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In This Issue 

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Message from the President
Janet's Summer Joural
Partnering for Progress
From Cange to Carolina

Why I Became a Music Maker
Meet the Board: Sarah Davies Breen
Intern's Corner: Lia Eldridge
News & Updates
Schools We Serve

Message from the President

By Janet Anthony

Janet AnthonyI am delighted to share an update about the remarkable work that went on in the many summer camps in Haiti along with information about our various partnerships, new and continuing. You will also find Ernestine Whitman’s account of why she became a Music Maker, a short article by our new intern, Lia Eldridge who taught at the Cemuchca Institute of Music last summer, an introduction of our newest board member Sarah Davies Breen, an article by guest contributor Kathryn Dey about the marvelous visit of a young Haitian violinist to South Carolina and a sneak preview of the 2018 National Institute for Orchestra.

This summer BLUME Haiti invested about $7,500 in scholarships to provide more than 70 Haitian teachers and advanced students with the opportunity to participate in various summer camps. Our goal was to help them develop their skills in instrumental and general pedagogy, theory and solfege pedagogy, conducting, jazz composition and arranging, string instrument repair and more!

We were able to send 2,200 pounds of instruments, books, scores and supplies to Haiti over the summer, including a number of instruments from Seman Violins that will be used to continue to teach instrument repair skills and an extraordinarily generous donation of reeds and other supplies from The D’Addario Foundation. The D’Addario Foundation’s belief “in the power of music to unlock creativity, boost self-confidence, and enhance academics” and their championship of “positive change through music” aligns perfectly with our goals of developing leadership skills, awakening individual potential and creating opportunities for civic collaboration and economic development through the pursuit of musical excellence.

We are very happy to continue our partnership with the Global Leaders Program and to start new partnerships with the Ambassadors of the Orchestre de la Francophonie based in Montreal, Canada with Música Anpil based in Spain and with Milt Allen of The Music Guerrilla. Read more about this below!

Three board members traveled to Haiti this summer to teach in eight music camps and visit several music programs that are new to us. As ever, we are very grateful to our donors who help us ensure that youngsters throughout Haiti have access to quality music education.

With your help, BLUME Haiti now supports 37 music programs located in eight of Haiti’s ten departments. We offer:

  • Pedagogical support to develop the skills of teachers to enable them to become more effective with their students.
  • Scholarship support for study in Haiti and, as possible, abroad
  • Curriculum support to help music programs develop curriculum intended to meet their needs and the needs of their students
  • Material support as we receive donations we pass along instruments in playing condition, music and accessories
As ever, please feel free to contact us with any questions. Enjoy!

Janet’s Summer Journal

By Janet Anthony
I love landing at the Cap Haitian airport, coming around over the mountains, seeing the city spread out underneath us, sometimes catching a glimpse of the famed Citadel and then a quick descent to the airstrip. Since 2010 I have always started my summer in Haiti at the Cemuchca Institute of Music, based in Cap Haitian. This year, their music camp was just outside the city at the Esperance et Vie school campus in Terrier Rouge. As a residential camp, Cemuchca is able to accept students from throughout the country and, indeed, in addition to the dozens of local kids who received scholarships, they welcomed participants from Jacmel, Port-au-Prince, La Gonave, St. Louis du Nord, Nippes, Marmelade and more.

