Young musicians from Leon support the children of San Miguel

By Jesús Ibarra

On Saturday, July 5, at 7pm, the first concert in San Miguel by the Symphony Orchestra and Choir of Children and Youth of Centro Fox will take place at the Church of San Francisco as a fundraiser event for La Biblioteca. This orchestra and choir are directed by Silvia Alba Roa, who also directs the Music School of Centro Fox. The concert will benefit La Biblioteca, whose mission is to offer free courses for San Miguel children and youth and provide scholarships to students. Tickets are 200 pesos. They are for sale at La Tienda in La Biblioteca, on Insurgentes 25.

Fundraiser concert for
La Biblioteca
Orquesta y coro infantil del Centro Fox
Sat, Jun 5, 7pm
San Francisco Church
Tickets, 200 pesos, for sale at
La Tienda of La Biblioteca


Teacher Alba Roa spoke for Atención about the young musicians.

Jesus Ibarra: How long ago was this orchestra formed?

Silvia Alba Roa: It was formed a year and four months ago as an initiative of Vicente Fox, former President of Mexico, and his wife, Martha Sahagún, to provide a cultural and musical activity for children in the community of San Cristobal and 10 other  nearby communities so that the children might be kept away from harmful activities.

JI: How many children are there in the orchestra and choir?

SAR: The orchestra is made up of 85 kids, and along with the ones in the choir, that gives a total of 110. The Music School of Centro Fox has a total of 150 students. Their ages are between 7 and 18. Classes include instruction in playing various instruments.

JI: What instruments are played in the orchestra?

SAR: We have all the usual instruments in an orchestra: strings, such as cello, double bass and violin. We also have percussion and wind instruments, such as oboe, bassoon, trombone, trumpet and tuba. We also have a group of 20 children who play in an ensemble of recorders, and others play piano, interpreting different works appropriate for piano.

JI: How do you determine which child plays a particular instrument? When they enter the music school, do they start from scratch?

SAR: Yes, they start from scratch. When the child enters the music school, he or she will have an inductive course and didactic proposals, done according to ability to play a certain instrument, taking into account physical characteristics and age. For example, a child who is too small will not have sufficiently developed lungs to play a trombone. A child of 10 or more can be led to play a tuba or trombone. Playing the violin depends on the size of the arm. According to this methodology, the instrument is assigned. When they enter, all children want to play piano or violin since they are the only instruments they know, but when they meet other instruments, such as the harp, their outlook broadens.

JI: Where have they performed?

SAR: In the summer of 2013, we had our first recital, and in December they gave a Christmas concert accompanying Juan Gabriel (renowned Mexican singer, showman and composer), who came to give a presentation at Centro Fox. In Mexico City they gave a bassoon and choir concert at the Auditorio Nacional, and they have performed several times at the Teatro Doblado in León. This is the first time we are going to San Miguel de Allende, and the young students are very excited because they know their work will benefit La Biblioteca, which helps San Miguel children to approach culture as they themselves have done.

JI: What satisfaction, being the director has the Music School of Fox Center given you?

SAR: Basically, that the life and expectation scheme of the children has changed. Now, their aspirations and projects are different. They have gained self-control and discipline. The Centro Fox aims to use music as a means for children to be more responsible. They all go to school and come to music class after school. After belonging to the orchestra, they love the instruments.

Centro Fox is an institution located in the rural community of San Cristóbal, near León, Guanajuato. It was founded by the former Mexican President, Vicente Fox, with the mission of contributing to the training of leaders based on social values through a platform that promotes equity to forward the ideas and actions of our people nationally and internationally.

Program for concert in San Miguel
“Imagine” by John Lennon
Selections by Handel, Mozart and Beethoven
“Blue Danube,” waltzes and marches
“Cielito Lindo,” a Mexican folk song.
Several songs for choir, accompanied by piano
Bassoon trio sonatas

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