Friday, April 10, 2015

The Virlanie Children’s Choir says MERCI! before flying to France

Godspeed and bon voyage Virlanie Children's Choir!

Press Release:

Some members of the audience were moved to tears during the recent concert staged by the 24-member Virlanie Children’s Choir. Merci: A Send-off Concert was a performance dedicated to the friends and partners of Virlanie Foundation, Inc. a child caring institution established by French social worker Dominique Lemay.

Virlanie Children's Choir
Concert Poster
Virlanie Foundation’s partners and friends from the French community, private and government sector, individual patrons and distinguished guests attended the concert on March 28, 2015 at the SDA Theater, SDA Building, P. Ocampo St., De La Salle - College of Saint Benilde, Manila.

The Foundation has been taking care of street children—the abused, homeless, neglected, abandoned, orphaned and the poorest of the poor—for more than two decades. In 2004, a handful of these children were gathered to form the Virlanie Children’s Choir to sing for Her Royal Highness Princess Caroline of Hanover.  

choir folk songs
Since then, the choir has performed in various venues in the Philippines and Europe, including the Notre Dame Cathedral (Paris), Hotel Matignon, Mont Saint Michel, Ieper (Belgium), and the North of France. They sang with the Philippine Madrigal Singers, and were invited by the French Prime Minister Jean Marc Ayrault and his wife Madame Brigitte Ayrault to sing at the opening of the French-Filipino National Exhibit in Musee des Arts Primitifs du Quai Branly in Paris.

choir accompanied by acoustic guitar
Having come from humble backgrounds as former street children and young adults from Virlanie’s residential homes; the Mobile Unit, Virlanie’s street-based program; and some of the urban poor communities that Virlanie Foundation is working with, these children were able to overcome challenges and fulfill their young dreams. They don’t only share their music as singing ambassadors, they also serve as inspiration for fellow children and the public at large.

choir with Ms. Hermo
In April 2015, the choir will be on their 2nd Spring Tour in France to raise awareness about Virlanie Foundation’s mission of helping and caring for Manila’s street children. They will be visiting the following French cities with their Choirmaster and Musical Director, Ms. Maria Lourdes Hermo, and their pianist Margarette Kean Villarin: Wasquehal, Nancy, Metz, Mulhouse, Belfort, Lyon, Le Puy en Velay, Beausoleil, Marseille, Montpellier, Toulouse, Brive la Gaillarde, Agen, Urrugnes, LĂ©ognan, and Bordeaux.

The trip to France and the Manila concert are made possible by the generous support of the following sponsors: Dr. Stephen Zuellig, Enfance Tiers Monde, Lions Club Douai in France, Virlanie France and all its volunteers, and Madame Brigitte Ayrault. Virlanie Foundation, Inc. also appreciates the support of Regional Director Alice Bonoan of the Department of Social Welfare and Development-National Capital Region, the French Consulate and His Excellency Ambassador Gilles Garachon.

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