Newsletter of October 2019
Bulletin de Octobre 2019
33rd Annual Conference, Aveiro | Portugal
2 - 7 NOVEMBER 2020
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EDITORIAL

PRELUDES TO CHRISTMAS - AND SET TO MUSIC!
The organisers of the 13th Christmas in Europe in Bad Ischl had a brilliant idea.
As well as the ‘attendance certificate’ given to every participant as the official attendance document – the unofficial one is surely engraved on their hearts – each participant received a song and accompaniment booklet. A real present, simple and symbolic as all real presents should be!

Perhaps these same organisers – very fond of music as everyone will have noticed – wanted, by giving this present, to emphasise the importance of music in the presentation of traditions, even more important in Austria than elsewhere? Or again perhaps they wanted to show, by handing out this booklet, that music can even be used without words if participants cannot communicate in a given language?

Whatever the case, in Bad Ischl music was omnipresent. It was classical during the gala dinner thanks to the two musicians who in their own way reminded us of the forthcoming Salzburg festival. It was popular music thanks to the accordion player from Maribor, overflowing with his contagious enthusiasm. Municipal or church choirs respectively on a platform at the Christmas market or at the High Mass, the Bad Ischl Salinen Kapelle during the inaugural parade, various and varied regional or national songs sung by the various delegations during the cultural evening, and finally the version of ‘the child and the bird’ sung in church by Marielle from Château-Chinon…A song which won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1988. Was that already Euro-vision? Or a vision of Europe?

It is true. This Christmas in Europe is beyond any doubt a particular vision of Europe: warm, convivial, harmonious just like a real melody on the musical score, which you instinctively remember. I think that all the other delegations felt this harmony in Bad Ischl. Because music combines perfectly with gastronomy and the sense of welcome which are fundamental to what is taught in hotel and tourism schools. And because Austria is the cradle of the most famous Christmas carol ‘Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht…’ (Silent night, holy night)

Christiane Keller
3rd to 5th December 2018 in Riga
3rd to 5th December 2017 in Fátima
5th to 7th December 2018 in San Benedetto
2nd to 5th December 2015 in Diekirch

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