Cotacachians love music and…
dance at …
all ages, young…
Plus you never know what will happen next.
Take this Cotacachi musical treat as an example.
Merri and I were working in Meson’s office, when a messenger dropped a small white envelope on our desk. Dr. Ramiro Ruiz, former Mayor of Cotacachi and director of the Cotacachi Cultural Museum had sent an invitation to a little concert at the San Francisco Temple, the second, smaller Cathedral in the village.
San Francisco Temple.
So we accepted both and enjoyed the real estate inauguration and wondered how the evening concert would be.
A group was with us and we asked if they could come along for the music. Obtaining a green light, we, with 18 gringos in hand, headed across the village early to enjoy the evening Mass at the temple.
We were wondering what type of concert this would be; a local group perhaps, a children’s affair…maybe a good string quartet.
I was hoping for this last option.
Merri and I love good classical music and have heard some of the best in the world. Our offices at one time, when we lived in London, were on Wigmore Street right next door to Wigmore Hall which was the national concert hall for chamber music and song. There were regular performances of song recitals, chamber, piano, early music and jazz concerts. Then it had been easy to pop in and hear a grand pianist, flutist or other famous artist. The London Philharmonic was also within easy reach easy.
We also had years in Vienna and frequented the Vienna Konzerthaus where there were regular concerts of Mozart, Strauss and performances by the Vienna State Opera. We also often stopped at the Vienna Kursalon which was built in 1865 and served as the Ballroom of Vienna. The Strauss family celebrated their greatest triumphs there and any night one could sip coffee and listen to wonderful live performances.
Then in Naples we enjoyed the Naples Philharmonic which the wealthy Neapolitans used to spend their money, by filling it with only top performers and stars.
These musical opportunities all offered us only the best. Even in my Hong Kong days, my flute instructor was a flutist for the Hong Kong Philharmonic. They were not the best orchestra in the late 60s, but I was allowed to practice in the musician’s practice rooms at the HK philharmonic Hall. When they performed, I was often there.
Plus we visit Copenhagen every couple years to speak at Jyske Bank’s courses which include performances by the Royal Danish Opera. They perform at all of Jyske’s seminars and Merri and I have spent evenings enjoying dinner with some of their stars before being entertaining grandly.
Music has always been an important part of my life. I began playing the trumpet at 11, switched to the double bass at 13 (was a metro league honor band performer at 16) and then took up the flute when I began to travel. (Double BB Flat Sousaphones are cumbersome instruments to lug around the world!)
I am certainly no aficionado nor expert but I do enjoy music and from these experiences understand it a bit. So I was not getting my hopes up here, in Cotacachi, a tiny village of 6,000 people, deep in the Andes in a very small, but acoustically sound, as it turned out, temple.
What kind of music could they perform here, really?
With Mass over, attendants arrived and began removing pews. I wondered. “What?” Then they began flowing in…the entire Orquesta Sonfonica Nacional del Ecuador…THE NATIONAL SYMPHONY OF ECUADOR, 72 performers, two bassoons, a double bassoon, timpani and all, celebrating their 50th year. They gathered, went through those comforting warm-up rituals and then, just seven pews in front of us, the conductor, Medardo Caisabanda, arrived, turned to face the orchestra, raised his baton and nearly brought the ceiling down!
They began with Obertura Caballeria Ligera and moved into Brahms’ Hungarian Dance #5. Crisp, perfectly timed and when they put their musical peddle to the metal in Forte the effect is hard to describe.
My spine shivered, heart fluttered and tears to the eyes, even now just remembering.
Words can’t say it.
The music grabbed our bodies….and our souls.
Ecuadorian performers are much more physically enthusiastic than their Northern brethren. Unlike the no move, stone faced performances often given by great stars in the US, Canada or Europe, these musicians move, smile, sway. You see, as well as hear. When the orchestra erupted in this tiny hall, you literally felt their enthusiasm.
Ecuadorians play their music with gusto!
Later, as our group strolled down the lamp lined streets toward El Meson, the cool, star studded evening was dessert after this exquisitely performed musical meal.
This will be a time always remembered, I suspect for the entire 150 people or so in attendance. The National Symphony of Ecuador was in our lap. And for everyone it was free! This was one of those rare, unexpected peak moments that grabbed us, carried us and it will stick, a wonderful memory.
This was a thrill beyond explanation that I hope sharing will express the joys that can come from visiting our tiny village in Land of the Sun!
Join Merri and me or our Ecuador Living staff in March 2010
March 11-14 Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Fl.
March 15 Travel to Quito
March 16 Travel Quito Cotacachi
March 17-18 North Andes, Imbabura & Cotacachi Real Estate Tour
March 19-20 Cotacachi Shamanic Tour
March 21 Travel Cotacachi to Manta
March 22-23 Manta & Mid Coast Real Estate Tour
March 24 Travel Manta to Cuenca
March 25-26 Cuenca Real Estate Tour
March 27 Travel Cuenca to Salinas
Mar. 28-29 Salinas & South Coast Real Estate Tour
The Ecuador airfare war makes it cheaper to get to Ecuador than ever before… and there is still time to enjoy great Ecuador tour savings.
You enjoy discounts by attending multiple seminars and tours. Here are our multi tour adventure discounts.
Even Better. Greater Savings. Our 2010 International Club membership allows you and a guest to attend as many of the 51 courses and tours we’ll sponsor and conduct in 2010 (fees would be $40,947 for all these courses individually) is only $3,500.
International Club Three Monthly Payments of $1,190
Our Spring 2010 schedule starts:
Apr. 12-15 Ecuador Export Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 17-18 Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 20-21 Coastal Mid Coast Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 23-24 Quito & Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 26-27 Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
The multi tour discounts remain effective for the April tours.