IACS Welcomes Community to Festa della Repubblica Celebration

Jun 19, 2017 547

On June 4 the IACS and its Council of Presidents welcomed the Italian community to its celebration of the 71st anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Italy.  Always an exciting event, this year was particularly extraordinary because we were fortunate to have Dr. David DiChiera, Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus of the Michigan Opera Theatre, as our guest speaker.  In addition, we welcomed the Consul of Italy Dr. Maria Manca to the IACS for the first time since her arrival in Detroit. 

Mr. Luca Cutraro did an excellent job as master of ceremonies, succeeding in capturing and retaining the audience’s attention throughout the program.  Recent University of Michigan graduates Misses Alexandra and Nicoletta Ciraulo were the special young guests for the event and spoke about the values instilled in them by their Sicilian family.

Dr. DiChiera spoke about his Italian heritage.  His parents immigrated to the United States from Calabria, and their dialect was spoken in their home when he was a child.  Dr. DiChiera had the opportunity to learn “standard” Italian when he went to Italy on a Fulbright Scholarship.  He stressed the importance of teaching the Italian language to our children and grandchildren so that it is perpetuated, a message that resonated with the audience.  After the program, Dr. DiChiera graciously chatted with members of the community, and enjoyed visiting the various table displays, sampling some of the offerings.

It was also a day for recognizing those who have participated in the Festa della Repubblica for many years.   Domenico Ruggirello presented an award to the Alpini of Windsor and  Sandra Tornberg presented an award to Angela and Luigi LaMarra for their important role in this event since its inception and their commitment to the Italian community.

The children of the IACS Italian Language Program performed two Italian songs and received a standing ovation from the delighted audience.  Their teachers Maria Sugamelli and Marta DeCarolis are to be congratulated for preparing the children so well.  The IACS is grateful to Mrs. Dianna Guglielmetti for voluntarily assuming the role of musical director, and to her husband John, who accompanies them on the guitar or accordion as required.  We are most appreciative for a great group of parents who value the importance of having their children learn Italian and support our program faithfully.

The audience enjoyed performances by the Coro Italiano and the FADM Coro.

We were honored to have MOT soprano Nicole Joseph, accompanied by M. Jean Schneider, who performed "Quando m'en vo' " from Puccini's "La Boheme".

Following the formal program, the guests visited the various club tables and sampled foods they generously donated.  At 6:00 PM the party continued as Pino Marelli provided music for dancing and guests enjoyed sfincione (Sicilian stlye pizza) generously donated by Vince & Joe’s Gourmet Market.

Special thanks go to the Council of Presidents, all the volunteers, the clubs and organizations that participated, and the IACS staff for their efforts in organizing a memorable event for us to enjoy.

SOURCE: Sandra Tornberg

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