27.11.2012 - Education Sector

Rainbow Symphony Orchestra Concert to Raise Funds to Stop Homophobic Bullying

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the Rainbow Symphony Orchestra (RSO) is performing a special concert combining a choir, an orchestra and soloists, in order to raise funds to benefit UNESCO’s programming efforts to fight homophobia in educational institutions.

The December 1st concert at UNESCO will gather musicians from the French RSO as well as musicians invited from RSO orchestras in Cologne, Berlin, London, San Francisco, and Toronto. One hundred singers from the Torcy Choir (TAM) and the Melo’Men choir will also participate in the concert.

The concert will also feature internationally renowned French piano soloists Guillaume Coppola and Hervé Billaut, and Anne-Marguerite Werster, Soprano. The British conductor John Dawkins, who heads the Rainbow Symphony Orchestra and Melo’Men and TAM choirs, will be the musical director for the evening.

The evening, hosted by British journalist and media personality Alex Taylor, will enable UNESCO to continue its pioneering work, which started in 2011 with the first UN International consultation on the subject of homophobic bullying in educational institutions. The findings of the consultation were compiled into a good policy and practice publication titled Education Sector Responses to Homophobic Bullying, which was launched on the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia- May 17, 2012, whose theme was “Fighting homophobia and transphobia IN and THROUGH education."

The funds raised by the concert will support studies on the extent and nature of homophobic bullying in schools in Africa, Latin America and Asia. The findings from these studies will help develop appropriate educational policies. Additionally, in South Africa, UNESCO will produce outreach materials for schools that will help train principals on the issues surrounding homophobic bullying, as recommended by the first national colloquium on homophobia in schools, which took place in Johannesburg in September 2012.

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