El Merengue del Primero
Happy New Year!
El Sistema Greece Youth Orchestra presents ‘’El Merengue del Primero’’ for your ears -and eyes- only!
‘’El Merengue del Primero’’ is one of the most favorite pieces of El Sistema Greece. Written by the composer and violinist, Carlos Medrano, this piece has led him to mark several milestones in his career. But let’s take it from the beginning…
‘’El Merengue del Primero’’ was written for the Children’s Orchestra of the Fundación del Niño – currently the Fundación del Niño Zuliano. Carlos Medrano, who grew up within the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras and Choirs of Venezuela, is director and violin teacher at the José Luis Paz Conservatory and has written several works for pre-child orchestras.
The specific piece was born as a necessity for young musicians to be able to play a repertoire based on their technical level. “I sat looking up at the sky. It makes me laugh because I would point my finger up and ask, “Lord, what can I do?”And the answer was there: the first finger!
That was the moment that Medrano found what he should do! As the first finger is the opportunity for children to express themself, when, for example, they raise their hand to ask a question at school, the key for the song he was trying to compose was that powerful first hand. After 20 minutes of work at the piano, the piece was almost ready! Since then it has been turned into one of the most famous El Sistema songs and has been performed in many music schools inspired by El Sistema methodology all over the world.
Musicians of El Sistema Greece learnt this piece for the very first time in 2019, Merengue was included in the repertoire of El Sistema Greece Youth Orchestra and was played during the first concert that this youth orchestra had ever performed outside of Athens. All the members of this fantastic orchestra can assure you that they really love this piece and it is one of their greatest hits!