I am currently volunteering as a music teacher at the summer music camps. I arrived June 28th and have been here for almost three weeks. It is wonderful to be back in Haiti with old friends and I have enjoyed making many new friends along the way. The students are working hard and are so eager to learn. As always, it is quite inspirational. Two weeks ago I was in Terrier Rouge a beautiful rural area in the Northern part of Haiti (near Cap Haitian), for a two week music camp called CEMUSHKA. The camp happened on the grounds of an Episcopal school that had very nice facilities, plenty of classrooms, and an auditorium- perfect for a music camp. I mostly taught theory and helped with the percussion group.
On Sunday July 10 our group of volunteers traveled to the next camp in Cange. The Holy Trinity Music School runs this camp. You may remember this school from our film- it is the largest and oldest school. In years past the camp has been held in Leogane, but the earthquake destroyed our campground, and so this year we are trying out a brand new location. We are working inside the Partners in Health Hospital. It is one of Haiti’s most successful health organizations – founded by Paul Farmer. I strongly suggest reading ‘Mountains Beyond Mountains’ written by Tracy Kidder to learn more about this most inspirational man. Unfortunately I got sick the first week with strep and typhoid (yes, at the same time) so I experienced the doctors’ expertise first hand. They are more caring and intelligent than my doctor is back home, and all of the care they provided was free.
This camp at Cange is very busy. We do two recitals and one concert a week! Everyone’s pretty tired, but our love of music spurs us on. Here is an outline of what my regular day looks like:
7:00 AM Breakfast
8:00 AM Theory for the Philharmonic Orchestra
9:00 AM Theory for the Chamber Orchestra and Wind Ensemble
10:30AM Chamber Orchestra Cello Sectional
11:30AM Cello Lessons
Break for Lunch
3:00 Cello/Theory Lessons
4:00 Assisting the Chamber Orchestra and/or playing in the Philharmonic
5:30 Light Dinner
7:00-9:00 Playing in the Philharmonic
9:00-? Correcting homework
It’s a lot of work, but I wouldn’t change it. I look forward to each day- even the long ones. The ensembles are making so much progress, and my theory students actually remembered a lot from last year, so we are pushing ahead to new things.
I am hoping to blog once a week for the rest of my trip, so look for more updates. Thank you for supporting Bel Son and music in Haiti!