Collectively we spent about 7 weeks in Haiti over the summer. We arrived and left and separate times (that was a first since starting this project), but filming continued and we are excited by all of the new footage. The project started back on the grounds of Holy Trinity and its annex in Petionville. Summer camp was a little different this year compared to others. In the mornings the older students traveled to the annex where the volunteers were staying. They received private lessons and workshops on conducting and pedagogy. After lunch, the volunteers were driven down the mountain to Ste. Trinite to teach lessons to the other students and rehearse the large ensembles. It was wonderful to meet the new volunteers. Sarah McClain, a student at Lawrence taught oboe and bassoon in Port-au-Prince and Jacmel. Anna Huthmaker a luthier from Goergia worked to train Haitians to repair bows.
On the first Saturday we spent the afternoon removing rubble from the fallen cathedral. Students, teachers and volunteers – young and old – all worked together to remove the debris. It was beautiful to see everyone moving the heavy bricks with smiles on their faces. The concert was a success and we will have footage up on our website soon.
In Jacmel there was much less damage overall and the music school had been repaired. We are very excited to include Dessaix Baptiste, the music school at Jacmel into the story. There is so much happening here and it was very exciting to be a part of it. Carolyn left Jacmel after about one week to work at a school in La Pleinne. Some footage of this school was included in our first cut, Kimbala ~ Hold On. Stephen stayed in Jacmel for 3 more weeks and filmed the remaining classes rehearsals and concerts We've created a short video with some of this footage.
We are happy to announce that we have been accepted to present at the 22nd annual Haitian Studies Association conference. It will be held at Brown University on November 11th -13th. The theme this year is, “Haiti, History, Healing: Facing the Challenges of Reconstruction.” Our goal is to finish the new the film so we can premier it at the conference. We have also received a Distinctiveness Grant from Lawrence University in order to pay for flights and hotels and registration costs.
What’s next? We just finished logging over 2,500 minutes of footage and we are working on the storyboards for the final film. Look for a tour schedule and film festival dates in the future and follow us on twitter for smaller updates. Thank you for continuing to follow our progress.