15 years of the Grota String Orchestra: “The sound that was born in a garden.”

The Grota String Orchestra, of the Grota Cultural Center, celebrated its 15th anniversary with a beautiful concert at the Municipal Theater in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro on August 10th. Cassandra Nattrass, a volunteer at BrazilFoundation through AIESEC, an NGO that facilitates the international exchange of youth leaders, attended the show and shares her experience:

“You know when you see something so beautiful that it gives you goosebumps? That´s what I felt watching the Grota String Orquestra for the first time. I was very captivated by the concert! They have undeniable musical talent, but what makes them truly stand out is that they are able to maintain a strong identity and include a medley of songs like Mozart´s 40, Billie Jean, and brazilian classics such as Asa Branca in their repotoire in the most natural way, and lets not forget they also blend in the brazilian beats of samba and funk. Knowing where they come from makes their ability to pass on the energy and motivation they get from music to the audience even more inspiring. Without a doubt, this concert was an unforgettable experience and makes me believe even more in our work, and in supporting and strengthening organizations like these.”

Supported by BrazilFoundation in 2004 and 2005, the institution has shown that small projects, with a little help, can become great successes. Since its foundation, the Grota Cultural Center has touched the lives of approximately 750 children and youth, and today more than 250 from the Favela da Grota in Sucururu, Niterói and surrounding communities, participate in musical instrument classes such as violin, viola, cavaquinho, flute and percussion, as well as vocal lessons.

In celebration of the 15th anniversary, a photo exhibition was also held at the Municipal Theater in Niteroi with the theme Grota String Orchestra: 15 before and after. By the end of 2010, the group will release a book about their story.