We were happy to be able to provide almost $3,000 in scholarship aid to deserving teachers and students from throughout the country, enabling them to take advantage of the many special offerings at this camp. BLUME Haiti Scholar Pelard Pierre, who was featured in our Winter, 2017 newsletter team taught a very successful general pedagogy class with LU alumna Sarah Tochiki. The camp also featured cello and percussion pedagogy sessions and conducting classes.
Lawrence University Alumna Sarah Tochiki
Fellow board member Lindsay Schwartz arrived in Haiti a few days before the start of the Holy Trinity Summer Music Camp and visited several programs that are new to us. She is now responsible for organizing the volunteer schedule for the Holy Trinity Music School summer camp and did an outstanding job. We offered scholarships to twenty participants from last year’s National Institute for Orchestra, to eighteen luthier students and to a number of teachers and students from local programs and from various Episcopal schools in the region. These musicians were able to participate in wonderful classes covering violin, bass, percussion, flute and double reed pedagogy and technique, teaching music theory and solfege to children (offered by BLUME Haiti Scholar Christopher Ducasse featured in our Winter, 2016 newsletter). There was also a terrific lutherie seminar led by our friends from Luthiers without Borders - all in all a very rich three weeks!
A student in the Luthier seminar.
We are especially proud that a number of the individuals who we have been able to support as they develop their professional expertise are giving back through their teaching at summer camps throughout the country - our goal is to help Haiti achieve a critical mass of well educated, competent teachers and we are on our way!
"...our goal is to help Haiti achieve a critical mass of well educated, competent teachers and we are on our way!"
After the Holy Trinity Music School camp, Lindsay spent a few days at the Marmelade Music School where Wilbens Bensy Pierre and his team are doing outstanding work and she later joined me at the Dessaix-Baptiste Music School in Jacmel. At the same time, board member Carolyn Desrosiers traveled to teach at the two-week summer camp of  Foyer Maurice Sixto, a school for “restavek” children in domestic servitude and one that is dear to our hearts.

At the Dessaix-Baptiste Music School, in addition to members of the Global Leaders Program, Musica Anpil and Ambassadeurs: O.F. (who you will read about elsewhere in this newsletter), it was wonderful to see James Hall, principal oboist of the Utah Symphony, making his third trip to Haiti, my long-time colleague trombonist and pedagogue extraordinaire Nick Keelan and several young musicians either just out of university and teaching or still in college. Given the staffing this summer, there was a special focus on jazz pedagogy and arranging to great effect.
A great deal of our “on the ground” activity in Haiti takes place during the summer months when various board members arrive to teach and when we support, through scholarship resources and donations of instruments, music and supplies, many of our partner schools in Haiti. This allows us to experience first hand the impact of our work. We find youngsters SO excited about learning to play an instrument and incredibly eager to make music together. Their teachers are also thrilled to learn new skills and concepts to pass on to their colleagues and students. I have been struck by the remarkable progress many of the music programs have made over the past few years.

As a fully volunteer organization with no paid staff and with board members who all have full-time jobs, it is sometimes a real challenge to get to stay on top of things during the year. Seeing the growth and excitement of our Haitian friends, teachers, students and colleagues during the season of summer camps makes it all worthwhile!

