Mundo Foundation (FUSALMO) Ciudad Delgado at 10:30 am
- Thursday, June 29 at the Cultural Palace in Sonsonate at 10:30 am.
The concert on Tuesday, June 27 will be held at the International Center of Fairs and Conventions (CIFCO) in San Salvador at 6:00 pm. Unlike the others, this concert is not open free to the public. However, qualified entrants can win tickets by participating through in a raffle drawing at www.amistadenaccionsv.com through May 17.