Today, June 15, 2009, I attended very delightful musical treat at the Charlotte Kimelman cancer Institute auditorium on St. Thomas. The Coral Metropolitana de San Juan (a choral group from San Juan) gave the audience a rare musical treat early in the day, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Their performance of their repertoire of music from several countries in the Americas was very well received by an appreciative audience of music lovers. The group is on an international tour that brought them to St. Thomas and will be taking them to St. Kitts and Barbados. They have traveled to many countries including China in 2006. Their presence was facilitated by Catherine Mills, who by the way was a schoolmate of the conductor, Dr. Evangeline Oliver. When she studied in Puerto Rico.
It is a mix group of males and females of varying ages and reflecting the racial mixture of the Puerto Rican nationality. Some of the renditions included: I Believe by Drake & Stillman; America by J. Armentieres & P. Herrero (Arr: Nestor Hernandez); El Cumbanchero by Rafael Hernandez (Arr: Ruben Colon); El Ultimo Café by C. Castillo & H. Stamponi (Arr: Oscar Escalada); Amazing Grace, spiritual by J. Newton (1779); En Mi Viejo San Juan by Noel Estrada among others. The special treat was an arrangement by our own Larry Benjamin of a Bill La Motta song which was sung for the very first time. Mr. Benjamin was asked to provide a local musical piece and he prepared the arrangement that the group sang so well. We are grateful to Catherine Mills and all those who made this musical treat possible.
J. J. Estemac