Partnering For Progress

By Janet Anthony
"When we work in concert with both Haitian and non-Haitian organizations we benefit from diverse perspectives and shared learning..." 
At the core of BLUME Haiti’s founding is our belief in the importance of partnering with others to achieve our mission. When we work in concert with both Haitian and non-Haitian organizations we benefit from diverse perspectives and shared learning as we build a network of support that benefits all involved.  The common thread in our growing network of partnerships is the recognition that music education can be a potent tool for community and civic development. Below are updates on several growing partnerships.
Global Leader Program
BLUME Haiti was delighted to place three members of the 2017 Global Leader Program cohort in Haiti this summer. The Global Leader Program, an innovative 9 month program that “empowers a rising generation of change-makers” to use music as a potent tool for community development, has worked in partnership with BLUME Haiti since 2015. Cellist Rossana Paz (Guatemala) and flutist Nicholas Southwick (USA) were at the Cemuchca Institute of Music  based in Cap Haitian and Nick continued at the Holy Trinity Music School camp in Cange. The third GLP member, pianist Natalia Jiménez (Columbia) was at the Dessaix-Baptiste Music School in Jacmel. Four of the rising 2018 cohort have taught in Haiti, three at programs supported by BLUME Haiti and two directly with us. We wish them all the best as they go through this nine-month program.
GLP pianist Natalia Jiménez (Columbia).
Ambassadeurs of the Orchestre de la Francophonie
Two members of the Ambassadeurs of the Orchestre de la Francophonie, percussionist David Therrien-Brongo and flutist/clarinetist/saxophonist Elyze Venne-Deshaies, joined me for the last week of the Dessaix-Baptiste Music School camp in Jacmel this summer. From there we went to the Port-au-Prince area where we spent a week teaching in various programs and then all three of us went up to Cap Haitian to catch the last few days of the Cemuchca Institute of Music mini-camp for beginners. We were delighted to show David and Elyze a little bit more of Haiti and to give them a more in-depth view of some of the music programs we support. We look forward to further partnerships with Ambassadeurs: O.F.!
David and Elyze of AOF.
Música Anpil
Our friends Pedro Pérez Conejero and Laura Asensio Lopez recently started Música Anpil, based in Spain and with objectives very similar to those of BLUME Haiti’s. They have taught at the Holy Trinity Music School summer camp for the past four years. This summer we were able to introduce them to the Dessaix-Baptiste Music School in Jacmel where their work was enormously helpful for the double reed and double bass players.
The Music Guerrilla
We were also happy to meet Milt Allen of The Music Guerrilla. Milt had reached out to us in the late spring, on his way to teach in Rwanda and, an adventuresome spirit, after hearing about the wide range and variety of music programs in Haiti, he decided he wanted to come see for himself. We have a number of projects in development with Milt and hope to be able to tell you more about this in a future newsletter.
Milt Allen teaching Solfeje at the CEMUCHCA camp.
National Orchestra Institute - Utah Symphony
Planning for the 2018 edition of the National Orchestra Institute is well underway with repertoire selection to be announced shortly. With help from the Cemuchca Institute of Music, our partner school in Cap Haitian, we have been able to secure a beautiful campus for the group at the Fondation Vincent, Salesiens de Don Bosco. As was the case at the first National Institute for Orchestra in Jacmel, we expect to see about 100 musicians, 5 luthiers and 3-5 arts administrators take part in this exciting event scheduled for March 25-31.

Cellist John Eckstein and The Musicians of the Utah Symphony are responsible for the lion’s share of fundraising for this enormous undertaking, while BLUME Haiti’s role is to organize on the ground in Haiti. Last year MOTUS raised close to $30,000 to ensure that no qualified Haitian musician would be barred from participation because of financial hardship.

As board member Scott Harrison stated in a recent presentation to the national conference of the League of American Orchestras: “Using the vehicle of music, BLUME Haiti works to foster civic, social, educational and economic development in communities across Haiti. Everyone who participated was profoundly impacted by the experience.  In a country where the barriers to travel and collaboration can be high, the students met like-minded peers from across Haiti and gained invaluable skills and new opportunities for musical growth working with the generous musicians of the Utah and Detroit symphonies.  As the largest program BLUME Haiti has yet undertaken, the National Orchestra Institute was a transformative experience for all, giving us great hope for what we can accomplish next.” We are very grateful for the support of the Utah Symphony and, along with our Haitian partners, say Mesi anpil, anpil, anpil!

From Cange to Carolina:  a learning residency with violinist Kenell Joseph

By Guest Columnist Kathryn Dey
“Having Kenell here really opened my eyes. To hear his story and how successful he was despite his life back home was amazing. It really just showed how dedicated he was. It inspired me to push myself to do things I didn’t believe that I could do before.  He was absolutely amazing.” 
-Hannah Greene, senior violinist, SCGSAH
The South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities (SCGSAH)  community recently had the special opportunity to welcome seventeen-year-old Haitian violinist Kenell Joseph to our campus as part of a project involving a number of Greenville area music institutions and organizations.

