“Jugend musiziert” (young people make music) – a benefit concert for the Magnificat Institute, the school of music of the Custody of the Holy Land, took place on Sunday, 23 January at the Musikschule Grünwald. Markus Lentz, organiser of the concert, describes in an interview how he came up with the idea, and the importance of the music school in Jerusalem.

Mr Lentz, where did the idea to organise a pro Magnificat concert come from?

We have been suggesting to our pupils, who take part in the annual national “Jugend musiziert” (young people make music) competition to look beyond the competition and apply their skills for a worthy cause since 2010. Last year, we played for “Har.le.kin e.V.”, a unit for premature babies close by. This concert was so positively received that we made it part of our set concert programme. When I heard about the Magnificat school of music and the “Pro Terra Sancta” project, I decided to hold a concert at our school.

What are the strengths of the Magnificat; what is special about it?

At a time when we only hear bad news about the impossibility of the different religions or even cultures living constructively together in peace, the Magnificat really is a haven of peace and education that makes it possible for children and young people in particular in a “hostile” environment to have a rounded human experience of contact and keeps their hopes alive.

How did the concert go and how was the idea received?

The atmosphere of the concert was incredibly focused. The intensity and presence with which the children performed was impressive. As images of young musicians from the Magnificat were constantly shown as a backdrop during the concert, the relationship was always present. These works and the Franciscan community were also personally represented at the concert by Father Raynald Wagner. The purpose of the benefit was welcomed in particular, as young musicians were performing for young musicians, and this was constantly in everyone’s minds throughout this concert.

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Information on the ATS Pro Terra Sancta “Magnificat” Project