June 2, 2012. (Romereports.com) This group of children and young adults visited Rome recently. Their ages range from 9 all the way to 18. But despite the age difference, they're all members of Madrid's 'El Escorial' choir. Even though singing is fun, it's also a huge challenge. “It is a challenge, but slowly they start developing their independence, sense of responsibility, and discipline. It is a very demanding life because, apart from general education, they have musical education. Then the schedule is very tight, but they cope very well. As children, of course their energy is overwhelming,” said Pedro Alberto Sanchez, Choirmaster.
The Choir was founded in 1567 by King Philip II of Spain. Since then, thousands of children have taken part. Today, the choir has about 50 children. In fact, the group actually sang before the Pope in Madrid, during World Youth Day. 'El Escorial' is known for its history and tradition. But it's also a boarding school, where children get more than musical training.
CARLOS AVRAMOV Choir of 'El Escorial,' Singer “What's great about it, is that we have the opportunity to study regular courses and music. Also, you get to spend time with your friends, with kids your age, as well as some students who are older or younger. It's a good time. And since we have a busy schedule, we don't get bored.”
MANUEL ALMENDRAL Choir of El Escorial, Singer “For me, the best thing, aside from the chorus, is that we have piano lessons and great teachers. At school, we're required to play the piano and we have great teachers. I'm learning so much, and I want to continue with this in the future.”
GUSTAVO SÁNCHEZ Choir of El Escorial, Director “It's great to see how children grow, you see it during their concert performances. How they grow musically and technically. They fine tune everything and it's really beautiful.”
They are typical children. They listen to music, play video games and joke around with their friends. In the coming months, their musical talent will take them to countries like Germany, France and Panama. The group is also planning on recording a new album.