2013 Salzburg Festival:
The White Hands Choir is part of the El Sistema Special Education Program, which was founded in 1995 in order to integrate people with handicaps into society more fully through music. Here, children with and without handicaps meet and enjoy playing together. The idea of uniting children with physical and mental handicaps, children with hearing difficulties, and even deaf-mute children in one chorus was born in 1999.
The unusual ensemble is divided into two groups: children with movement, visual and cognitive disorders form the actual chorus.
Their singing is transformed by the other group, children with impaired hearing, mute or deaf-mute children, into an expressive choreography of flowing hand movements, their hands clad in white or coloured gloves.
World-famous conductors like Simon Rattle and Claudio Abbado have been deeply impressed by these children. Today, twelve such choruses exist in Venezuela. Following the invitation from the Salzburg Festival, the White Hands Choir travels abroad for the first time to present two live concerts at the Mozarteum Foundation. For the organizers in Venezuela and Salzburg, but most importantly for the handicapped children and teenagers, this presents an enormous challenge.
Coro de Manos Blancas
Naybeth García, chorus master
Luis Chinchilla, conductor