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25791: Hermantin(news)Concert to benefit Haitian city (fwd)
From: leonie hermantin <email@example.com>
Posted on Fri, Jul. 22, 2005
Concert to benefit Haitian city
BY PETE FREEDMAN
In need of some assistance, Cap-Haitien, Haiti, has turned to family. After
all, that's what sisters -- or, in this case, sister cities -- are for.
As one of the most active American cities involved in the Sister Cities
International program -- it's paired with 14 cities around the world, including
Cap-Haitien -- Fort Lauderdale is trying to help.
On Tuesday, the Broward-based Symphony of the Americas will host a benefit
concert at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts as part of Sister Cities'
efforts to raise awareness and funds for the Haitian city. Funds raised at the
event will be donated toward a number of rehabilitation projects in
Cap-Haitien, ranging from reforestation to the installation of computer
learning systems at area schools.
Tuesday's concert falls within the Symphony of the America's annual Summerfest
tour throughout South Florida, Central America and South America in an effort
to expand interest in classical music and provide grounds for a cultural
exchange. Summerfest begins tonight in Lake Worth and will continue until Sept.
The symphony itself is ever-changing. Each year, maestro James Brooks-Bruzzese
invites groups of foreign musicians to join the symphony's few mainstay members
on their tour of the Americas. This year's crop hails from the Arpeggione
Chamber Orchestra in Austria.
''I don't know whether they've ever done a tour like this,'' said the
symphony's executive director, Renee LaBonte. ``This tour is going to be a
little more hustle-bustle than they're used to.''
As part of the tour, the Symphony of the Americas will travel to Haiti and
later make stops in Brazil and Panama, as well. During its seven-day stay in
Haiti over Aug. 11-17, the symphony will perform eight concerts -- five of
which will be free and open to the public -- in and around Cap-Haitien.
Tony Marcelli, co-chairman of the Fort Lauderdale-Cap-Haitien Sister Cities
organization, predicts 15,000 to 20,000 Haitians will see at least one of the
shows, which he believes will be the first classical music performances in
Cap-Haitien since the 1950s.
''It's really for the masses,'' Marcelli said. ``It's fantastic. In years past,
classical music was a great part of Haiti's culture.''
And it's all happening by chance, really. At a Fort Lauderdale Rotary Club
dinner held to celebrate the inductions of the club's newest members -- a class
that included Brooks-Bruzzese -- the conductor found himself seated at the same
table as Marcelli and his Sister Cities co-chair, Eddy Remy. As the evening
progressed, conversation turned to music, and then to Haiti.
When Remy suggested Brooks-Bruzzese bring his symphony to Cap-Haitien, the
maestro accepted -- and furthered the idea by suggesting the benefit concert.
The entire discussion took less than 30 minutes.
Now, it has given way to a larger conversation. Remy, Marcelli and
Brooks-Bruzzese are currently in talks to make the Haiti trip an annual one.
''It fits perfectly,'' Remy said. ``It's a great opportunity for us to
experience each other's culture.''