Trinitate Philharmonia–Learning to dream without limits
By Nathalie Golay
Last year the Trinitate Philharmonia Orchestra played its fourth annual December concert — a Christmas -themed program which was performed before a rapt audience in the world-class Bicentenario theater in León.
But what is the Trinitate Philharmonia, you ask?
One-and-a-half hours from San Miguel, just past the historic Trinidad train station near Santa Ana del Conde, about 200 young people (6-18 years old), from 19 communities, participate in the Trinitate Philharmonia music program, spending three hours a day practicing and studying music at Academia Renacimiento.
The program was established in 2009 by the Trinitate Commercial Group and other interested parties to promote youth development through music education. The co-founders, husband and wife team Graciela Orozco and Juan Carlos Gomez, decided that they could best manifest their vision for a better world by providing opportunities for young people: “We’ve always believed that it is our duty as successful entrepreneurs to give back to society, to share some of our good fortune with others. If we want a better world, we have to help each other,” says Orozco.
The initial plan was to provide violin and piano lessons to a few interested participants, but the first public meeting led to the unexpected enrolment of 250 children, most of whom had never held an instrument. Clearly, individual lessons weren’t going to cut it. So, inspired by the Venezuelan example, organizers decided that the orchestra was a better educational model; one that would foster cooperation, self-discipline, self-confidence and the development of essential life skills.
“Although some students will no doubt choose to pursue musical careers, the program’s main objective is to provide a safe, nurturing environment where young people can acquire the tools to develop their talents whatever these might be and learn to dream of a future without limits,” says Orozco.
Humberto Pérez Urquieta, agreed to lead the project as its artistic director and teachers were hired. When it became apparent that better facilities were also required, a new building was constructed, opening in May, 2010.
Participation is free of charge; all that is required is attendance, commitment, desire and a willingness to pass on what has been learned to the next generation; thus the school’s motto: “What I learn today, tomorrow I will teach.” In return, the program provides facilities, instruments, instruction and personal support. Optional activities include: cultural lectures, guest speakers, field trips, educational movies, sports and chess.
Soon after the program’s inception, help arrived in the guise of world-class Spanish conductor, Ángel Gil-Ordóñez, Director of Washington, DC’s acclaimed Post-Classical Ensemble. After meeting the children, maestro Gil-Ordóñez offered his services as educational and artistic advisor, regularly monitoring each student’s progress and visiting twice a year.
Today there is a long waiting list for this successful program, but the fact is that current resources do not allow for more participants. Additional facilities and resources are desperately needed to accommodate current demand, not to mention future growth: “This project is ambitious, important, and difficult. We have come a long way in a very short time but, ultimately, its success will be measured in the public’s involvement; unless we succeed in eliciting the long-term participation of the wider society, we will not accomplish our wider agenda of helping to build a better Mexico.” Grupo Trinitate – Made With Pride in Mexico. To learn more visit: www.trinitatephilharmonia.org