Hello and thank you so much for your interest in a project that is really special to me. This summer I will travel to Panamá City to help students repair their instruments and give specialized lessons and classes. I won a prestigious grant from the New England Conservatory’s Entrepreneurial Musicianship Department. To fund the production of my repair videos, I’ll be asking my network to contribute to this cause through a kickstarter campaign.
My History with Panamá City
In January 2012, NEC sent me to teach at the Panamá Jazz Festival’s classical program, Música Clásica. This past September, I personally funded a five day trip to Panama. I gave private lessons in the mornings and afternoons and held studio class and cello choir rehearsals after dinner. In January of 2013, NEC sent me back to Música Clásica to teach and perform.
The country of Panamá does not have a single string shop or luthier; the closest repair shop is in San José, Costa Rica. Most students that want to pursue a career in music buy factory made instruments off of the internet. These instruments are overpriced and horribly crafted. On top of the tragic state of the instruments, Panamá has a hot and tropical climate this is very harsh on string instruments. When an instrument breaks, students use anything they can find to repair the instrument. A functional instrument will allow them to work on sound principles and general cello techniques with a bit more ease.
Nuts and Bolts
With the help of luthier Erik Grausam, I plan on creating a solution for Panamanian string players. I will create a series of videos to help musicians stabilize their broken instruments using materials that are available at their local stores. I will write scripts for my videos in Spanish with the help of my Spanish teacher.
I am my student’s link to granting them access to decent instruments and advanced instruction. They are very passionate, have a lot of natural ability, and they are extremely hardworking. I believe that all Panamanian string players deserve a first class music education. I am ready to play a large role in that process now, and well into future. Your generous support is greatly appreciated and will offer my Panamanian students a stronger musical education!
The Canal Club is comprised of generous Kickstarter backers:
Project Panamá Benefactors ($200-250): Ashley Vandiver and Alastair Eng Vladimir Cuellar
Project Panamá Friends ($100): Ann Victor Dan Harp John Grausam Patrice Moskow Paul Biss and Miriam Fried Roger Tapping and Natasha Brofsky Michael Webster and Leone Buyse Long Pham Courtenay and Sabata Vandiver Pereira