To mark this year's Christmas, the Lebanese Band Association for the Promotion of Music (LeBAM) will be organizing "Christmas Concert." This free-entry orchestral concert will be performed by LeBAM's Wind Symphony Band on Saturday, December 21st.
The young orchestra will play Christmas music and sing carols with the audience at St Augustin Church in Kafra - Beit Meri, at 7:30 PM.
LeBAM is a non-profit organization, non-political and non-religious-based, founded in 2008 by MP Ghassan Moukheiber in collaboration with the late journalist and MP Ghassan Tueini.
Since its establishment, the mission of the organization has been to "promote culture, diversity, development, and citizenship," by offering publicly accessible free, professional-level music classes on one hand, and holding and performing public concerts and events on the other.
Additionally, the association has worked on assembling and managing national bands consisting of LeBAM's music students. Youths between 10 and 18 years of age, mainly those who come from public schools and more financially incompetent backgrounds, are targeted by LeBAM for free music classes, which specialize in wind and percussion instruments.
LeBAM's National Harmonic Band performed in Victoria Hall in Geneva, Switzerland back in August 2011. The students have also participated in and contended to the semi-finals of the talent show "Arabs Got Talent" in 2015, where they performed their orchestral covers of some well-known songs.
That is in addition to performing many times in different areas in Lebanon, including the presidential palace in Baabda.
The NGO's upcoming endeavor to hold a free Christmas concert is a much-needed source of optimism and hope in light of the numerous difficulties that the Lebanese have been going through recently.
Founder Ghassan Moukheiber told Annahar, "The association is aware that the people need food, clothing, and work. But music, especially that offered for free by LeBAM, represents the hope that a new Lebanon will be born, as Christ was, with the beautiful music played by the musicians of the LeBAM orchestra; the hope of future Lebanon."
The Christmas concert that will be held this Saturday will involve prayers for Lebanon, and a performance of Zaki Nassif's song Mahma Yetjarah Baladna, which Moukheiber told Annahar "reflects the very bad reality we live in," while providing a sense of hope that this reality will change for the better.
Today, Lebanese people are in need of the thinnest strand of hope to cling to so they can pass through the destructive storms and waves into a brighter tomorrow.
The Christmas spirit represents today, as it always has for the Lebanese, a spring of promise and aspiration for Lebanon; a longed-for signal that all hope is not lost for this suffering country and its lovely, resilient people; that this too, however difficult, shall pass.