Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Grand Camp at Cange

Every year Ecole de Musique Sainte Trinité holds a three week camp for both instrumental and vocal music students.  Students come from all over Haiti, including Cap-Haïtien, Hinche, Jacmel, Port-au-Prince, and Cange to participate in this camp.  Originally it was held in Léogâne, Haiti, but was moved after the earthquake to Cange and has been held there for the past three years.  The camp is facilitated by both the teachers of Sainte Trinité and volunteers who come in from all of the world (mainly the US).  I was one of those volunteers who helped run the band program.

My travels to Cange were quite eventful (no surprise) with a tire blowout on the way there, but after a quick fix and some hysterical pictures, we eventually got to the beautiful Cange facilities.  I woke up early on my first morning to photograph the sunrise, which was totally worth it.  Later in the afternoon all of the campers arrived for camp which officially began on Monday.

Photo by John Cahill

Camp got off to a good start on Monday with band placement auditions.  Due to so many band students, we were able to have two complete bands, a beginning and an intermediate level.  Since I had worked with many of the beginning students throughout the year, I opted to assist with the intermediate band.  The average day for our intermediate band students included sectionals, theory class, and large ensemble rehearsals.  

Photo by John Cahill

As it was throughout the school year, I was the resident piccolo player.  I played with both the band and also with the orchestra, which had rehearsals in the evening.  And I must admit, I was pretty excited because I had some pretty fantastic piccolo repertoire that I got to play throughout the three weeks of camp!

Funniest moment of camp was the day I locked my roommate, Guerlyn and myself out of our room.  Thanks to the help from the group of high school students from Maine, we completely removed the door to get into our room.  I think this might be one of the few cases where breaking and entering is acceptable!

During the second week, I helped conduct the intermediate band.  I chose a fun Latin medley for the band to play.  Not only did the students sound great and had a fun time playing it, but I also was able to feature two of the wonderful musicians in the group.  I'm not a huge fan of conducting full ensembles, however I truly loved the opportunity to work and connect with the whole group.

My final week of camp was spent playing more than teaching.  It was nice break to be just a musician for the week.  As much as I love making music, my favorite part of camp was all of the moments spent with my Haitian friends one last time before heading home to the states.  A big thank you to all of the sponsors of the past few weeks including John & Mym Applin, Charlene Romano, and Roger & Helen Zebarth.  Camp flew by and it's really hard to believe that I'm now back in the states!  Check back later this week for an update on the excitement I've had upon returning to the US!

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