Identified by BLUME Haiti as a talented and dedicated young string player, Kenell was invited to South Carolina by the Greenville Symphony Orchestra to spend two weeks in the community observing and participating in a wide variety of music classes, technique workshops, ensemble rehearsals and concert performances. Room and board were donated by local volunteers in Greenville and Dr. Paul Farmer, founder of the Boston based organization Partners in Health assisted with transportation costs for the trip.
The mountains of Cange, Haiti
Kenell comes from the village of Cange, located in the impoverished Central Plateau region of Haiti. He began playing the violin four years ago at a summer camp and is now the primary string teacher in his village. A BLUME Haiti scholarship recipient, Kenell has participated in pedagogy workshops at summer camps run by the CEMUCHCA Institute of Music and the Holy Trinity Music School. This background was instrumental in laying the groundwork for his recent trip to South Carolina.
Kenell rehearses with string orchestra students
While in Greenville, Kenell had the opportunity to meet and work with over twenty different music instructors, sit in on nine ensemble rehearsals, perform twice at First Presbyterian Church Sunday services, attend the opening Greenville Symphony Orchestra concert, and explore the Farmer’s Market and the Greenville Zoo. He also enjoyed meeting Dr. Adderley, the current president of SCGSAH, and spending time speaking French with students in Madame Grier’s French classes on our campus.
Kenell explores downtown Greenville, SC
One highlight of Kenell’s time on campus was an elective humanities class offered to all students that  he participated in towards the end of his visit where he described daily life and culture in Cange, as well as the hardships of learning music in a developing country.  

In addition to the Greenville Symphony Orchestra and the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities, other collaborating partners on this project included Beck Academy of the Greenville County School District, Carolina Youth Symphony, Bernhardt House of Violins, First Presbyterian Church, North Greenville University, and Anderson University. “Mesi anpil”, (many thanks in Creole) to these organizations, as well as other individuals who helped with Kenell’s visit.

To see a to see a WYFF News 4 story on Kenell click the image below.

News and Updates

Ishel Goes To Interlochen
We were very happy to participate in the joint effort (along with several musicians of the Utah Symphony and other individual donors) to send Ishel Jean Noel to the Interlochen Arts Academy. When Ishel, a highly gifted young violinist from the Marmelade Music School, received a full scholarship from Interlochen, we were determined to ensure that he could take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity. The Utah Symphony violinists who coached the first violin section at the National Orchestra Institute, mentioned above, were so taken by Ishel that they offered to raise enough money to cover his airfare from Port-au-Prince to Traverse City, Michigan. Some very generous friends took care of the rest of his expenses at Interlochen and, as you might imagine, he had the time of his life. The reports from his teachers and camp counselors were all extremely positive and we are grateful that Ishel had the opportunity to experience this life-changing event!
Recent & Upcoming Benefit Concerts
We were honored to be selected as the charitable organization featured by the Vienna Choral Society on their March Concert for a Cause. Initiated because of a program their director, Mike Horanski, did with our friend and marvelous Haitian-American composer, Sydney Guillaume, we were delighted to be able to share information about the music schools we support throughout Haiti.

In May, Board President Janet Anthony went to Philadelphia to conduct and perform as part of The Art Music of Haiti – a concert organized by organist, musician extraordinaire and long-time Haiti volunteer James Smith, Music Director at Trinity Church in Swarthmore, PA. The well-received program featured instrumental, choral and chamber music by Haitian composers ranging from a Minuette en Symphonie by the mid-18th century composer Atys to several works by living composers.

For the second time, Dr. Ji-Young Kim, on this occasion with her friend and colleague Evgeniya Belinskaya, gave a lovely recital in Tucson with BLUME Haiti as the beneficiary.
Board member, Scott Harrison helped organize and spoke at the Gallery 345 performance of Une Soirée Musicale in Toronto featuring members of the Toronto Symphony and friends.

Men anpil, chay pa lou (many hands make the load light). We are very grateful for the help and support of so many.

