Thanks to the endeavors of Bernhard Scherrer and Urs Brotschi, the film "El Sistema" will be shown at Lihn in Filzbach, Switzerland, on Good Friday (March 25th, 2016). Tanya was asked to attend the showing and present information about EMNCG, the Haitian version of El Sistema, which she helped establish and financially supports since 2011. We hope there will be many in attendance and that some money can be raised for the continued work at EMNCG. All donations will be donated directly to EMNCG in Haiti (wire-transfer supervisor Urs Brotschi). For more information and reservations for the Good Friday brunch and movie, please see: http://www.lihn.ch/kulturbuehne-lihn
The “Way of the Tao”, as described by one of China’s ancient scriptures The Tao Te Ching, refers to the never-ending balancing act of the universe. “With great loss comes great gain” was a quote I often heard from my Asian Tai Chi instructors. So too, I send out this message of great loss combined with great gain. Our musical hero, Nick Contorno, has passed to another world. In addition to a loving family and countless friends, he leaves behind a music school named after him in Haiti. These past few days I have received numerous emails describing Nick as both talented and kind, an amazing man who touched the hearts and souls of so many with his music. To quote a friend, “Musical Haiti has lost a real champion and the world has lost a stellar human being.” Nick will be sorely missed, but his memory will live on. Following this news of great loss, came the announcement that our 5th container of music instruments for Haiti (now over 1200 instruments total) has finally reached the hands of the Haitian children. With great loss, comes great gain. If it wasn’t for Nick Contorno, who showed me the value of music, I would never have made the effort to pass the joy of music on to those in need in Haiti. He was more than a great inspiration for Musical Haiti, he put in hours of hard work and made generous personal donations. I’m sure he’s already got a band started upstairs. Tanya
This fall, Musical-Haiti-USA, led by Maryann and Dan Desaulniers, organized an instrument drive for EMNCG and the Haitian national music organization ANADEMH. Following a news article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in July (see “Media”), the instruments started to roll in. Shorewood High School students involved in YOUTH HAITI partnered with the Musical-Haiti-USA-Team in a musical instrument drive on the second and fourth Saturdays in September, 2013…
click below to read more
In October 2013, Nick Contorno, for whom the music school in Gonaives, Haiti is named, won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Milwaukee Civic Music Organization. At the awards ceremony, Nick spoke of his "charmed life of music" and teaching in "the golden years." He said it is important that "we find a way to get the arts back into our schools."
He is definitely helping to share the art of music with the Ecole de Musique Nick Contorno des Gonaives in Haiti. He recently helped to raise $1500 to fund next year's music summer camp at La Sainte Famille in Gonaives.
Wife Lucille, Nick, singer Bonnie Scholz and Musical-Haiti-USA's Coordinator, Maryann Desaulnier.
The 2013 instrument-drive in Switzerland was a huge success! We collected 438 music instruments (over 280 were large instruments) which means we more than met our goal!!! Sorry this article is being posted so late, but Tanya was exhausted after the shipping in September and needed some time away from the project. Here’s a brief summary of what happened:
Now that EMNCG has enough instruments, we have decided to assist the 22 other music schools in the poor areas of Haiti. These schools all belong to Haiti's national music program and their directors have asked Musical-Haiti for help.
More than 3000 children who have been studying music theory at these 22 schools for over a year are in desperate need of an instrument. Some music schools do not have even one music instrument. Not even a recorder flute! We are collecting music instruments until mid-August to send in a (perhaps final) container to Haiti. Our goal is to collect 220 instruments, 10 for each school. Due to the high cost of shipping and the difficulties often encountered at Haitian customs, we are asking for a 5 dollar donation for each instrument. Thank you!
Please contact Tanya Schmid in Switzerland or Maryann Desaulniers in Wisconsin, USA, for assistance with pick-up.
From December 17th, 2012 to February 26th, 2013, Tanya and Hansjakob Schmid assisted EMNCG at the school La Sainte Famille in Gonaives. It was an experience they will never forget. Tanya wrote 6 letters during their stay, detailing their adventures, which you can read below. They have also provided a list of their extensive accomplishments during the two and a half months at the music school. See also the photo album under “Photos” and we hope to have a 2013 video clip on the home page soon! (click "read more" below)
Many thanks are in order for this wonderful group of kids! On the 14th of December, 2012, two classes of the Rudolf Steiner School in Geneva presented a collection of books and computers to Tanya Schmid for her school in Gonaives, Haiti. The idea to support the project “Musical-Haiti” and the 1700 primary and secondary students in Trou Sable, the poorest section of Gonaives, was chosen by the 7th and 8th grades for the September 29th St. Michael’s celebration, a tradition of the Rudolf Steiner Schule...
The Lullaby Concert held on November 2nd at the Kettle Moraine High School was a HUGE success! We heard that $460 dollars has been raised for Haiti so far! We would like to thank all those who so generously donated. And a special thank you for their time and effort to all the students who are working hard to support Musical-Haiti.
We are so sorry to have to say Good-bye to our good friend and wonderful supporter of Musical-Haiti, Nancy Stuhlmann. Nancy (left in photograph) passed away in her sleep and her funeral was held on October 26th, 2012, in Pewaukee, WI.
When I first spoke to Nancy about our work with music in Haiti she immediately "got it." She understood what music can mean to people, how it can inspire, motivate, and bring hope. And she worked hard to help us bring music to the children in the poor section of Gonaives. I'm sure she is up there in heaven right now organizing the next concert for the angels!
Thanks, Nancy! With love from your friends here at Musical Haiti.
Wales, WI - The Kettle Moraine High School Symphonic Orchestra invites the community to the annual Lullaby Concert on Friday, November 2, from 7-8:30pm, in the Kettle Moraine High School Cafeteria. This year’s Lullaby theme, 'Under the Sea,' will delight young and old alike. Children are encouraged to come in their pajamas to enjoy the music, a “fishy tale,” a musical petting zoo, the opportunity to try out youth string instruments, face painting, and crafts! Find out what learning to play strings through the Suzuki method is all about! Suggested donation is $5 per person with all proceeds going to Musical Haiti, the music department's sister school in Haiti.
Thank you Kettle Moraine High School! :-)
I am extremely pleased to announce that the second EMNCG Music Camp was held from Monday, August 27th until Saturday, September 1st 2012 at Father Gerard's Environmental Center in Le Bassin, near Gonaives. Sixty-six students attended this week-long instructional camp. Three meals a day and very simple sleeping arrangements were provided at the center. It was a true luxury and an amazing experience for the children involved...more below