First Christmas flashmob in San Miguel de Allende
By Daina Jasmine Ventura
There are some miraculous things that can just happen on Christmas Day, and only in San Miguel de Allende… Like a Christmas flashmob in the Jardín.
It happened on December 25 on a rather grey but mild day, just after everybody in town enjoyed their Christmas meal with families and friends, after the Mass, and after the hip-hop guys finished their daily shows in front of the Parroquia.
The Jardín was unusually quiet but filling with people looking at the beautiful Christmas tree surrounded by noche buena plants, or at the nacimiento under the gazebo, with full-sized statues of Mary, Joseph and the Christ Child in the manger, surrounded by live sheep and a real donkey.
Just after 5pm, the Parroquia’s bells rang, a girl started playing “Silent Night” on her violin, directed by a young conductor in front of her… A few seconds after, another violinist joined them, then a cellist .… People started gathering and wondering what was going on…. More violins, flutes, horns came by, then even a drum kit and a double bass… Some people started to sing while the almost-full orchestra (members of the youth orchestra Crescendo) was playing “White Christmas.” “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…. May your days be merry and bright…”
In a few minutes a crowd of hundreds of people were surrounding the young musicians and a choir of mixed people – all of different ages, countries, languages and churches – singing aloud “Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Glory to the newborn King”.
The melody changed into a medley of Christmas carols, while more and more people gathered with surprised looks and many of them joined the singing: “Oh Come all Ye Faithful”…. “Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing, O come let us Adore Him…. Christ the Lord”
As a surprise, at the end of singing and playing, closing with “Amazing Grace” and an encore of White Christmas, some people raised placards forming the letters Feliz Navidad and then turned them into Merry Christmas!
Pastor Jack Driscoll – who is running a mission and a school together with his wife, Janice – was asked to say a prayer in Spanish for San Miguel and he did so with inspired words. Many came to thank him for the beautiful prayer.
It all lasted maybe 25 to 30 minutes, but we hope it will last forever in the hearts of those who were there. Actually, a man we do not know wrote that very same day on a civil list online his personal thanks and comment to the surprising event, here are his words which I think sum up pretty well the feelings we were aiming to give and experience:
“Sitting in the Jardín tonight around 5pm. As we got up to leave we walked by a young violinist playing Christmas carols being conducted by a gentleman. No one was paying attention. They had just arrived. We stopped to listen. It wasn’t long before another violinist joined her…then another…. then the bass, trumpets, horns…etc. Before we knew it we were experiencing our first “flash mob.” Eventually several hundred people were watching, listening, eventually singing along. It was one of those wonderful, joyful (I cried) moments that only SMA can offer. Thank you whoever organized this…it was a great holiday gift.” –David
Thank you David! Even if it was just to touch your soul we have been blessed by your presence!
I just want to add that although it maybe all seemed to be happening by chance, as a surprise and almost effortlessly, there have been a lot of prayers involved and a lot of work “behind the scenes” and behind this world… as it sure was a miracle that the flashmob was allowed to happen in the Jardín on Christmas Day itself and it all turned out well and that the weather was fine (it has been raining since the day after Christmas…)
So a big thank you to Maestro Victor Hugo Ramos Fonseca and the young musicians of Orquesta Crescendo; to their parents for bringing chairs and music stands; Antioch Community OutReach Church of SMA and the Escuela Bilingüe Culturas George Washington Carver for supporting the event, the Baptist Church of SMA for providing the rehearsal space…The Parroquia Principal for hosting the orchestra before they appeared in the square, Denise of the Municipality’s Tourism and Fomento Económico office and really I do not know how many more… and of course thanks to God most of all.