From BLUME Haiti President Janet Anthony
Greetings from Carrefour, Haiti, where we just arrived to support the last week of the Catherine Flon Music School summer camp after wrapping up three weeks in Jacmel, Haiti at the Dessaix-Baptiste Music School for their summer camp. The students and faculty put on a fantastic final recital and concert.
For several of our BLUME Haiti board members, the summer started June 19 with the CEMUCHCA Institute of Music summer camp in Terrier Rouge. BLUME Haiti sponsored a two-week violin pedagogy seminar led by Paul Manulik of the Princeton String Academy. Students attended from around the country and learned a great deal about how to teach beginning violinists.
We also welcomed the first two of five members of The Global Leaders Program — an initiative of YOA Orchestra of the Americas in partnership with McGill and Oxford Universities. Usman Peguero, violin, was in Haiti for six weeks and taught at four different camps; Ramon Thiago, oboe, stayed for four weeks, taught at two camps and spearheaded the first International Oboe Workshop.
“Pappy” Ramon, along with “uncle” James from the Utah Symphony, are responsible for developing the current generation of Haitian oboists. Thirteen players from seven different programs located all over the country participated in the workshop. Band conductors at the various camps all commented that they had rarely seen so many oboists in their ensembles!
After a very successful camp at CEMUCHCA, we loaded onto buses at 3:00AM for the long trip to Grand Goave where the Holy Trinity Music camp was located this summer. Board president, Janet Anthony, was joined by board members Lindsay Schwartz and Keith Johnston. Lindsay stepped up to fill the shoes of the long-time camp director, John Jost, who was unable to be with us this summer and did a fantastic job – we are all very proud of the work she did and her ability to keep lots of different constituencies content. Brava Lindsay!
At the Holy Trinity camp we were joined by another YOA Global Leader, Joel MacDonald, making his second trip to Haiti. Joel and Usman also spent a week at the Academie Musicale Occide Jeanty camp in Croix-des-Bouquets and the oboe workshop continued through the very end of July.
At the beginning of August, Janet, Usman and Joel went on to Jacmel, home of the Dessaix-Baptiste Music School to teach at their three-week camp. Though neither Joel nor Usman could stay for the entire camp, we were joined by two more Global Leaders, Debbie Larsen and Danielle Cho, who have been doing great work with their charges. Danielle’s trip to Haiti was also supported by the Fulbright Association (YOA partner) and the Robert & Mercedes Eicholz Foundation (Sponsor) – we very much appreciate their support of music programs in Haiti!
To our great shock and dismay, in August we learned of the sudden passing of volunteer piano teacher, Shane Summers, Director of Collaborative Piano at Southern Utah University, who was with us for his second summer at the Cemuchca Camp. His students there, along with the staff and volunteers, send our thoughts and prayers of comfort to his family and friends.
Almost all the international volunteers have now returned to their respective countries as of the 21stt but Janet, Debbie and Laura Hauer, a volunteer now living and playing with an orchestra in Mexico, will continue on to one more camp. The Catherine Flon Music School will have several hundred children at camp in Carrefour just outside the capital. We have invited clarinetists, violinists and cellists from across the region to come have lessons with us during the last week of August and, in addition to teaching theory and conducting, will work with their orchestras, bands and choirs.
It has been a busy but very fulfilling summer. Stay tuned for more information in our end of summer newsletter!
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