Celebrating Christmas

This year’s celebrations will be difficult if not nonexistent for a lot of people. Yesterday my thoughts were with the hundreds of truckers blocked on each side of the Channel who will not make it home to their families for Christmas. But it’s not only them: so many elderly persons living alone and unable to see family, so many families divided, so many displaced and homeless people. Those of us who have a roof over our heads and food in our plates already have a lot to be thankful for.

At a time when the news is relentlessly bad and the future is uncertain, what better way to celebrate than by listening to children’s voices, joyful and pure.


El Sistema is a social education program founded in Venezuela in 1975 by Dr. José Antonio Abreu, which aims to provide inspiration through music. It has expanded to more than 60 countries and, since 2016, El Sistema Greece has the goal of bringing music education to children and young people, including those in refugee camps in Athens and on the island of Lesvos. Thanks to music, these kids are given a platform for dialogue and togetherness across diverse communities.

One of the most fervent ambassadors of El Sistema Greece, world-famous Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato has visited Athens many times, for performances and workshops. Now she joins her voice once again with the members of the El Sistema Greece Youth Orchestra and the El Sistema Greece Youth Choir, who come from 30 different countries, in a virtual concert hosted by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

I give you The First Noel, and wish you all a very happy Christmas!


20 thoughts on “Celebrating Christmas”

  1. May you find love and satisfaction in the days to come . . . thank you for all I have learned thru’ the year from you and thank you for a very meaningful video . . .


  2. That was a beautiful rendition of The First Noel, Marina, and made even more special by knowing the back story. Thank you. I hope that you are able to have Christmas with those you love. Best wishes for a peaceful and relaxing Christmas. ~hugs~


  3. This post has special meaning for me, as I am a singer too and love Joyce DiDonato’s voice and this rendition of The First Noel. And I have been thinking of the truckers too, stuck in the cold. What a horrible Christmas they must have had. I hope you were able to spend yours with at least some of those you love. xxxM


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