Hispanic choirs and orchestras from El Sistema Texas embraced their love for music in their first fundraising concert.
Surprising, enchanting, and moving. The Holidays Gala Concert, the last performance of El Sistema Texas in 2023, proved how its students have strengthened their musical skills by owning the stage with their voices and instruments. The event, offered on the evening of Sunday, December 17, unfolded an impeccable production to the audience.
The fundraising gala began with a visual presentation about El Sistema Texas and its achievements. “They performed 18 times, and we received eight awards in 2023. This presentation evidenced how our musicians have matured and progressed,” highlighted the founder and CEO of this non-profit organization, Álvaro Carrillo.
A gala of surprises gifted its guests with a festive atmosphere that included a blend of lighting, switching backgrounds, unexpected appearances, and candlelights. “We experienced a magical show where parents cried with pride, our allies saw the evolution of children, and our new guests applauded the performance,” added Carrillo.
A Magical Melody
The musical show began with two honored guests. The singers Raquel Cepeda and Robert Gimenez emerged from the audience and walked up to the stage, setting up the atmosphere for 150 excited children who were ready backstage.
Out of the blue, like-angel voices surrounded the venue. People from the audience turned their heads to find the melodies coming from above; It was the youth choir singing Carol of the Bells. “It was epic and magical. Their entrance made an outstanding performance,” expressed Rhomy López, vice president and founder of El Sistema Texas.
The students sang in Spanish and English, an array of traditional pieces known worldwide and others rooted in Latin American countries. Some pieces are The Song of Joy, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Serenata Notturna, La Cabra Mocha, and Feliz Navidad.
Dorian Lozoya, a volunteer at El Sistema Texas, expressed her excitement after attending the show, “These children and their energy captivated me. In other countries, classical music is inaccessible for the public, but what El Sistema Texas does is to make it reachable.”
The Gift of Sharing
The Holidays Gala Concert was the first fundraising event of El Sistema Texas. Its purpose, beyond any financial support, was to get known among Houston communities and organizations. Social media from local influencers flooded their accounts with snippets from the show to share the gift of music of these children and teenagers.
Rhomy López, also conductor of the children’s orchestra, said that representatives from the Galveston Symphony Orchestra assisted at this gala. After seeing their musicians, they arranged future meetings to become allies in 2024.
“Our goal is to expand our programs beyond Houston. This concert lets us be visible beyond our community, and we need people to share about our mission. The hosts, Ramón Castro and Hilda Besson did an exceptional job spreading our message to the public,” said López.
Hilda Besson, host and digital ambassador of El Sistema Texas, emphasized that supporting this organization can aid immigrant families who struggle in the US. “We give hope by letting them know they can pursue a music career. Organizations like this offer them the opportunity to learn about music,” told Besson.
From Dreamers to Future Leaders
El Sistema Texas was born in 2022 to integrate Hispanic children and teenagers through musical education. Their inspiration comes from Maestro José Antonio Abreu’s National System of Music Education in Venezuela. One of their missions is to help children in vulnerable situations and turn them into role models through the discipline of music.
With the work of a volunteer-based team, mentors teach 150 students enrolled in different s Symphony Choir, and Hispanic Youth Symphony Chamber (tweens and teenagers).
In 2024, El Sistema Texas would like to increase the number of students, instructors, and instruments. They envision a Hispanic Adult Orchestra, too. Their goal is to create future leaders through the collective practice of music.
By Ana Carolina Morales