Why I Became a Music Maker

By Ernestine Whitman 
Professor Emerita
Lawrence University
I was able to teach in Haiti only one summer many years ago, but those few weeks remain as vivid in my memory as if they were last week. The students there were so eager, so respectful, and so hungry for guidance that it breaks your heart when you have to leave. So many of these young Haitians make tremendous progress over the course of a year with the information they receive in a few summer lessons. Perhaps even more impressive is the difference music makes in their lives, many of them developing professional careers, not just in music but in other fields as well. 
Lawrence Faculty in Haiti
Before I taught in Leogane and Jacmel, I wondered if young Haitian adults might resist being taught by an older white lady. I shouldn't have worried. Because the students are so receptive, no time is wasted in teacher/pupil, young/old or white/non-white authority issues. They are there to learn, period. It was also very moving to me when, ten years after I taught there, a young Haitian flutist, now head of the wind department at the Holy Trinity Music School, not only remembered me, but still had a program I had signed.
I chose to be a Music Maker because...
I chose to be a Music Maker, supporting BLUME Haiti each month, for all the reasons stated above, but also because, unlike many larger nonprofit organizations, BLUME Haiti uses funds efficiently. There are no highly-paid board members, no wasted money on bureaucratic hierarchy, yet they have been remarkably successful at improving lives, launching careers, and most important of all, giving hope to young people of Haiti.
Join Ernestine and become a
Music Maker!
Who are Music Makers? 
Music Makers provide strong and steady support to ensure lasting impact. Their monthly contributions mean that young Haitian musicians can count on BLUME Haiti to support their personal and social development. We ask you to consider becoming one of these exceptional individuals with a tax-deductible monthly gift in the amount that's right for you.

How Does it Work?
Music Makers sign up to make monthly recurring donations in the amount of their choosing through PayPal. Your monthly contribution will automatically renew each month, allowing BLUME Haiti to reduce administrative costs and put more of your gift directly into our programs.
What Can My Monthly Donation Do?
$10/month = 1 summer camp scholarship to a deserving student in need
$25/month = 50 bows rehaired so Hatian youth can keep the music playing
$50/month = full orchestra music for 5 Haitian schools
$100/month = salary support for a dedicated teacher at a partner school
How Do I Sign Up?
Click here to become a music maker.

When you join Music Makers, you'll receive a fun BLUME Haiti instrument or luggage tag, as well as an annual video from a Haitian music student who has benefited from your support. 
We invite you to consider becoming a Music Maker! 

Meet the Board: Sarah Davies Breen

By Sarah Davies Breen 
Meet board member Sarah Davies Breen! Sarah grew up in rural Minnesota (she loves snow), and currently lives in Indiana with her husband, James, and her dog, Maya. Sarah joined BLUME Haiti this summer (2017) but first became involved with music in Haiti as an undergraduate student at Lawrence University. As a student of Music Pedagogy and Flute Performance, Sarah traveled to Haiti in 2008 to work with students and staff at the Holy Trinity Music School summer camp in Leogane, and at the Dessaix-Baptiste summer camp in Jacmel. Two years later, Sarah returned to the Holy Trinity camp and also taught at the Ambassador Music Institute (AMI) in La Plaine. 
Sarah teaching at the Holy Trinity camp in 2010.
From 2010 to 2017, Sarah worked as an administrator at colleges and universities in St. Paul, MN, and in Chicago, IL. This fall she began a full-time graduate program at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, where she studies Human Rights and Sustainable Development in in the context of Global Affairs. Sarah considers her experiences as a music student and teacher foundational to her worldview. “I have always felt a strong sense of mission and purpose with music, and with making music education accessible to everyone. Music speaks to the soul, and gives voice to parts of us that we cannot otherwise articulate. I strongly believe that it should not be a rare privilege to experience this, but rather a common right for everyone.”
Music speaks to the soul, and gives voice to parts of us that we cannot otherwise articulate."
Sarah sees how studying music in grade school through college helped her build leadership skills, as BLUME strives to do with its programming. “Playing in an ensemble taught me to be strong as both an individual and as a part of a team. I also learned discipline, flexibility, multi-tasking, and how to be confident and independent, but also sensitive to those around me. These are essential skills for being a leader in almost any space: community, school, or work.” Sarah hopes to return to Haiti very soon, possibly as part of her graduate studies. In the meantime, she is honored to support the mission of BLUME by serving on the board, and to partner with our Haitian colleagues in fulfilling their vision for music education in Haiti.

