Music was always present in my family. My dad played the violin and my mum the piano. When I was a child, my mum sent us to dance and piano lessons.
I also learnt at the Evangelical Church and sang on the radio. My husband Mario played the guitar very well and had a wonderful tenor voice. We made a good duo. I could find the second voice for any boleroA term encompassing two distinct musical styles: the Spanish bolero of the 19th century and the Cuban bolero more closely associated with the trova genre and tradition of itinerant musicians..
In Buen Pastor, I would see the girls with teary eyes. They pretended to be strong but then they would go watch television series. It was an opportunity to cry.
I thought: “I will teach them to sing a bit”. With a few fellow prisoners, we created a choir. We found an old guitar, full of scratches, and although it had poor strings, it still made a sound.
We rehearsed a multitude of songs. At night, my fingertips would hurt so much that I had to dip them in cold water to relieve the pain. It was like a burn.
We rehearsed several religious songs and sang during a mass led by a Jesuit priest. This inspired me to take the Catholic communion for the first time.
I remember that that day we sang the canon 'Dona nobis pacem', which I had taught not only to the prisoners but also to the nuns.
The nuns' choir and ours joined forces. The result was beautiful. We were a novelty. The following Sunday the church was full because people wanted to hear us sing.
I also taught them a very beautiful evangelical march that would lift our spirits. It went: “I’m happy and I’ll tell you why / I know that Jesus Christ saved me / I will always sing about his grace / I know that Jesus Christ saved me”.
Published on: 25 September 2016
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