THE MAGIC LAMP | Custodia Terrae Sanctae


St. Saviour Auditorium, Old City, Jerusalem, March 24th, 2012, 18:00 hours

This is a concert of unpublished Arabic songs for children produced by the Magnificat Institute in Jerusalem. The concert will be held on Saturday, 24th March 2012, at 18:00, in the auditorium of the St. Saviour Monastery in Jerusalem’s Old City (free entrance). Twelve songs will be performed by the youngest students of the Magnificat Institute between the ages of 5 and 12 years old, as the “Buds Yasmeen Choir” and the “Magnificat Spring Orchestra” with the participation of the youngest pupils of other schools in Jerusalem (Terra Sancta College, St. Joseph School and the Frères College) who will enrich the tuneful evening by performing short scenes related to the themes of the songs. The 2012 concert will be the culmination of the publication, teaching and performance of twelve songs for children, created by the Palestinian music composers and song writers Rida Mabjeesh, Yusef Khill, Michel Haddad, Nuha Zu’rob Ki’war, Yusef Mas’ad and Adrian Haddad. These songs form part of a collection of unpublished compositions that are used for teaching young children. The “Magnificat Spring Orchestra” is trained by maestro Robert Canetti; Mrs. Mirjam Younan, conductor of the “Buds Yasmeen Choir”, and Mr. Hani Kreitem, assistant conductor, are directing this production.

“God has given me a gift, the gift is my mother and father; Before I sleep and when I wake up, I pray and thank God for my gift. Every early morning, before the birds awake, I wash my face and pray, and then I greet my parents. Oh Almighty Lord our Creator, I praise your name every day and I pray for you from deep in my heart to protect my mother and father.”
The Gift: the significant present that God keeps on giving, which brings happiness to all children around the world, parents are a sign of life and a source of joy for every child.
“The Gift” is only one of the twelve Arabic songs for children that will be performed at the Eighth annual concert of the Magic Lamp series organized by the Magnificat Institute. Other songs will touch other themes interesting for children with titles like “My Balloon”, “Paper Kite”, “Your Birthday Mom”, some of them taken from everyday life like “The Car”, “The Traffic Light”, “The Pedestrian Crossings”, or from nature like “The Beauty of Spring”, “The Song of the Tree”, “The Olive Tree”.

The Magic Lamp is not only a concert performance; it is also an initiative of the Magnificat Institute of Jerusalem that includes every stage of artistic activity, on both didactic and productive levels. It involves the research, composition, harmonization, production, publication, teaching, performance and promotion of unpublished songs, both traditional and new, from the Palestinian-Arabic musical repertoire for children. It is a response to the need of schools for teaching materials, both musical scores and songs, for use in class.
The first stage is research or composition on texts and melodies that have never been published or may be in need of new arrangements. From the simple melodic line, this proceeds to the harmonic composition and the accompaniment. The script must then be entered into the computer in both directions, one from left to right for the accompaniment and the other from right to left for the melodies with the text: a work of unification is therefore needed. As soon as the computerized version is ready, the musical scores must be printed and sent to the teachers, who will use this material, in the schools, to teach the children participating in the Magic Lamp concert. In the meantime, a book of all the songs needs to be published and distributed freely to Arabic schools and teachers. A record of the event will also be made by means of a video recording.

The development and expansion of the Magic Lamp project has been made possible through the support of the project “Support the emergency of education in the Palestinian Territories. Bethlehem, Jericho and East Jerusalem MAE 9226/AVSI/TOC) co-financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, AVSI Foundation, ATS pro Terra Sancta and Custody of Holy Land.