Pages 14-18 lists all the performers for the event.
On the opening Plenary Session performed the following artists:
- Tuna Académica Opening Plenary Session Sunday, 23 June, 10:00 and 16:00 The Tuna is a group of university students in traditional dress who play guitar and sing serenades traditional to Spain and Portugal. LUZ & TUNA, from the Lusíada University in Lisbon, was founded in September 1994. It consists exclusively of students and alumni of the university. They have performed at many notable cultural, academic, and charitable events, including the Festival of Tunas, and have won many awards leaving nostalgia both in Portugal and throughout the world. Their music is inspired by the matrices of Portuguese music, focusing on the themes of the great guitar hits and the Lisbon Fado. You will hear a cultural richness and variety to the musical level, which has bases in several roots of world music. LUZ & TUNA distinguishes itself from other tunas by their posture, performance, and dedication, never forgetting the essence of the academic spirit.
- Il Divo Opening Plenary Session Sunday, 23 June, 10:00 and 16:00
Yes, Rolf Løvland the composer of the music of You Raise Me Up is Norwegian. Fionnuala Sherry is the other half of Secret Garden and is Irish, like Brendan Graham, who wrote the lyrics to both You Raise Me Up and Sleep On.
5. The closing ceremony was phenomenal. A group called 2CELLOS played, and a singer named Hayley Westenra performed with the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra. The final song, “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” caused more chill bumps and even some tears.
First, let me wrap up the final convention day…as the Closing Plenary was very traditional and very emotional with the outgoing president and his entire family from Japan turning over the leadership to the new President, a lawyer and President of the University of Oklahoma Foundation, who also had his entire family and kids there on stage. They do a tribute to the past for the job done….and it is a production, to say the least. Then the concert, which is planned to honor the past and present. Last year in Bangkok it was an Asian program with Asian stars…this year European. I told you earlier about El Divo at the Opening Session…and the closing featured Fernando Varela who has gained stardom on the Dave Foster and Friends tour….he is one of the world class tenors, and he was joined by Hayley Westenra, who is currently in London but from New Zealand. She started singing professionally at age 14, and has performed for the Queen and many other state events, as well as for the George W. Bush and Tony Blair spectacular in London. Google her for more detail.
They were then joined by 2Cellos….two very talented guys from Croatia that are really great the fun to watch and just completed a tour with Elton John. Lisbon’s own St. Dominic’s Gospel Choir concluded the show…..but one of the highlights for me was the Orchestra Metropolitan of Lisbon. They were formed in 1992 and have toured the World, often seen as the backup orchestra from the PBS concerts throughout the world. I wished for many to be there with me just to see their instrumentation, their professional musicians, and the range of music, from classic to jazz. It is obviously the new wave in music…for their instrumentation was 20 strings, 2 oboes, 2 flutes, 2 bassoons, 2 trumpets, 2 horns, 2 trombones, piano and 3 electronic keyboards and electric bass…then a trap drummer, another percussion on 4 tymps, then an extra percussion guy that went from bells to wood block, etc. The harpist was featured on many of the numbers…and all of it with digital amplification…so it sounded like a hundred musicians. Their arrangements were fantastic, and I thought of John Schlenz, for they went from a hymn (Amazing Grace) ballad to a number by Queen and then to “When the Saints” with the choir. Just a fantastic 90 minute concert.Hayley brought the house down when she did one of the numbers from Les Mis….joined by Fernando, and then the 2Cellos….and then the Choir. I think the crowd of 12-15,000 had few dry eyes….it was so well done. Probably the finest production number I have ever heard. Complementing this was the technical production done by a Lisbon company that apparently is kind of #1 in Europe. Their control booth had about 16 people working everything from remote cameras sweeping the audience to individual video guys on stage getting close ups of the musicians,,etc. It was just “awesome”…as is now frequently used to describe something that was this good. I do not know how the Closing could have been better. A true WOW evening.