For both 2017 and 2018, the choir of Casa de los Tres Mundos (C3M), a music/art school and cultural centre in Granada (Nicaragua), was inspired by the European tradition of caroling that consists of singers performing Christmas songs for families from door to door. The choir left its usual venues of cultural centres, amphitheatres and churches to perform Christmas carols. On the evening of December 14th 2018, the choir sang in the Middle Eastern restaurant Pita Pita, located in downtown Granada. After a short five minute walk, choir members then performed in the restaurant El Zaguan just off Calzada street. Restaurant goers enjoyed the quality of the singing, the warm energy of the choir and the mix of well-known Christmas songs such as “We wish you a Merry Christmas”, “Carol of the Bells” and “Joy to the World” as well as songs with deep roots in the Nicaraguan culture, notably two from the famous writer and singer Carlos Mejia Godoy: “El Cristo de Palacagüina” (The Christ of Palacagüina, a small town in Madriz department, Nicaragua) and “Navidad en Libertad” (Christmas in Freedom). Expertly led by music school Director Reyna Somarriba, the choir was accompanied by guitarist Cesar Jarquin Moreira and guest cellist from Colombia, Juan Sebastian Forero Jaramillo.
Just two days before Christmas, the choir celebrated its Holiday reunion by participating in a field trip outside Granada to sing for the small rural community of Caña de Castilla. Local families were delighted to watch and listen to the choir, and enjoyed the songs; even more since opportunities to listen to songs performed live by choirs accompanied by classical instruments are rare in rural Nicaragua. The choir was happy to accompany a local señora who asked to share her own Christmas song drawn from the rich Nicaraguan folklore tradition. Adults and children enjoyed a typical and much-loved treat after the concert, choco bananos (frozen bananas dipped in chocolate).
All three of the choir’s carolling concerts concluded with personal greetings and warm wishes to audience members, wishing all a Merry Christmas, simultaneously performing the chorus written by Mejia Godoy of “Feliz Navidad, en justicia y libertad, sin miseria ni opresion” (Merry Christmas, in justice and freedom, without misery and oppression), a perfect conclusion to the concert. We hope that Christmas caroling becomes a tradition of the C3M choir for years to come.
Odette Langlais, volunteer, Amigos Casa Tres MundosDecember 2018
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