Monday, January 11, 2010

El Valle Annual Concert by National Symphony Orchestra on January 30th

Although El Valle is a small town with a largely indigenous population, it also has a significant population of "weekenders" - rich Panamanians who keep vacation homes in the cool climate of El Valle, as a getaway from the heat of Panama City. There are many palatial homes in El Valle, especially along the circumference of the town, at the feet of the foothills. Some of them have vast, manicured grounds with gardens, streams, ponds and horse stables.

Because of this, things happen in El Valle that you would not normally expect in a little mountain town. Among those is the annual pilgrimage of Panama's National Symphony Orchestra to play in El Valle's little church. The streets outside the church fill up with SUV's as well dressed families fill every pew in the church. Less affluent residents who cannot afford the tickets stand outside the door and peer in the windows to benefit from this special event.

I went once with Laura and Salma, and Salma was initially entranced, but as the evening progressed and we were well past her bedtime she became cranky. I tried taking her outside and rocking her in my arms, but she would not settle down and eventually we had to take her home to sleep.

This year's concert is coming up and will be the 19th annual concert. Here is the official flyer for this year's event:

XIX Festival Musical de El Valle
Saturday, the 30th of January, 2010 at 8:00 pm
Iglesia San Jose in El Valle de Antón, Coclé, Rep. de Panamá
La Asociación del Festival Musical de El Valle
y el Instituto Nacional de Cultura (INAC)

Director, Maestro Jorge Ledezma

Guest Soloist: JINGJING WANG
First Prize winner of Panama's 2008 International Piano Competition


1. Astor Piazzola The Death of the Angel
(for string orchestra , soloist Juan Castillo)

2. Georges Bizet Suite from "Carmen"


3. Robert Schumann Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 54
Guest Soloist: JingJing Wang

TICKETS are available for $15.00:
In El Valle: at Centro Comercial de El Valle or at the entrance of the Church the night of the performance
In Panama City: at Ingeniería R-M or at Joyería Barakat

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