Helping jóvenes with his music, Horacio Franco recorder concert
By Stephanie Hough
Generous humanitarian actions by great artists often contribute to enhance their image. On February 9 we had the privilege of enjoying Mexico’s foremost flutist, Horacio Franco, at the Obraje Cultural Center. This concert originated through the generosity of Horacio Franco and the dedicated work of Jóvenes Adelante, promoting higher education and the development of life skills for talented and economically disadvantaged Mexican youth.
Horacio Franco gave three didactic concerts for the students of San Miguel de Allende at the Academia International, the Sindicato, and at the Centro Cultural Obraje. His compelling life story and his musical mastery enchanted and inspired students from secondary to university level.
Students from the CASA School were so appreciative of his presentation, they initiated an unsolicited collection among themselves and donated 183.50 pesos to the Jovenes Adelante scholarship fund. For their generosity, we thank the students and teachers at Las Casas!
And thanks to Jose Luis at the Sindicato and Jenifer Phillips at the Academica International for organizing the exposure of this great talent to the youth of San Miguel.
The Horacio Franco benefit concert included an art sale by artist Francisco Gómez Soria and a tequila tasting sponsored by Casa Cofradia. The event raised almost 40,000 pesos. Jovenes Adelante gives its most heartfelt thanks to our many supporters and sponsors who made all of this possible: Centro Cultural Obraje, Hotel Casa Primavera, Veremos Productions and Arturo Plancarte Marketing Cultural.
As for the music, the concert attracted music lovers from Leon, Queretaro, Celaya and Mexico City, who listened in awe as Franco displayed the musical versatility available only to those artists who have a deep knowledge of their instrument.
Cameron Smith, former chairman of the board for the Rockport Music Festival, attended the concert and contributed the following comments.
“The Central Cultural Santa Maria del Obraje, San Miguel de Allende, worked very well for this concert. The adjoining chapel was a comfortable size for the 30 or so attendees of Maestro Franco’s pre-concert lecture. He gave an English-Spanish description of the recorder’s history, concluding that it has become an instrument for professional musicians only since the end of World War II. It has retained its status as a first instrument for school instruction, but the success of this use is spotted. The Cultural Center comfortably held an almost full house of perhaps 200, with good acoustics and sight lines. It was also a pleasant place for the post-concert tequila and wine-tasting.”
The performer’s kind words about Jóvenes Adelante and his welcomed work with school children gave an overall glow to the concert, definitely a great success. The news that he will return for a spring equinox concert was certainly a fine way to end the evening.