There is no mistaking the fact that we are well into the advent season; if you walk down Bedonia’s main street, all the shops displaying red ribbons and a bow in their windows will quickly put you into a festive mood, and very soon we will be getting a pleasant earful of Christmas carols blaring from loudspeakers set up around the historic centre. Mini spiral pine trees are sitting outside each shop, beckoning us in to make our purchases….christmas is around the corner, and it’s the usual rush to find the right present for everyone. Then there are all the various activities which come around at this time of the year; playschool recitals, nativity scenes, and visits from Santa and his “reindeer”!! Needless to say, a lot of them involve music, since we are a musically-inclined lot, and here again, there’s something for everyone.
Last Sunday, for example, a concert took place at Borgotaro, which brought together many of the choirs/musicians/singers in the area. The purpose was to collect money for the church of San Domenico, which hosted the event, as well as to offer an unusual and pleasant evening to the spectators. The “Corale Lirica” performed a selection of pieces from their repertoire, then followed a guitar and keyboard trio, a young lady playing a flute, other singers, three local choirs, and as a gran finale – a small brass band bashing out some well-known classics. A very colorful and interesting couple of hours, with each group contributing in their own particular way.
Something slightly different happened a few nights ago in the parish church of Bedonia, where a local choir – “Coro Voci Della Val Gotra” – had the pleasure of sharing a concert with 25 children, ages ranging from 3 to 13! They were students from neighbouring town Tarsogno, and the idea came about thanks to the long-standing friendship between the choir mistress Caroline, and the teacher, Donatella, also a chorist. They had been thinking about a collaboration for some time, and the Christmas period seemed the ideal moment to finally sort something out! A quick check for permission with Father Lino, rector of the Episcopal Seminary and head of the parish, who was very happy with the proposal, and so the event began to take shape. It was necessary to have the authorization from the headmistress, and obviously from all the parents, but they were only too delighted to have their kids in the limelight! Hours were spent with the music teacher in order to prepare the excited children…..and then the great evening arrived.
The concert began with two pieces performed by the adult choir, after which the children made their hesitant entrance accompanied by the thunderous applauses of an overflowing church, and proceeded to tickle the audience pink with songs and recorders. They are used to doing their annual Christmas plays, but this was something completely different! There were exclamations of “awww” and “how cute”, whilst proud parents were filming away, and when they ended with a loud “BUON NATALE A TUTTI”, the audience gave them the reward they deserved….an enthusiastic applause.
At this point, the choir resumed its repertoire and performed for the rest of the evening. The atmosphere was charged with a festive feeling, and at the end of the concert, everybody seemed happy – the audience, the kids, the parents, and…….the two “maestre” were extremely satisfied with the outcome!
This is definitely going to become a yearly tradition!