Under Naybeth García and Luis Chinchilla, prostate the 120-member choral ensemble gave two concerts at the Salzburg Festival that moved the audiences to tears. Spanish tenor Plácido Domingo attended one of the concerts and said maestro Abreu should be given the Nobel Peace Prize for his achievements as founder of El Sistema.
“Why do they move us to tears?” asked a spectator to the choral master of the White Hands Choir (WHC), Naybeth García, after the concert on 08 August at the Salzburg Festival. “Because the soul has no disabilities,” she answered. Those who attended the concert at the Mozarteum by the flagship ensemble of the Special Education Program of El Sistema realized that it is possible to sing without voices.
Youngsters with hearing, vision, cognitive, and motor impairments; Down syndrome; learning disabilities; and autism proved in the city of Mozart that they can express themselves through arts just as any other person.
With a concert program that featured classical and Venezuela folk music, the WHC –under Naybeth García and Luis Chinchilla– was loudly applauded by the audience.
With John Rutter’s Ave María –that opened the concert— the tears began to fall and so they continue throughout the concert; and with Gabán (Venezuelan folk Piece) and Adelis Freites’ Los dos gavilanes the applauses turned into cheers and ovations. The audiences also raised their hands straight up with outstretched fingers and twisted their wrists so those choir members with hearing impairments could see their performance had been brilliant.
Plácido Domingo, who was among the audience, warmly praised the choir. “I am proud to see how the choir thrilled the audience. Maestro Abreu has changed the life of thousands of children throughout the world. He deserves to be awarded with the Nobel Prize Peace,” said the Spanish tenor backstage.