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The Alcobendas Choir

The Town

Alcobendas is a town with more than one hundred thousand inhabitants, which is situated 20km. due north of the capital city, Madrid.

During the second half of the last century the town underwent spectacular growth; changing from a rural village into an industrial and residential town. In the 60's and 70's it was chosen by several well-known international firms as a base to establish their branches in Spain.

Towards the end of the last century the town witnessed great changes; new companies established their offices there, mainly technology or automobile companies as well as several banks. Instead of factories, offices were now established, giving employment to thousands of people. At the same time the population continued to grow, the new neighbourhoods of apartment blocks were built along wide avenues.

In the nearby 'La Moraleja' woodlands, a luxurious urbanization was deployed where several celebrities have now built their homes. The old town centre developed into a more popular neighbourhood where people from all over Spain have come to settle. Most of its inhabitants usually work in the capital. But this is not an obstacle to having an active social and cultural live.

People in Alcobendas have always participated actively in the life of the town. There are numerous cultural and sports associations. Although the town does not have a known football team, it can be proud of its teams in other sports clubs such as handball, hockey, rugby, taekwondo, skating, basketball, etc. Some of its neighbors have won international recognition in sport and arts, bringing to Alcobendas olympic medals or Oscar statuilles.

Among the numerous cultural facilities in the town, we can make mention of Theater-Auditorium City of Alcobendas and the Art Centre Alcobendas where many cultural events are held. The National Science and Technoloy Museum, and the FIBA's Hall of Fame with a museum dedicated to this sport.

The Choir.

The Alcobendas Choir was created in 1988 as part of the Municipal Symphonic Band but in 1989 it became an independent organization. Since its beginnings, the choir has always played an important role in the cultural and social life of the town. The choir organizes annual cultural events such as 'Alcobendas Canta', Christmas carol concerts (performing alongside the Municipal Symphonic Band) and the Holy Week concerts consisting of a vast repertoire of Sacred Music. The choir often participates in official, municipal events in the town as well as in the festive celebrations in honour of the town’s patrons; Our Lady of Peace and Saint Isidro. The choir has not only performed in almost every region within Spain but has also participated in concerts and choral festivals in several other countries such as France, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Argentina and Hungary. The choir has been host to many visiting choirs from other parts of Spain and abroad.

The choir had the honour of performing on two occasions in the Albeniz Theatre in Madrid, alongside the Argentinean folk group Los Creadores, led by Ariel Ramírez (the composer of the “Misa Criolla”) and Mariano Mores, a well-known composer and musician of tango music.

Among some of the more outstanding performances, the Alcobendas Choir commemorated its 10th anniversary with a concert of sacred music in the ‘Basilica of San Jerónimo el Real’ in Madrid. In 2006 the choir took part in 'La Noche en Blanco' a series of all-night performances, an event organized annually by the Madrid city council. On several occasions the choir has performed the well-known work 'Carmina Burana' by Carl Orff. One of these performances was held in the Alcazar in Segovia, as part of the events organized by this historical city in order to promote its candidature as the European Capital of Culture, for 2016.

In 2012 the choir had great success with its first venture in the world of opera. The performance of "Lucía da Lammermoor" alongside the opera company 'El Telon' was interpreted in various cities in central Spain.

In 2013 the choir celebrated its 25th anniversary with a variety of performances and activities such as an exhibition of photographs illustrating the history of the choir and the 7th festival 'Alcobendas Canta'.

The repertoire has continued growing with works like Vivaldi´s Gloria, Faure's Requiem and Händel's Mesiah among a wide set of pieces ranging from the most popular folcklore from Spain and South America to modern composers as Morricone or Vangelis; Sacred music from the Renascence to the last creations of this century and, of course, numerous Christmas carols of the most diverse styles.

Traduccido por: Clare Jeffrey

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