On 22 June 2017, the Association GUYCO hosted its first charity concert at the historical Minoritenkirche in the heart of Vienna. We had the honour to bring together Vienna’s community for an exceptional evening of classical music, jazz and theatre by Austria’s most talented musicians, actors and artists. The concert was dedicated to raise money for GUYCO’s upcoming motivational youth conference in Gulu, Northern Uganda.
Hosted by classical music presenter Renate Burtscher, the musical line-up consisted of the famous pianist, conductor and composer Paul Gulda, flute master Hansgeorg Schmeiser, award-winning cellist Erich Oskar Hütter, acclaimed jazz bassist Georg Breinschmid, as well as celebrated saxophonist Gerald Preinfalk with his counterpart on the piano Irene Selejo
Harmonically interacting with the musical performances were acts by veteran actor Erwin Leder, most famous for his roles in Das Boot (1981), Schindler’s Liste (1993) and Underworld (2003), as well as multitalented Kenyan actress and recent Max-Reinhardt-Seminar graduate Mercy Dorcas Otieno.
In the audience we were honoured to see a number of Vienna’s notable personalities and other dignitaries including Kenyan Ambassador, His Excellency Samuel M.Gitonga and his family.
An evening of culture, music and theatre
After the thoughtful opening words of moderator Renate Burtscher, the show began with a dramatic interpretation of Ein und Alles by Johann Wolfgang v. Goethe followed by a classical rendition of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Bei Männern welche Liebe fühlen with pianist Paul Gulda and cellist Erich Oskar Hütter. Furthermore, we heard two phenomenal solo performances: Andre Jolivet’s Pour que l’image devienne symbole by Hansgeorg Schmeiser, and J. S. Bach’s Präludium und Fuge by Paul Gulda. Concluding the first half of classical music and literature was a performance of J. S. Bach’s Sonate in g-moll for flute and piano.
In the intermission, our guests could enjoy a glass of wine under the arcades of the Minoritenkirche provided by the up-and-coming Kenyan entrepreneur Anne Schwatzl and her Vintage Fine Wines.
The second half of the evening was opened with brief introduction of GUYCO by its founder and president Louise Deininger. Together with co-founder Raimund Deininger, Louise presented GUYCO’s foundational idea and transformative vision for the youth of a conflict-ridden society, that is, Gulu in Northern Uganda. An empowered future for Gulu’s youth formed in our collective imagination. It is this energy and effort that we carry towards the realisation of GUYCO.
The concert was resumed with a powerful duet composed by Gerald Preinfalk for saxophone and piano, as well as Viennese poetry by Alf Kraulitz performed by the evening’s dramaturgists and actors. A touching solo performance of bassist Georg Breinschmid filled the great hall, followed by a humorous rendition of Nina Hagen’s Fisch im Wasser to the delightful laughter of the audience.
The evening was concluded with a stunning solo a capella performance of the African lullaby Thula Baba by Mercy Dorcas Otieno. Her voice kept us in awe as the other musicians joined into the melody with their respective instruments, slowly transforming the music into an energetic dance tune which saw the audience dance on their feet in delight – leaving us humbled by the joy and peace we wish dearly onto Gulu’s youth.
We would like to express our deeply felt gratitude to all our sponsors and partners who made this first charity concert by GUYCO possible, and such a great success. We would like to give special thanks to the following:
Finally, we would like to thank all our supporters, partners, family and friends who have contributed to this ongoing journey. We want to continue and build on these first milestones, and look forward to working with you in the weeks, months and years to come. The future is shaped by what we do today, and our team in Vienna is dedicated to support and empower the young people of Gulu in Northern Uganda.
Louise Deininger, President and founder of GUYCO