6-September-2012 -- ZENIT.org News Agency |

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Colombian Youth Orchestra Performs at Castel Gandolfo

Group Seen as Means to Grow Without Drugs and Violence

By H. Sergio Mora

ROME, SEPT. 5, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The symphonic program "Way of Concerts" ended its presentation in Rome this week, which included a performance at Castel Gandolfo. The "Way of Concerts" is a project that seeks to help young people through symphonic orchestras where they can grow culturally and are kept far from drugs and violence. Participating in the project is the Colombian Youth Symphonic Orchestra of the Cauca Valley.

"This is, without a doubt, the youth of Colombia, hardworking, industrious, that studies and reflects the majority of the youth of my country," said the ambassador of Colombia to the Holy See, César Mauricio Velasquez, who was present at the Castel Gandolfo concert.

"How good it is that, with their music and likableness, they become ambassadors of Colombia to the world," he continued. He also specified that "young people who are interested in music are motivated against drugs and violence." The ambassador pointed out that "with their music here in Castel Gandolfo they wish to encourage Benedict XVI to visit our country."

In its second year, the "Way of Concerts" is an itinerant and multi-cultural youth music festival which brings together young musicians from different parts of the world who come from a variety of socio-cultural realities. The festival includes the musicians of the Youth Symphonic Orchestra of the Cauca Valley and of the Bonporti Conservatory of the city of Trento, together with young musicians from the music academies of Spain, Turkey and Hungary.

The symphonic orchestra has 115 members between the age of 9 and 22, and is headed by the man who founded the project, Julian Lombana, director of the orchestra of the Conservatory of Trento and a Colombian naturalized in Italy, along with Colombian director Sergio Bernal.

On August 30 the orchestra of the "Way of Concerts" gave its last concert at Rome in the patio of the monastery of the Capuchin Minor Friars located on via Veneto, with the presence of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See and a numerous public.

"These youth chose music as a way of dialogue and mutual knowledge," said the ambassador. And he announced that "initiated with this event is a pastoral activity with the Colombian community residing in Rome, thanks to the availability of the Capuchin friars." Therefore, he thanked their Provincial, Father Antonio De Filippis, the superior Armando Ambrosi, and Father Reinaldo Cordovani, with the hope that it will be a point of spiritual reference in the church of the Immaculate Conception on via Veneto 31.

"This is an occasion to greet them given that it is the last event that I attend as ambassador of Colombia to the Holy See," said Velasquez, who added: "I will carry you in my heart."

"Over these years I have been able to feel the universality and beauty of the Church in all her forms, as well as to reflect further and to diffuse the teaching of Benedict XVI, source of personal growth," concluded the youngest diplomat to the Holy See.

On Tuesday, August 21, after the concert held in Piazza San Silvestro, the ambassador of Colombia to Italy, Juan Manuel Prieto, said that the "Way of Concerts" is really a wonderful opportunity for the Colombian youths of this orchestra to be able to appear in Italy and in several cities of Europe."

"One of the principles, with which these orchestras have been organized from their foundation, is the idea that a youngsters who has held a musical instrument in his hands, will hardly have a weapon tomorrow. And this is what we want for Colombian youth," added Prieto.

Julian Lombana, the orchestra's director who conceived the project, said: "This is the realization of a dream and for many of them the possibility to come into contact with a great culture, such as the Italian, cradle of Western culture."

The tour began at Ferriere; it continued at Cremona, Trento, Verona, Florence, Nola and Rome and is now at Milan, from where it will go to the French city of Metz and will end in Madrid on September 2 at the Arsenal Theater and on the 4th at the Theaters of the Channel.

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