Matteo Bocelli was also amongst the volunteers at the Music Festival organized by ABF 

Over 500 students from schools with a music curricula and dance high schools in the Marche region gathered on May 29 at the “G. Leopardi” school that was donated by the “Andrea Bocelli Foundation” and the “Only the Brave Foundation” (which stands where the school that was hit by the 2016 earthquake stood) and later at the local sports hall, to take part in the “Si Fa Musica Insieme – Yes, Let’s Make Music Together” event, conceived and created by ABF together with the local high school a year after it was inaugurated.

It was a real celebration that involved 11 institutions from the region and a small army of young people who made music together, using the many instruments found in the educational spaces dedicated to music and multimedia, which the school has thanks to a grant from the SIAE (Italian Society of Authors and Publishers).

“A surge of vitality, passion and a desire to grow, and an infusion of confidence for all: these young people are the perfect example of the regenerating power of music and the ability of a community that has been hurt to begin again and to contribute to building the future, both their own and of our country”. These are the words of Veronica Berti Bocelli, who was present in her capacity as the Vice-Chair of the Foundation, as well as in her capacity as a Marche native who has established an affectionate friendship with the children and young people of this Marche town over time.

Through this marathon, the “Leopardi” school symbolically celebrated the official recognition that adds significant value to the educational proposal that the school can offer the Marche community: in fact, starting from next year, it will be a fully-fledged middle school with a music-centered curricula. This objective has been achieved thanks to the synergy between the school and ABF that have actively worked together to make sure that music would play a greater role in education, and then the realization of the final goal: the study of musical instruments and an integral part of the school curricula.

Despite the heavy rain forcing the entire event to be taken indoors, the enthusiasm of the students and teachers was not affected in any way. Some schools performed in the morning: the students of the “G. Leopardi” National Boarding School in Macerata, the “Ugo Betti” school in Camerino, the Comprehensive School in Armandola, the “Nardi” school in Porto San Giorgio, the “Fracassetti-Capodarco” school in Fermo and the “P. Tacchi Venturi” school in San Severino Marche. After the lunch that was provided to the participants, the festival continued with the “hosts” from the “Leopardi” school alternating on stage with the musical performances by the students from the “Giulianova 1” school in Giulianova, the “Don Bosco” school and the “Filelfo” higher education institute in Tolentino. The Sarnano students performed again, to close, with an ode to the school, which they actively helped writing, directed by their teacher Tiziana Muzzi.

After a greeting from the local administration, in the afternoon Veronica Berti personally awarded the participating schools with a symbolic “Gold Record”. The ceremony, which was enthusiastically presented by the singer – and ABF volunteer – Ilaria della Bidia, also included pyrotechnic performances from another friend of the Bocelli family and the foundation, Andrea Paris, the magician who is fresh off his remarkable personal success on Italia’s Got Talent.

Yet the most anticipated guest, who received a resounding applause from the teenagers present (with the girls slightly outdoing the boys in this regard) was Matteo Bocelli. “It is a joy to bring my experience as an ABF volunteer and as a boy who left his teenage years behind not too long ago – stated Matteo – I am aware of how important this time of life is, filled with doubts, as well as discoveries and encounters that can change your life. Music, for everyone, not only for those whose ambition it is to make it their profession, is like taking your heart and mind to the gym: it makes people better and stronger”.

Matteo has followed the construction of the school in Sarnano right from the beginning and also took part in the inauguration ceremony last year: “To come back and see it full of life and music is truly very moving. The enthusiasm that can be felt today speaks for itself and explains better than any speech could that this is a beautiful, modern and active school. It can be the beating heart of a community that is being given a new lease of life. And you only have to look around you: in the smiles of many children, in their joy to be here despite the rain, lies the umpteenth confirmation that music is the medicine of the soul. It is our companion and friend at all times in our lives, but perhaps even more so during the special and delicate period that is adolescence”.

Accompanied by pianist Piero Frassi, Matteo Bocelli first performed “Fall on me”, arousing genuine enthusiasm from the young budding musicians. He then sang “Perfect” (by his friend Ed Sheeran) and at that point the entire audience joined him, singing and giving him a standing ovation at the end.

Before signing hundreds of autographs and patiently posing for at least as many photos with the students, he answered their questions from the stage: ranging from his experience as a model (“I was in Sardinia with my father and we met Paul Marciano, the founder of Guess. After a few minutes of chatting, he asked me: would you like to pose for the new Guess campaign with Jennifer Lopez? At first, I thought he was joking… We talked about it as a family and in the end, we decided that it might be an interesting experience. A few weeks later, I was in Los Angeles for the photo shoot”) to his passions (“In addition to music, definitely football”), to his memories of when he was 14 years old: “It was an eventful time…. I remember that one day my father went to talk with my teachers, who told him about a few demerits on the register… He then confiscated practically everything, my cell phone, game console, computer. But from that day onwards I changed, mindful of the lesson. Because you learn by making mistakes. I think that the period of your age has the potential to be great, but is certainly not easy. And I know that music, with me just like with you, helps you to grow, to focus on what beauty is, to understand ourselves and the world around us”.