Raising voices and community funds

Candle waving celebrants
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By Margot Thomas

THE   CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT  tradition in Panama gets bigger, the performances stronger the candle wavers more enthusiastic and help for local institutions grows.

The CanadaPLUS Foundation, on  Saturday, December 2 once again celebrated its own Christmas miracle with, after heavy rain forecasts not a  drop to dampen the audience participation.

This year some 3000 showed up to join with the performers, who donate their time and talent to singing seasonal songs and carols with over 700  investing in souvenir candles and reserved seats and hundreds more getting a free concert Representatives of over 30 embassies participated. Canada was a notable exception.

The event was opened with a strong presentation by  Fortis in Fides appearing for the first time. They are seasoned performers who sing regularly at Basilica Don Bosco and other churches and they set an upscale tone for the evening.

Fortis in Fides

They were followed by Coro El Colegio  De Panama making their third appearance and enthusiastically directed by Mervelis Flores

Kings College

The Kings College massed choir included some young “veterans” who along with director Vanessa Whay   have appeared in every performance for seven years. Their action supported presentation   added a stimulating  touch to the event

Susan Samudio

Susan Samudio, recently back from a six-country European tour including reaching the final of a prestigious singing competition, demonstrated with her rendering of Holy Night and Silent night, why she is a rising star in Opera Panama and she earned a standing ovation.

Vientos de Esperanza, directed by  Roberto Rampolla is a group of young singers who evangelize through music, and with their heart touching skills showed why their message continues to resonate.

Vientos de Esperanza

 

Panagaita  a Venezuelan  expat  instrumental  and singing group directed by Carlos Canelones provided  a dynamic closing act that  had audience members not only waving candles, but dancing in the aisles, before the combined choirs and audience, accompanied  by firework volcanoes  joined in  a hearty rendition of Feliz Navidad  led by  the two outstanding MCs  Orlando  Sanchez  and  Carla Atlamiranda  who, throughout the  over two-hour  show  rallied the audience to keep their  candles high.

Audience raising voices and candles

Credit also to the supportive audience whose contribution in song and donations will help the CanadaPLUS Foundation purchase equipment to assist the Hospital Del Nino to monitor young children with hearing problems and continue its community involvement.

Panagaita

 

 

Carols by Candlelight in Panama has become a tradition and performers for next year’s expanded event are already being signed up and the Foundation is seeking volunteers to help expand its reach and determine which local institution will benefit. Previous recipients of support have been Fundacion Calicanto, Hogar Malambo, Hospital Santo Tomas and Vision of Hope.

If you are looking for a volunteer niche  interested in  contributing an hour or two a month in the planning months, call 6619-6890 or email foundationcanadaplus@gmail.com

 

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