For the first time ever, the Magnificat Institute gave concerts in the United States of America.
The Magnificat was kindly invited by the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America to perform in their annual Gala Benefit Dinner at St. Francis Hall and to give a special concert featuring Magnificat students and teachers in the Church of Mt. St. Sepulchre; all this took place in the capital of the USA, Washington D.C.
Both performances saw the participation of Habib Sabara (Violin), George Rofa (Flute), Christine Batato (Piano), Jamil Freij (Tenor), Ms. Katya Samson (Piano), and Ms. Tanya Beltser (Violin).
The Magnificat group was welcomed warmly by all the Friars and employees of the Franciscan Monastery, who also provided them with accommodations and transportation.
The first performance was held at St. Francis Hall, just across the street from the Monastery; a prestigious location were weddings and benefit dinners are held, and where the Gala Benefit Dinner took place with the participation of the Magnificat students and teachers. The first on stage was the pianist Christine Batato: she played the vibrant “Souvenirs d'Andalousie” by Gottschalk; then came George Rofa who played the beautiful piece by Gaubert, “Madrigal” on his flute. Habib Sabara energized the audience with a rendition for violin of the popular “Hoedown” by A. Copland, and finally, all the students went again on stage to perform an original arrangement by our very own Mr. Jiries Boullata of "Atinil Naya" (Give me the Flute and sing), commonly sung by Fairuz.
The very next day the group performed a one hour concert at the Church of Mt. St. Sepulchre - the public, flabbergasted by the high levels of musicality, awarded the musicians with longue applauses.
So positive was the response to the performances that the Magnificat Institute has been invited by the Franciscan Monastery to perform again in the USA in 2017. Other dispatches from the States will follow...