Intern's Corner: Lia Eldridge

By Lia Eldridge
BLUME Haiti is excited to welcome a new intern from Lawrence University: Lia Eldridge. Below she reflects on her experience teaching at the 2017 CEMUCHCA summer camp.
“Give a man a fish and he can eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he can eat for a lifetime.” It never occurred to me that this proverb was a universal saying – I only heard it in anecdotal references throughout childhood about why kids should stay in school. I hadn’t truly processed its meaning or seen it at use in a practical way until my time in Haiti this summer. I was able to connect with musicians from another country and hear their stories and opinions about the state of music making in Haiti, and why they believe so strongly in the power of music as a catalyst for change in their country.
Lia Eldridge teaching at the CEMUCHCA music camp.
I hopped on a plane on June 18th this summer, and within 24 hours I was in a car on the way to Terrier-Rouge, just outside of Cap-Haitian on the northern coast of Haiti. I spent three weeks at the CEMUCHCA Institute of Music summer camp, teaching one-on-one lessons, music theory, and conducting a beginner’s orchestra. The first few days were overwhelming, chaotic, and extremely difficult, and I started to doubt myself and my purpose in Haiti. I kept asking myself what difference I was really making for the students that I was teaching. They all expressed their gratitude, and while that made me feel a little better, I still questioned the big-picture purpose to my trip. That’s when I had a conversation with a few students in my theory class that completely altered my perspective.

I was talking to a few students about how they were doing in theory after class one day, and I apologized for my language barrier that sometimes made my explanation of concepts unclear. They were very understanding and expressed their gratitude for my willingness to learn their language and teach in their language. They were very thankful for all the volunteers that come to the summer camps, both international and Haitian. They explained to me why the camp is so important, and in doing so they brought up the proverb. They love being able to attend the camp during the summers, because it’s a place where they can forget about hardships in their daily lives and focus on increasing their musicianship skills. Their hope is that eventually the international volunteers will be less needed in Haiti and, instead, they will have Haitians teaching other Haitians. I think this is what BLUME Haiti is all about. Building Leaders Using Music Education in Haiti serves to build capacity so that even more Haitian musicians can continue building their communities using the leadership skills they learn through music. 
Schools We Serve
Ambassadors Music Institute, LaPlaine

Academie Musicale Occide Jeanty, Croix-des-Bouquets

Cadanse, Canape Vert

CEMUCHCA Institute of Music, Cap-Haitien

Colbert Frett Music School, Marigot

Dessaix Baptiste Music School, Jacmel

Fondation Sainte Cecile, LaPlaine

Foyer Maurice Sixto, Carrefour 

Gerard Dupervil Music School, Miragoane

Holy Trinity Music School, PAP

Metronome Musique, Port-de-Paix

Music and Arts School of Nippes, Petite Rivière de Nippes

National Institute of Music of Haiti,  Pandiassou (Hinche)

National School of the Arts, PAP

Nick Contorno Music School, Gonaïves

Notre Dame de Cayes Music School, Cayes Jacmel

Othelo Bayard Music School, Aux Cayes 
Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Antonio Violins – Cincinnati, OH

AV Strings – Cincinnati, OH

Carl Becker and Son – Chicago, IL

The Bow Wright Shop – Chicago, IL

Clemens Violins – St. Louis, MO

Col Legno – Evanston, IL

D’Addario StringsLong Island, NY

D’Addario WoodwindsLong Island, NY

Double Reed Girl, Sarasota, FL

Eckroth Music – Fargo, ND

Christian Eggert Violins – Fargo, ND

Johnson Strings - Newton Center, MA

Neil A Kjos Music Company – San Diego, CA

W.H.Lee – Chicago, IL

The Loft Violins – Columbus, OH

J. L. Smith Winds – Charlotte, NC

J. W. Pepper – Paoli, PA

Reuning & Son Violins – Boston, MA

Rogeri Violin Shop LLC - Appleton, WI

Singing for Change

StringWorks – Appleton, WI

Yesterday Service Sheet Music – Sommerville, MA 

About Us

Our Mission
BLUME Haiti works with Haitian and International partners to develop leadership skills awaken individual potential, and create opportunities for social and civic collaboration and economic development through music education and performance.

Our Vision
We envision a Haiti where emerging leaders, thinkers and doerswill strengthen the social and economic fabric of their nation. BLUME Haiti is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 

Learn more at

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Building Leaders Using Music Education in Haiti · 19785 W 12 Mile Rd · Southfield, MI 48076 · USA

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