Our last concert is at the Gran Rex Theatre with a seating capacity of 3,300. I was very concerned that our 1:00 PM Thursday afternoon concert would not have much of an audience, given that this did not seem to be a regular concert time; however, this is a very well known series that typically has large audiences. The Mozarteum, the top arts organization in all of Argentina, sponsored our concert. It is a free concert series for the people of Argentina. The hall was very beautiful. Although it did not seem much larger than Murphy Fine Arts Center at Morgan, it was clearly larger with balconies that were quite deep and high. Before the concert, there were lines of people wrapped around the building, waiting to get in to see the concert. This was a fitting venue for our last concert. Most attendees were either persons who were retired or persons who worked in the area who attended during their lunch/siesta break.
I was given orders from the stage manager to begin at 1:00 PM sharp! I was told the official attendance of our concert was over 900, which is not bad for a Thursday afternoon. Our concert was approximately one hour and we had another appreciative audience, who, despite our efforts to leave the stage, called us back for an encore. After the concert, much like all of the other concerts of this tour, many persons stayed behind to personally congratulate the choir for their efforts.
After the concert, Hernan, our guide, took us to La Boca, the city’s first port and an African slave colony before immigrants settled here in the 1880’s. La Boca is one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods and still where most if not all of the Afro-Argentinians live. During our stay in Argentina, we noticed very few persons of African descant. Our guide told us that cholera and yellow fever epidemics virtually killed the entire African population in the 19th century. We are told from others that at some point during the history of Argentina, many of the Blacks were exported from the country to retain an ethnically pure race. Does this sound familiar? Probably, both are true to some extent, and much depends on who is telling the story from their perspective. At the end of the day, one noticed very few persons in Argentina from the African Diaspora. That may be the reason why our HBCU choir and music is such a novelty in this country.
Tonight, we will enjoy a group dinner and overnight in Buenos Aires!
Here are some YouTube links where you can view some of our San Luis concert:
A Boy and a Girl
Gracias a La Vida